Pilot projects from around the world: The edge of the network society

 Paul Braund, World Bank Institute

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 27, 2005

Paul Braund will show a number of ongoing Information Communication and Technology projects from around the world that have developed in the context of the UN Millennium Goals - Bridging the Digital Divide.

The road map towards the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration began with a report by the UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan in September 2001. It contained “an integrated and comprehensive overview of the current situation.” It outlines potential strategies for action that are designed to meet the goals and commitments made by the 147 heads of State and Government, and 189 Member States in total, who adopted the Millennium Declaration to move towards eradicating poverty and disease. The Information and Communications Technologies Task Force, which also met in September 2001, began to take steps to begin the bridging of the digital divide. This came under Millennium Goal Number 8 - Target 18.

Develop a global partnership for development. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

Since 2000 Paul Braund, working in partnership with Anke Schwittay, a UC Berkeley Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, has focused on collaborations with individuals and organizations around the world that have aspired to bridge the digital divide while disseminating information and educating on best practices through conferences, workshops and e-conferences. (It has been possible to run these for up to two weeks and cover 80-90 countries).

Spending extended time the field we have learned first hand the rewards and challenges facing governments, private sector, academia and NGO’s but the challenges faced by the individual citizen and social groups being helped by this wave of information and communication technology. Understanding the appropriateness and sustainability of the programs being developed will be the main focus and point of discussion.

Paul Braund is Co-Founder of RIOS Institute (Research, Innovation, Organization and Society Institute) in Berkeley, California. Currently, he is completing a book, World’s By Design. He has worked as an Architect and award winning Industrial Designer and has developed numerous patents. He has spent 20 years working in technology research and development in Silicon Valley consulting with start-ups and MNC’s such as Intel, 3M, ATT and government agencies such as the EPA and NASA. However, his favorite work is in education, for which he was been awarded an Environmental Path Finder Award. He holds a BA (Hons) 3D- Design UCE, MA/MPhil from the Royal College of Art, London. (Thesis: Design in the Next Economy).

He has spent the past 5 years working on social development and in finding appropriate technology transfers for developing countries, particularly in communications technology. He has supported and represented the UN-World Bank at conferences and various fact finding trips and workshops in developing countries, while maintaining independent work with numerous NGO’s, small community groups and academic institutions who are helping to bring more human centered innovation to development.

His hope for the future is that the next generation will be able to have the opportunities his education as a Designer involved in developing technology gave him; working and interacting with societies and cultures around the world in collaboration with many disciplines. To scale up UN programs, in collaboration with the private sector that focus on cross collaboration and interdisciplinary teams; solving Information and Communication Technology development issues, as a means to sharing diversity and knowledge of cultures around the world is one of the best hopes of peace and prosperity. This is the motivation and promise behind the “Millennium Goals” 2015 agenda and why Goal 8 is our key focus.


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.