I would be uber grateful if you could hop over to the SXSW 2012 PanelPicker and vote for my and Brett Haggard's panel. We think it's a doozy, and we'd love to tick "presented at SXSW" off the bucket list. Of course, Brett has already, but that didn't count. :)
Here's an outline of what we'd like to take to the digital citizens of the world, during the world's largest digital culture conference...
You don't need bandwidth to be awesome
Always-on, high-speed connectivity is the ticket to doing awesome stuff in technology today. But in a continent like Africa, ‘The Cloud’ is something ‘The Rain’ falls out of. And still, innovation in the technology realm has managed to flourish and even outpace the more developed world. We’re talking about television services that use the DVBH standard to beam football matches and news into rural villages; social networks that were designed for exclusive use on mobile phone platforms; funds transfer and electronic payment systems that require nothing more than a SMS text message; insurance products that can be provisioned and procured from the most rudimentary mobile phones. Outside of the ‘never say die’ innovation Africa employs there’s a great deal the developed world can learn from the developing world, particularly when it comes to building practical solutions that solve real problems. And with global growth being led by the developing world, these are lessons worth learning.
Questions To Be Answered
- Why should the first world care about third world innovation?
- How can solutions designed with bandwidth constraints be superior in a market without these limitations?
- What are some of the best examples of 'African innovation'?
- What are some problems worth solving in the first world?
- How do we replicate the innovative African environment in the developed world?