Ismail Dhorat

Technology for change

The blogosphere has been up in arms over the recent xenophobia attacks. It is extremely sad and depressing to see our country in a state like this. We can debate and debate but all that will matter is action. We have to ask ourselves how can we use technology to make a difference?

Stii suggested we create a non profit organisation, to which people donate which is a great idea but I believe that with the brilliant people and the range of skills we have we can do a whole lot more.

Read Write Web recently ran a great article on how to use social networking and media for social change, and Muhammed Karim has an interesting post on using web 2.0 to fight hate. With technology, the costs of coordination are drastically reduced. As a collective group let’s think about ways how we can use technology to make a difference. For example, how can we use technology to educate people? To stimulate entrepreneurship and self owned business? To reduce crime?

Internationally there are sites like kiva who offer micro-lending to entrepreneurs. Sites like wikicrimes or ushadi which are Google maps mashups that show you the hotspots. There are more than three different events being held monthly in South Africa for business networking — surely we can set aside time to make a difference and brainstorm some ideas?

To get this ball rolling I have created a page on the South African Twitter Wiki, add your name to the list and any ideas you may have.

Let’s solve real problems.

5 Responses to “Technology for change”

  1. Hi Ismail,

    I see you have mention Ushahidi. A massive colab between them, ourselves (Quirk eMarketing), Cell-life and range of other organisations is underway, the aim is to provide real-time, verified information regarding xenophobic attacks in SA. The site is still being developed but the functionality is working:

    http://www.unitedforafrica.co.za
    (a full Consumer Generated Media and Google Maps mashup)

    All help in getting the word out and keeping it up-to-date would be greatly appreciated.

    Tim
    Ps: there are more specialised needs. If you can help please contact me through the website.

    May 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm
  2. Hi Tim, Great initiative!

    May 24, 2008 at 6:28 pm
  3. Update to the post: Join the Google Groups at rather then the wiki:
    http://groups.google.com/group/technologyforchange

    May 26, 2008 at 1:47 pm
  4. Great Idea Ismail, I’ve added some thought and a link . I’d be interested to get your thoughts on creating a print publication which is developed Big Issue style with a focus of providing positive empowering content and dialogue which the man on the street can use on a daily basis.

    June 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm
  5. @Nur, i think thats a great idea, we could also look at it from an education/training angle. Some core basic skills etc. Lets discuss on the Google Groups or One-Project site.

    June 4, 2008 at 10:49 am

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