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wireless Wednesday

m:lab By Jessica Colaço / August 12, 2011

The Myths and Reality of M4D – Wireless Wednesday Event


The m:lab will host Kentaro Toyama on Wednesday 17th August for a Wireless Wednesday event themed on “Mobiles for Development”.

The past few years have seen incredible interest in applying mobile technologies for international development, an endeavour often abbreviated “M4D”. Can mobile phones be used to improve rural healthcare? How do you design user interfaces for an illiterate migrant worker? What questions might a farmer earning $1 a day want to ask over SMS?

M4D enterprises seek to answer these kinds of questions, but the excitement has also generated a lot of hype about the power of technology to address deep socio-economic challenges of the “mass market.”

The talking points for the event are as follows:

  1. Myths of M4D that persist despite evidence to the contrary
  2. Theory of “technology as amplifier” that explains the gap between rhetoric and actuality
  3. Recommendations for successful mobile projects.

The objective of the event is to cause a re-examination of some of the popular assumptions about technology, business, and what they can accomplish.

This event is invite only and as such, please send an email to to request an invite. Approved attendees will receive an invite to register for the event on email. The requests for invites are open till Tuesday 16th August 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Please note that the event is only open to ICTD/M4D practitioners, Industry Stakeholders and the iHub and m:lab Community.

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

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