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The Networked Society Forum. In tweets.

“Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is changing the way we live and learn faster than ever before. At NEST – The Networked Society Forum in Hong Kong – we gathered ICT leaders, world-renowned professors, top politicians and inspirational global leaders to discuss: How ICT can shape the future of learning for everyone, everywhere?”

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind visit to Hong Kong attending NEST, an event organised by Ericsson to explore how the technology industry can contribute to, and promote, the development sector. This meeting – which may turn into an annual event – focused specifically on education. It was high-level, attended by the CEO’s of many of the top technology companies around the world. I was fortunate to be invited to represent the non-profit sector.

As I’ve done before at conferences in Aspen and Oxford, here’s another “in tweets” post which hopefully gives a flavour of some of the topics under discussion. (You can click on the images to link to the original tweet).

Context: The CEO of Ericsson, Hans Vestberg, sets the scene in his opening remarks. Mobile phones, whilst very personal devices, have a much broader collective impact when considered part of a global ‘network’. The potential of this ‘networked society’ formed the basis of NEST 2011.

Context: Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, echoes what many in the ‘mobile-for-development’ community believe. Note his use of the word instrument, not solution.

Context: Some of the greatest contributions to the morning session forced delegates to challenge their assumptions. Just because we were talking about education didn’t mean we had to accept there would always be a role for teachers, or text books. In the digital future, assume nothing.

Context: Something I’ve long called for, as a sector we should be more willing to focus efforts on initiatives that are working – rather than continually chasing the next big thing. Let’s find examples of successes in our field, and let donors and government see that technology can make a positive impact.

Context: If you’ve not come across Sugata Mitra’s work then take a look. A proponent of “self learning”, Sugata forced many attendees to challenge their assumptions on everything from education to qualifications, including the question here (for which no-one seemed to have an answer).

Context: One of my comments from the floor. It’s important that we don’t over-hype the role technology can play in the wider education debate. There are many problems that need tackling – financial, cultural, geographical – and ICT cannot help bridge them all.

Context: What do we mean by “education”? What do we mean by “qualification”? Add to that – what do we mean by “developing”? All countries are constantly in stages of development, surely?

Context: One of my comments from the floor. Many delegates believed that key learning needed to happen in schools. I don’t think it does.

Context: If it turns out that technology is able teach better than people, then we should let it. Teachers may not be part of the solution.

Context: In his closing keynote, President Clinton reminded us to keep it real. Despite the progress and potential for modern technology to solve some of the bigger challenges, there is still much to be done. We’re not there yet – by a long way.

Ericsson will be releasing videos, interviews and other materials over the coming weeks. Keep an eye on the Forum website for more.

33 comments

1 changefeed { 11.14.11 at 10:43 am }

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2 Fr@nthro { 11.14.11 at 10:58 am }

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3 The Networked Society Forum. In tweets. | Global Health Hub { 11.14.11 at 3:36 pm }

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4 Molly Redding { 11.14.11 at 5:04 pm }

RT @TopsyRT: The Networked Society Forum. In tweets. http://t.co/w7ygb6Qw

5 Ken Banks { 11.14.11 at 7:44 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

6 Sandra Williams { 11.14.11 at 7:48 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

7 Hajo van Beijma, TTC { 11.14.11 at 7:49 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

8 Justin Long { 11.14.11 at 7:50 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

9 tedx kigali { 11.14.11 at 7:53 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

10 One Percent Club { 11.14.11 at 7:54 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

11 Ed Shepherd { 11.14.11 at 8:11 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

12 DESIGN GLOBAL CHANGE { 11.14.11 at 8:18 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

13 mirjam jansen op de { 11.14.11 at 8:30 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

14 Lucy Mbabazi { 11.14.11 at 8:34 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

15 Stephanie Rieger { 11.14.11 at 8:54 pm }

RT @kiwanja "Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/7ewbJx56

16 andymac7 { 11.14.11 at 9:05 pm }

RT @kiwanja "Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/7ewbJx56

17 Reinier Battenberg { 11.14.11 at 9:50 pm }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

18 Nashina Asaria { 11.15.11 at 4:18 am }

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19 Ken Banks { 11.15.11 at 10:05 am }

Summary of last weekend's "Networked Society Forum 2011" in Hong Kong. In tweets. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw #ICT4D #mlearning

20 FrontlineSMS o/ { 11.15.11 at 10:11 am }

RT @kiwanja Summary of last weekend's "Networked Society Forum 2011" in Hong Kong. In tweets. http://t.co/nOUCYvuK #ICT4D #mlearning

21 in2mentalhealth { 11.15.11 at 11:26 am }

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22 HapinPapua { 11.16.11 at 7:42 am }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

23 NGO Pulse SANGONeT { 11.17.11 at 6:52 am }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

24 Sam Fleming { 11.17.11 at 6:59 am }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

25 Lauren Kim Uppink { 11.17.11 at 7:01 am }

"Mobile connectivity is the single most important instrument for development that we have" – Jeffrey Sachs. http://t.co/bLe2Tnuw

26 Sustain our Africa { 11.17.11 at 7:04 am }

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27 Koketso Moeti { 11.17.11 at 8:02 am }

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28 Jennifer Budden { 11.18.11 at 4:54 pm }

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29 Start with the problem, not the technology | Build it Kenny, and they will come... { 03.08.12 at 11:19 am }

[...] recent interview given during the Networked Society Forum gathering in Hong Kong late last year has just been published online and in the print edition of [...]

30 Nour Diab Yunes { 03.09.12 at 1:24 pm }

"How we define innovation too narrowly [...] start with the problem, not the technology." The Networked Society Forum. http://t.co/19qCsm5J

31 Closing mobile’s “gender divide” | Build it Kenny, and they will come... { 05.10.12 at 8:34 am }

[...] Kong last November, I sat and listened as Jeffrey Sachs described mobile connectivity as “the single most important instrument for development that we have“. Few people would disagree. A recent study by the GSM Association reported a 10% increase in [...]

32 Closing the mobile technology “gender gap” – News Watch { 05.10.12 at 6:37 pm }

[...] Kong last November, I sat and listened as Jeffrey Sachs described mobile connectivity as “the single most important instrument for development that we have“. Few people would disagree. A recent study by the GSM Association reported a 10% increase in [...]

33 Mobile Convention Amsterdam. In tweets. | Build it Kenny, and they will come... { 05.22.12 at 10:43 am }

[...] “In tweets” posts include: The Networked Society Forum. In tweets. The Aspen Environment Forum. In tweets. Tim Smit. In [...]

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