NEWS: Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) conference appearance

Next week will speak at the Informa Telecoms and Media-organised Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) World conference in Berlin. kiwanja was invited to present following a well-received keynote address at this years’ Mobile Messaging Congress in Cannes, another Informa event. OSiM, the only mobile-specific open source conference and exhibition in the world, boasts a line-up of over a hundred speakers. kiwanja’s Ken Banks will talk about the social impact of mobile technology in the developing world, and the challenges – and increasing opportunities – for mobile applications development in the social mobile space

NEWS: World Economic Forum invitation for

Following an appearance earlier this year at GSM Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ken Banks has been invited to an invitation-only World Economic Forum meeting in New York next month which will focus on collaborative opportunities between the telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and media & entertainment industries. Addressing the critical issues needed to catalyze innovative solutions, this meeting will bring together senior level executives and top strategists as well as leaders from the areas of public policy, civil society and academia

Outcomes from the meeting, which will focus on mobile health, banking and entertainment, will serve to guide the World Economic Forum’s ongoing workstream around the mobile Internet as well as frame discussion for its upcoming Annual Meeting in Davos 2009. Invitees from the telecommunications community include the top strategists and executives from Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Avaya, BT, Cisco, France Telecom, Google, HTC, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Telstra, Vimpelcom, Vodafone and many others

NEWS: lined up to appear at Rhode Island conference

Ken Banks has been invited as one of only 25 speakers to present at a conference at Brown University in Rhode Island this November. The conference, A Better World By Design, “asks the question today’s designers, engineers, and economists should be asking. How can we use technology to improve the world? Hear answers from world-class professionals and academics in this milestone conference that will change the way you think about global crises and push the limits of user-centric, affordable design”

Erik Hersman, a friend and supporter of kiwanja’s work and the man behind the highly regarded White African and AfriGadget websites, is also lined up to speak

More on the News page

FrontlineSMS and the culture of the goodie-bag

This week sees the launch of the new and improved FrontlineSMS (or, at the risk of jumping on the bandwagon, FrontlineSMS2.0 as I prefer not to call it). As well as support for Windows, Mac and Linux, we’re also launching a new website and, through a growing band of global volunteers, gearing up our awareness-raising campaigns. Although this feels like something of a fresh start, FrontlineSMS already has users in over forty countries around the world and continues to generate a buzz of excitement among NGOs who come into contact with it.

Next week will also see the new FrontlineSMS debut at Global Messaging Congress 2008 in Cannes, where I’m doing a keynote address on the use of mobiles – text messaging, more specifically – among the global NGO community. This follows on from my February talk at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Although most mobile industry events continue to be dominated by money-makers, aspiring money-makers and deal-breakers, it’s refreshing to see NGO work finally gaining traction. Clearly, as more and more companies turn their attention towards emerging markets we’ll see an increasing emphasis on the ‘bottom of the pyramid‘ at these kinds of events.

With the exception of my twenty-five minute talk, the remainder of the two-day conference turns its attention back to mobile advertising, the mobile web, user experience, messaging business models, the role of IM and the future of mobile messaging. There will also be the chance to unwind with colleagues at the Global Messaging Awards bash, which I helped judge last month. It’s going to be a very interesting couple of days, and I’m looking forward to hearing from some of the leaders in their field and exploring ways of leveraging some of this innovation for the benefit of the non-profit community.

And, just to be sure that on their way home no-one forgets the considerable impact of mobile technology to promote positive social and environmental change around the world, delegates will get a FrontlineSMS goodie-bag. I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that the contents will help remind them of the considerable challenges many mobile users face in the developing world.

Thanks to Wieden+Kennedy for the cute photo.