I write about technology for social good, design, 3d-printing, user experience, and global development.
These are some of my recent public articles.
3D printing is everywhere at the moment, and while there's certainly a lot of hype around the topic, there's also a lot to be excited about in not-so-obvious advantage—everything from STEM education to maintenance and repair.
Empathy and an effort towards understanding are ingrained into the Peace Corps at all levels — from newly-trained Volunteers to senior-level agency staff. It’s in the D.N.A. of the organization.
Repair and maintenance haunt the margins of ICT and development ('ICTD') and broader information school scholarship, but have rarely received central theoretical or empirical attention in the field. This paper attempts to fill this gap. Theoretically, it explores ideas from the growing but scattered body of social science work around infrastructure, maintenance and repair, and argues for maintenance and repair as key sites of difference, innovation, power, and sustainability in ICTD settings. Empirically, the paper examines patterns and tensions in maintenance and repair in Rundu and the wider Kavango region in northeastern Namibia. We conclude with key findings and lessons for future ICTD and iSchool scholarship.
This paper explores the nature and centrality of maintenance and repair ('M&R') work in the extension and sustainability of ICT infrastructure in the global South. Drawing from pragmatist traditions in CSCW and the social sciences at large, we develop a concept of 'repair worlds' intended to map the varieties and effects of such maintenance and repair activities. Empirically, our analysis builds on ethnographic fieldwork into local practices of maintenance and repair that have accompanied and supported the extension of mobile phone and computing infrastructure in the Kavango region of northeastern Namibia.
So much of the experience of our modern world relies on our ability to tell stories — to convey the sense and experience of who we are, where we come from — our set of shared values.
A more faithful and holistic interpretation of development’s impact lies in what we do that fits in the 'long tail' of our service and of our lives. As we think of creative and new ways to identify, articulate, and tell these stories of progress and of change, we might move closer to truly appreciating how much we are getting for our investment.