Technology at the Margins: How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets
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Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have revolutionized the world by changing the way people live, play, work, communicate, learn, manage finances, and stay healthy. While most Americans can’t imagine life without Facebook, cell phones, or email, the four billion at the bottom of the global economic pyramid living on less than $2 a day remain largely unable to benefit from the ICT revolution. TECHNOLOGY AT THE MARGINS: How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets (John Wiley & Sons; Available Now; $39.95) challenges today's global companies to reframe their uses of existing technologies with innovative new ones that make a difference in social and economic development, and explores the impact ICTs have on reducing poverty as well as the barriers that need to be overcome before it can happen. This book demonstrates that by making IT more accessible, affordable, and relevant, new mass markets can be opened.
The shift to fundamental innovation to make IT affordable, accessible, and relevant has gained momentum in the last few years, but creating technology for the majority of the world requires fundamental innovations since the needs and contexts vary greatly from existing ones. To bring technology to the underserved mass market, decision makers must be willing to experiment with new business models, commit to research that meets local and regional needs, and collaborate with nonconventional partners like non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Based on solid insights generated in key areas of health, education, finance and the environment, TECHNOLOGY AT THE MARGINS offers practical recommendations and insights from world leaders, innovators, practitioners and new users of emergent technologies. Areas discussed and examples of ICTs that are already creating new market opportunities and changing the futures of entire populations include:
- Health education — mobile ovulation alert services
- Disease surveillance and information gathering — a camera-phone microscope powerful enough to diagnose malaria and tuberculosis
- ICT in the classroom — Intel-powered Classmate PC, a rugged laptop for kids and Microsoft's Windows Multipoint Server for schools
- Microfinancing — meeting the financial needs of poor households through affordable drip irrigation technologies
- Minimizing the impact of natural disasters — wireless sensor networks that provide early flood detection in underserved countries
The premise of this book is that in order for IT to have an impact on the masses to address their critical needs, companies need to:
- rethink their uses of existing technologies and innovate new technologies
- rethink business models and incentive schemes
- create valuable synergies between global and local knowledge
- promote unconventional collaborations
Reflecting the authors' diverse backgrounds in engineering, science, business, architecture, education, and economic geography, Technology at the Margins challenges today's global companies to reframe their uses of existing technologies with innovative new ones that make a difference in social and economic development. This book is perfect for decision makers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors who are interested in opportunities offered by IT in meeting the needs of those at the base of the world's economic pyramid.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
SAILESH CHUTANI is the cofounder and CEO of Mobisante, Inc. where his goal is to democratize access to healthcare by making diagnostics affordable and accessible. He was formerly a senior director for external research at Microsoft where he pioneered open innovation and funded seminal work in mHealth and technology for the emerging markets. Chutani has also held leadership roles in growing new businesses and products within companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Microsoft, and Transarc Corporation.
JESSICA ROTHENBERG AALAMI is the Managing Director of the Gobee Group. Her teams provide research insights and field expertise to global businesses, governments, practitioners and their partners. As a research scholar affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), she works extensively in social and economic development and global corporate social responsibility (GlobalCSR). She holds degrees in economic geography and international political economy.
AKHTAR BADSHAH is a Senior Director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft, where he administers the company's global community investment and employee programs. He also manages the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program, a global initiative designed to help narrow the technology skills gap; and Technology for Social Good that supports nonprofits with their technology needs. Badshah has been in the field of community development for over twenty-five years in various capacities in academia, nonprofits, and business.
TECHNOLOGY AT THE MARGINS
How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Publication date: Available Now
$39.95; Hardcover; 166 pages; ISBN: 978-0-470-63997-9
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