Where ICT meets Appropriate Development

UPDATE: Due to snow, this meetup has been postponed till Monday 9th of Feb, 2009, 5:30 pm, same address etc. as below. Weather permitting.

Things have been moving fast since I blogged about applying School of Everything to knowledge sharing for appropriate technology. I had a very interesting conversation yesterday afternoon with Mark Charmer, co-founder of Akvo. One outcome is that School of Everything and Akvo are going to co-host a London meetup a week on Monday. The aim is to bring together people on the intersection between the tech industry and the appropriate development world.

Mobiles in the desert

What kind of stuff do we have in mind? Vinay has a nice summary: "What we're looking for is the fertile delta where the ICT game intersects with the sea of appropriate technology - things like Akvo itself, the new new School of Everything appropriate technology focus, Appropedia, Dadamac or even STAR-TIDES."

It feels right to me that School of Everything should be getting stuck in to this area, not only because it's a good thing to do, but also because it fits with history of the ideas that inspired us in the first place. One of the major sources for the concept of this site was 'Deschooling Society', Ivan Illich's 1971 vision for an open alternative to the education system. Illich is also regarded as one of the "fathers of appropriate technology" - his books 'Energy and Equity' and 'Tools for Conviviality' are still some of the most thoughtful writing around on the costs and limits of industrial models of development, and the possibilities outside those models.

The tastefully-named GlueSniffers event (it's about glueing together the pieces...) will take place at the Movement Design Bureau in Bermondsey at 5.30pm on Monday, 2nd February, 2009.

The address is 25 Blue Anchor Lane, Bermondsey, London. It is about a five minute walk from the Bermondsey stop on the Jubilee line, one stop from London Bridge.

If you're involved or interested in putting social media, mobile technology or other aspects of ICT at the service of appropriate development, then come down and join us. There will be beer and fish and chips!

More information here.

(picture from Mark Charmer's visit to Nimdivandh village, Kutch Province, Gujurat