I attended the Mobile Tech 4 Social Change barcamp in New York with MIT colleagues Audubon Dougherty, Nadav Aharony, and Danielle Martin last weekend.
Unfortunately, I missed Ethan Zuckerman’s keynote (hoping it will be posted online) but according to Patrick Meier’s informative post about the day, one of Ethan’s biggest takeaway points focused on the importance of using of multiple technologies together:
(The) convergence of ICTs is far more powerful than the increasingly ubiquitous mobile phone. When mobile phones and SMS are paired with radio talk show programs, the combination replicates much of the functionalities that characterize the Internet. Once information is broadcast over radio, it becomes public knowledge.
I find this to be a valuable take away not only because of my own interest in radio and mobile but also because it suggests the larger need to focus on strategies over technologies. Mobile phone by themselves probably won’t solve entrenched issues, particularly those that extend beyond geographic and disciplinary boundaries, but they can be a valuable part of larger tactics.