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Cell Phones and Social Development
Category: Social Development | By RotaryGlobal, 19-Sep-2010 | Viewed 2089  Comments 0
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Over the last year or so, I've discovered that cell phones are becoming a surprising key to social development around the world, for more reasons than one. My direct experience has been as a witness of the technology transformation of cell phones from the "block" only available to the wealthy - to the latest iPhone that provides full multimedia recording and access to the Internet in every way. I could make grand comparisons like the data storage on the cell phone in my pocket is sixteen times greater than the first file server I worked on, but the most unexpected impact of this technology is in parts of the world so poverty stricken that the people have no running water and no electricity. How does an electronic device used for nothing but chatting become more common than indoor plumbing?

This talk by Iqbal Quadir makes a good start at answering that question.

Iqbal Quadir on TEDTalks: The impact one cell phone can make on a village



Iqbal Quadir is co-founder of GrameenPhone, an innovative wireless company offering services to poor rural villages in Bangladesh. In this talk, he explains the triple impact of cell phone service in rural areas (connecting the village to the world, creating business opportunities, and generating over time a culture of entrepreneurship.) He also relates his personal "A-ha moment," when he understood that "connectivity is productivity." (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 16:37)

Open this link to watch the TED Talk video: http://blog.ted.com/2006/10/10/iqbal_quadir_on/

See Also: Upwardly Mobile in Africa
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