Plenary In the first session of the day, a panel consisting of Tony Ridley, Sarah-Jo Lister and Lisa Kelvey spoke about science and technology. Introducing them, Cameron Neil made the point that there was the danger of “science and technology leading us as opposed to social innovation.” The panel made the observation that low-tech solutions can often work as well (if not better) than high-tech. Barriers to achieving the MDGs are often perceived barriers – companies, countries and organisations are often looking for someone with inspiration and motivation to take the lead. “Until you define the problem you cannot really, seriously take care of the solution – defining the problem is essential to everything we’re about, regardless of which professional we come from.” – Tony Ridley “Work yourselves out of a job – that’s the key - give people tools to help themselves.” – Tomi Winfree
Infrastructure II - Lisa Kelvey Lisa said that engineering has a primary and pivotal role in achieving the MDGs. The paradoxes of integrated development: • Lofty goals vs achievable components • Holism vs key levers She said there needs to be a two-way exchange between education, communication and technology. “Change happened when people who do not usually speak are heard by people who do not usually listen.” – JD O’Brien
Emerging Technology I - Bolle Borkosky Bolle looked at some of the barriers of using emerging technology and how to address these issues. One of these barriers was the fact that technology is changing so fast that it goes out of date quickly, and that the “best” technology is not always essential. He stated the way to address this dilemma is to change technology to meet new needs rather than simply to have the latest technology. “We don’t necessarily need the latest technology, but rather technologies that work.” Kim Farrant “A good engineering design is one that is not just based on latest technology but also good risk analysis and project management.” Tony Ridley
Young professionals hold key roles in implementing work on ICTs which will help achieve the MDGs. They can: Provide linking through professional networks to exchange information Work on the ground Identify problems Educate their peers Promote corporate social responsibility Work with communities Get involved with NGOs to link business and NGOs ICT I - James Moody
ICT II – Richard Curtain Suggested reading: The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: eradicating poverty through profits. Richard said that the solutions to problems were dependant on the conditions in the country, and that there was a need for innovative practices to address this. He said external funding may lead to non-sustainability in the long-term.
Favourite Quotes Kia kaha (NZ Maori) = stand strong No less a characteristic of democracy is Social Justice - Rigoberta Menchu 1992 If you ever thought you’re too small to make a difference, you’re never slept in a room with a mosquito Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away Activism is my rent for living on this planet - Alice Walker Never go to sleep because you’re tired, sleep because you’re exhausted from achievements of your day We can’t decide where we are going until we understand where we have come from Ichigo Ichie - Once in a lifetime, Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur. Never put off to tomorrow that which you can achieve today