Ina Fried

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Dive Into Mobile: Listening to Global Voices From India, Africa and the Middle East

Those attending this month’s D: Dive Into Mobile conference will get to hear from the biggest names in mobile technology — including Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Google Android chief Andy Rubin.

But attendees of the event will also hear from some of the people whose lives are being transformed by the mobile technology being developed by the Facebooks and Googles of the world.

We have added four short segments called “Global Voices,” which will feature people who have personally benefited from the expansion of mobile technology beyond the developed world.

Such as Indian farmer KK Mathai, who has been trying to combat increasing equipment costs by getting higher yields and prices for his pineapple, banana and vegetable crops. A key tool in this effort is Mathai’s cellphone. Thanks to software from Nokia, Mathai can get a combination of weather and market information along with farming tips.

“It has definitely increased the effectiveness of the way I farm,” said Mathai. “For example, in the end of May, I received a message to my mobile letting me know that monsoons were expected to arrive in my area in the next three to four days. Based on this information, I was able to adjust plans accordingly, resulting in a successful vegetable sowing.”

Joining from Uganda is Asia Kamukama, who runs a solar-powered computer classroom using 15 low-power Classmate PCs from Intel.

Asia Kamukama

“Growing up in a Ugandan village where 90 percent of girls didn’t attend school, I always knew that education was the only gateway to living a better life,” said Kamukama.

Kamukama spent 16 years hearing about computers and seeing them in shops before getting her hands on one for the first time. “It was such an a elating experience that I definitely wanted to share with other people,” she says.

The MEET (Middle East Education Through Technology) program brings together Israeli and Palestinian youth to collaborate over a period of several years to learn about business and technology, and, in the process, break down cultural barriers, as well.

As part of their project together, the most recent group of graduates built Count Me In, a mobile app for setting up events — anything from a large political rally to a small meet-up of friends.

Two of the project’s alumni will share their experiences in the program and in developing the mobile app. High school senior and East Jerusalem resident Amin Manna, 17, is president of his student council and a school chess club champion.

Yuval Yogev, also 17 and a high school senior, lives in West Jerusalem and works at a technology company; he is also taking classes in computer science and math at Hebrew University.

Attendees will also hear from Sesame Workshop about how the creators of “Sesame Street” are using cellphones as a way to deliver education to India’s rural poor.

The best part is that you can still be part of the crowd that gets to hear from these amazing attendees when they take the stage later this month in New York on Oct. 29 and 30. A limited number of seats remain for D: Dive Into Mobile.


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