Furthering the Arab world's use of digital technology to advance civil rights, a number of regional groups and software developers are looking to mobile phones as a means of ensuring fair and free elections in the region. Experiments in using mobile phone technology in election monitoring and voter engagement are already under way in several Arab countries.
Published: April 16, 2013 Mobile Entrepreneurs Work at Innovation's Edge in the Middle East
As mobile hardware and software increasingly become the focus of technology firms, a number of Middle East entrepreneurs are developing smartphone applications, despite the challenges for startups in the region. The timing is right -- venture capital giant Draper Fisher Jurvetson has extolled the potential for high-tech investment in the Middle East. Those who have come to Silicon Valley from the region tell Arabic Knowledge@Wharton they feel the responsibility to demonstrate Arab innovation.
Published: February 05, 2013 Middle East, Africa and Asia Pushing Mobile Use Innovation
Rob Trice and Ursula Oesterle, two mobile industry veterans at telecommunications giant Swisscom, tell Arabic Knowledge@Wharton that as the mobile industry evolves at a lightning pace, it is mobile users in developing countries who are leading the way in demonstrating how mobile technology can become ubiquitous in people's lives. "You're seeing more innovation on the mobile device in the developing world because the demand is much greater," Trice says.
Published: February 05, 2013 Ushahidi: The African Software Platform Helping Victims in Global Emergencies
Juliana Rotich was in Kenya in 2008 while the country was shaken by post-election violence. Her confusion and difficulty in finding safe havens then led to the development of "Ushahidi," a software platform that takes crowd-sourced information and Google Maps to develop online resources for those times of need. Since then, activists have adapted the platform for a number of causes. "The Internet brought us together," she tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton. "How can we use technology to assist? How can people use our technology to deal with situations efficiently, to give voice to whatever project they have?"
Published: January 22, 2013 Silicon Wafers and Semiconductors: A New Black Gold for Abu Dhabi?
The leadership of the United Arab Emirates considers economic diversification a necessity in order to protect the country's economy from oil-price fluctuations and to maintain prosperity. Along those lines, a government-owned investment vehicle is trying to encourage growth and innovation in knowledge-based industries in such areas as aerospace, healthcare, information and communications technology, and renewable energy. One of the goals -- promoting a local semiconductor industry -- is proving to be especially challenging.
Published: January 08, 2013