Design, Community Engagement and One Laptop per Child

6 May 2010

Crighton Nichols and Rangan Srikhanta, One Laptop per Child, Australia
Introduction: Anna Rubbo, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning

About the talk
The XO laptops, being provided to children in remote Australian communities by the charitable organisation One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Australia, are an example of excellence in 'ethical design'. However, the benefits afforded by this ethical design excellence may be attenuated if OLPC Australia's deployment model does not also reflect the ethical dimension. The charity's approach to address this is to ensure that community engagement forms an integral aspect of our deployment model. For example, community engagement drives our localisation efforts, such as incorporating local languages and content, and informing our deployment processes. These efforts are fundamental to helping local communities take control of the use of XOs, and can facilitate innovative use and local adaptations. In this way, OLPC Australia ensure the XO laptops can be used as a tool to help strengthen traditional cultural knowledge by providing a medium to capture and transfer this knowledge between generations, as opposed to undermine it, as is often the case with technology transfer programs.

About the speakers
Rangan Srikhanta is a graduate from the University of Technology, Sydney with a double degree in Business (Accounting Major) and Computing. He has spent four years at the United Nations Association of Australia, NSW Division as a Director and three years as Treasurer. Rangan is a recipient of the Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for his work contribution to the wider community as a student of UTS. As the Executive Director of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Australia, Rangan hopes to provide each child with an XO laptop and an opportunity to realise their full potential.

Crighton Nichols has Bachelor degrees in Computer Systems Engineering (Hons I) and Physics from the University of Queensland, a Masters degree in International Development Studies from Uppsala University (Sweden) and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. At the intersection of his work with OLPC Australia and research is the desire to contribute to the capability of Indigenous peoples to design technological innovations they deem valuable. Prior to commencing his PhD, Crighton spent a decade in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle-East and North America.

Time: 6.30 to 8.00pm

Location: Lecture Theatre 1, Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning, 148 City Rd The Univers ity of Sydney

Cost: No charge, no bookings

Contact: Sue Lalor

Phone: 9114 0941

Email: 3e12140547230e361427361d295a334f632a5d1e5c0a43