Lots and lots of interesting stuff going on at the moment. Some delivery projects we’re working on we’ll be able to talk about publicly early next year, but we’re very excited about them. We’re working with some wonderful clients on projects we feel will genuinely change the markets we’re working in.
What we can talk about is the growth of our research area of work. We ran an excellent symposium on Digitial Economies in partnership with UCSD EMPAC and Vital Wave Consulting last April, and we’re happy to say our plans to make this a bi-annual event have been successful and we’re hosting the next meeting at the MIT Legatum Centre for Development & Entrepreneurship next month with Vital Wave and support from the MasterCard Foundation. This is an invite only, Chatam House rules event but we will publish a paper after that summarizes the discussion. The paper from the first meeting at UCSD we’ll link to in the next couple of days.
Also with MIT, after hosting a workshop on digital content for USAID last March we proposed and conceived of a special edition of the MIT Innovations journal on the topic, and we are delighted to see this now published (PDF download). There’s some fantastic research in there and we’re proud to have played a role in seeing this developed – huge congrats to the USAID team and the herculean editing role managed by Audrey Hyland.
We’re very keen that there is a strong academic rigor to our research profile at Caribou Digital, and we’re therefore also very pleased to have had a paper accepted at the 2015 AAG meeting in sessions managed by the excellent Connectivity, Inclusion, and Inequality group at the Oxford Internet Institute. The paper will be a condensed version of a much larger research project on the shape of emerging market digital economies that we’ll be working on with Jonathan Donner, Emrys Schoemaker and Bryan Pon, funded by some partners we will formally announce next month. The paper appears on the schedule under Bryan Pon, who will represent us at the AAG event in Chicago next year.
We’re looking at this first major research project as a way of diving deeper into what’s really happening in emerging market digital economies and to set out the themes around equitable share of access, value creation and opportunity that are important to us and, more critically, to the viability of the sustainable growth of these nascent digital economies and societies. It’s a very exciting piece of work.
And, finally, all of this excellent work needs to be nurtured and well managed, and it’s a huge pleasure to announce that Jonathan Donner has joined us as Senior Director, Research to lead this work and further build out our portfolio of research. Jonathan has been a leading researcher in M4D and ICT4D for over a decade, and brings a huge amount of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to Caribou Digital. It’s personally a delight to have him come on board as I first worked with Jonathan in 2004 when he contributed an excellent chapter to the book I edited on the impact of mobile phones globally. It was the first paper on M4D that I read, and as a direct consequence of that it has lead to what we’re doing now, so it’s fantastic to have that coda to the story. Jonathan will be a great asset as we build out Caribou Digital, and he’s someone who fully shares our vision of the way digital economies develop. We’re going to have a lot of fun.