Thursday, May. 20, 2010

Matt Berg

Super Cells
Four and a half billion people now have cell phones. Cell phones are amazing; they are so empowering. Having a phone number means you have an identity. I could be in D.C. and call someone in an African village, and that means a lot to someone. The area I work in is figuring out how to leverage this tool that everyone now has to improve service delivery and to reduce communication gaps. It's really a time when we're finally realizing the potential of a technology.

Teaching Independence
I should not be the one coming up with solutions for problems in Africa. It should be local programmers, local health people, local governments. That is the next focus.

How It Can Work
In Mali there wasn't one programming class. We now have eight programmers. It's not a lot, but they are the foundation. They can help give guidance and be able to say, "This is what we need," and that is really important.