From 14 to 15 November 2017, I attended a workshop on Digital Technologies for Resilience organized by FHI 360 together with financial support from USAID and Rockefeller Foundation. A different agenda, setup and very diverse group of people made the workshop interesting and engaging for two days. Around 84 participants from 20 countries attended the conference. If you look at the participation percentage by kind of work, about 44% were resilience implementer, 30% were technology companies, 13% were donor or investor, 5% were academia and 8% didn’t fall in the mentioned categories.
To give a brief overview – The room was divided into 12 round tables with 7 seats in each table. Each table was grouped based on work they are doing. The first session was the lightning talk from various deployments of different technological solutions for resilience around the world. This was followed by the Design Thinking workshop where each group had to present the problem, solution, and impact as an act the next day. Our group worked on an interesting idea of Solar Electrification in Myanmar. The idea was interesting as Richard Harrison from Pact Myanmar has been focusing on this opportunity for quite a time now and might have a real-world implementation which is awesome. I was also drawn to the idea because my village in Nepal was electrified only a few years ago, and I had the sentimental connection to what could have been going around in Myanmar now, and how the electricity can boom the local industry and have the greater impact on the life of the people. You can view the detailed agenda here.
The workshop settings and agenda were very different. Rather than bombarding the participants with the presentations only, this was more engaging. The participation was 100%. You can see the donors working together in a group, asking and providing insights and suggestions. The networking session allowed to go around and talk with people, and know great work they were doing. I found some of the works were complementing to what I am doing and can add value. Personally, I was able to network with most of them, and some of the discussions are really moving forward.
I would like to thank Josh for inviting me to this workshop. The diverse group of people with the diverse idea and work really helped the individual like me to widen the understanding of Resilience outside of the current scope of work.