051 – Digital Jobs in Rural Environments

Lucie and David discuss IDEMS’ aims to create digital opportunities for young people in rural areas. By building technology differently, and supporting local development, David shares how he has seen young people not only empower themselves, but also strengthen their local community.

050 – The Role of Observation in Shaping IDEMS

In this 50th episode of the IDEMS podcast, co-founders David Stern and Danny Parsons celebrate the milestone by reflecting on the crucial role of observation in their professional journeys and its impact on IDEMS’ development. They discuss the transition from observers to leaders, emphasizing the importance of taking a step back to gain a deeper understanding and insight, which has enabled thoughtful action and leadership within the organization. They also recognise the importance of allowing their team members the opportunity to observe and gain experience, while acknowledging the challenges of doing so in a dynamic business environment.

049 – Artificial Words: The Unseen Bias of AI in Everyday Language

This episode delves into the nuances of language discrimination, specifically focusing on the impact of language models like ChatGPT on linguistic perceptions and the inadvertent biases they might reinforce. Hosts Lily Clements and David Stern discuss a controversy that arose in Nigeria over the use of the word “delve,” which some attributed to AI-generated content, highlighting broader issues of language discrimination and the unintended consequences of AI tools in communication.

048 – An Approach to Language and Tolerance

In this episode, Santiago Borio and David Stern delve into the use of language and its implications in today’s sensitive cultural landscape. Motivated by a prior discussion that mentioned ‘white’ and ‘black’ economies, and recognising the potential associations of this terminology, they explore how such terms have evolved and consider potential alternatives. They highlight the importance of tolerance and resilience as well as the necessity of careful use of language to avoid misinterpretation. The episode reaffirms IDEMS’ commitment to critical assessment and openness to constructive criticism, recognises that we will not always ‘get it right’, and concludes with a call for greater tolerance and self-awareness in our daily communications.

047 – Kate Fleming: IDEMS’ Strategy

David and Kate, two of the three IDEMS directors, explore how to productively think about IDEMS’ multiple work streams as an overarching strategy. In doing so, they reflect on IDEMS’ role, and by extension technology’s role, in promoting “human flourishing”, as an enabler of human activities and interests.

046 – Moustapha Moussa: Processing Food

David Stern talks to Moustapha Moussa about his work with communities in West Africa on processing centres to transform local food into nutritious products. They discuss how a chance encounter led to Moustapha working with the McKnight Foundation to build upon his research, and how focus shifted from urban areas to working in deep collaboration with women’s groups in rural communities.

045 – Bruce Hamaker: Processing Nutritional Foods in Low Resource Rural Environments

In this episode, David Stern talks to Bruce Hamaker, Distinguished Professor of Food Science at Purdue University. They discuss his projects in West and East Africa, making nutritious foods for local markets using local ingredients, and IDEMS’ role, through the McKnight Foundation, of providing research method support. They consider the transition of focus from urban to rural areas, the move to working with women’s associations and the viral scaling that this enabled.

044 – An Interview with our Incoming Director, Kate Fleming

David Stern introduces Kate Fleming, IDEMS’ incoming director, discussing her alignment with IDEMS’ values and their shared focus on complex data and community problems. They touch on the challenges of merging technology with social impact, the importance of community-based tech initiatives, and the goal of scalable solutions within a social enterprise framework. The episode highlights their mutual vision for addressing global issues through collaborative efforts.

043 – The Journey to IDEMS Internships

In this episode, Santiago Borio and David Stern delve into the evolution of IDEMS internships, tracing their roots from the African Maths Initiative in Kenya to their expansion across Africa. They discuss the inspiration from university attachments at Maseno University, and lay the path towards potential structured programs that bolster capacity building and foster local innovation, emphasizing the significant impact on individual interns and broader community development.

042 – Navigating the Future: Work and Skills in an AI-Influenced World

In this episode, Dr Lily Clements and David Stern discuss the evolving landscape of skills for a world shaped by AI. They delve into the transformation of different job roles and the education system, proposing a future where critique, creativity, and human connection become increasingly important. This conversation highlights the supportive role of AI – aiming to enhance rather than replace human capabilities – and the vibrant future of jobs centred around adding value to our lives and society.