Lynne Ciochetto

Cellphones: and social services and for the ‘bottom billion’

Cellphone technology has become much more commonplace in western industrialized nations and amongst the middle and upper classes of emerging nations.  With the introduction of most technologies there are unexpected costs and benefits. One of the unexpected effects of cellphone technology has been the social benefits in emerging nations. Cellphones are an example how countries can leapfrog stages in technology. Poorer people in emerging economies, especially India and China have been able to bypass the stage of purchasing computers and can now access the internet through their cellphones. This possibility has brought unanticipated social benefits and potentially has major implications for improving the lives of millions of people. This presentation explores some emerging trends and pioneer work being conducted by companies such as Nokia in providing agricultural information to poor rural farmers in India and the access to microcredit and online banking in Bangladesh.

Lynne is an Associate Professor in the College of Creative Arts at Massey University. With degrees in sociology and anthropology, a masters in sociology, a post-graduate diploma in development studies and three years post-graduate study in graphic design at the Basel School of Design her approach is interdisciplinary.