Have ideas for new models in higher education that use technology and social entrepreneurship? Interested in what universities will look like 10, 20 and 50 years in the future? Join TechChange and AshokaU on Friday July 22 from 1-2pm EST for a live Twitter chat on the impact of technology and social entrepreneurship on higher education.

Topic: How will technological innovation and social entrepreneurship transform higher education?


Last Wednesday, Ashoka delivered a terrific panel conversation at the World Bank called, Public Goods through Social Enterprises: Creating Hybrid Value Chains. Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich spearheaded the discussion with their thoughts on the growing impact of hybrid value chains, full economic citizenship, and the inevitability of a changemaker world. I had three take-aways that I will consider under the current framework of technology.


This is part one of a two part series on Exchange 2.0.

Even though I never had the chance to do a study abroad, for ten years of my life I had over 150 international students live in my house, which practically made up for it. They all came to learn English, but after sharing a dinner table, a bathroom, and a TV with them I learned quite a lot about their culture too. My family noticed after a few years that the amount of students that would come from each country would fluctuate depending on their nation’s economic health. Now with highly accessible online interaction, a new type of youth exchange program has formed that isn’t dependent upon travel and accepts exponential amounts of students— it’s called Exchange 2.0.

The issue of Internet censorship has cycled throughout headlines, whether it’s Congress interrogating Microsoft and Yahoo! as to why they are selling products that assist Chinese filtration or Google deciding that they are no longer censoring Google.cn. The largest cause for concern has been the violation of human rights, which has lead to new Internet freedom scales from organizations like Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. However, research of Internet censorship from an economic perspective has been pretty limited. I performed a mini case study of China and India, two countries that have had similar ICT growth but one is censored and the other is not. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that shows that censorship is causing much of a negative effect on China’s ICT industry, but its continual growth could still influence policy change as the entire nation gets online. (more…)

Deep in the “Chaco” of Paraguay where farmers live under two dollars a day, resides a budding entrepreneur named Alfonso Parada. “I took out a loan to start my farming business and with the profits I’ll send myself to IT school,” he told me. “I want to become a computer programmer and give a good life to my family.” Then he showed me his most recent investment: a cell phone that housed two SIM cards from different service providers. “I need to make sure I always have coverage and get the cheapest rates wherever I am.” Alfonso’s access to a mobile phone in one of the least physically accessible areas of South America is a symbol of communication equity.  (more…)