Needs versus Aspirations: Seeking a Positive Approach to Human Development with Kentaro Toyama
Date(s) - 10/20/2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Kentaro Toyama is W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. Co-founded Microsoft Research, India and is a researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He is working on a book that argues that the intrinsic growth of people and institutions should be the primary focus of global development. Previously, Toyama co-founded Microsoft Research India, where he started an interdisciplinary research group to understand how electronic technology could support the socio-economic development of the world’s impoverished communities. The group’s projects – including Digital Green, MultiPoint, and Text-Free UI – have been seminal in ICT4D research, even as Toyama has gone on to be a vocal critic of techno-utopian hype in development. Prior to his time in India, he did computer vision research at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. Toyama graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a bachelors degree in Physics.