This week our class had Wayan Vota, the Senior Manager at Development Gateway, skype into class and answer some of our questions. One of the major themes we have seen throughout this semester has been failing projects. Mr. Vota told us that he is currently hosting a fail festival, where the main topic of discussion is projects that failed and why they seem to fail. Their is currently about 500 people planning on attending this conference in Washington DC. This concept of having a festival where people only discuss their failures is really interesting to me. Typically, it is really hard for people to discuss their failures. In the field of ICT4D, I truly believe that discussing failures is crucial. This way people can learn from other people and can incorporate what actually works into their own projects. Failure is part of the process and can be part of possible future solutions.
The fact the projects fail in ICT4D world is something that I will take away from this course. As a senior IDEV major who is graduating in may, people expect you have some big, earth shattering idea that you will pursue after you graduate and will help the lives of those in the developing world. You never think that this idea will fail but in reality, majority of projects do and it is okay to fail. What isn’t okay is to not learn from your failures. I believe that this is what Mr. Vota is trying to do with the fail festival, making sure the same type of failures don’t happen over and over again.
A second thing I will take away from his class is the fact that technology really does have the potential to help develop all sectors of societies. In today’s world the countries that are the most developed also happen to be the most technology advanced. Because technology plays such a large part in today’s modern world, developing countries need to also become technological developed in order to be considered “promising” and no longer in the “developing” category.