Gadgets Magazine

Human Agency? There’s No App for That

Posted on the 23 May 2011 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal
Human agency? There’s no app for that

American folk music legend Woodie Guthrie and his famous guitar. (Photo: Flickr user aeryn42)

It was something of a week for information and communications technology (ICT), democracy, and development.

Last Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal‘s Corruption Currents blog featured Bribespot, a new mobile phone app that allows users to check-in anonymously anytime someone forces them to pay a bribe, including information on location, size of the bribe, and description of the event including who was paid and for what purpose.

Bribespot is just the latest in a procession of ICT-based anti-corruption tools. launched last year as a place for citizens in India to anonymously report when, where, and how much they pay for a bribe.

It’s certainly revealing for information about bribes to finally appear on such widely-accessible platforms. In countries like India or regions like sub-Saharan Africa petty corruption is ubiquitous yet victims have typically been isolated by geography or by custom. These new platforms unite what has long been divided. That’s a good start.

But also last Tuesday, an Aid Watchers guest post from George Mason University’s Tate Watkins titled “Poverty: Is there an app for that?” warned that new technology, while it can be very useful for solving problems directly, can also distract from the reality of development that comprises the ‘gradual emergence of problem-solving systems’. Systemic change still depends on people coming together and transforming knowledge into power, and power into change. ICT is a powerful machine, but someone still needs to pick it up and play the music.

In Leadership and the New Science, management consultant and Harvard Ph.D. Margaret Wheatley envisions organizations and systems as bodies formed around knowledge and information. The introduction or production of new knowledge or information–such as information from new ICT avenues–creates the opportunity to form new organizations and systems, but taking advantage of those opportunities is far from a given. There is no app for human agency.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • A New Way to Shop for the Most Unique Sunglasses

    Shop Most Unique Sunglasses

    These unique sunglasses represent smart style for women's fashion and are only available for a limited time. This startup has made a line of luxury sustainable... Read more

    13 hours, 30 minutes ago by   Meghashop
  • Who Are the Members of Diet Doctor?

    Members Diet Doctor?

    Who are you? We asked our members and received 1,100 replies: Most members are women, and more specifically middle-aged women. This is a group of people that... Read more

    13 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 – Daily Updates – Day 8 – Alan Young

    Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 Daily Updates Alan Young

    A cool calm (wind wise) start to the day. Usual start up work completed but we lose our Manager of the Drinks Food table. Tomorrow it will be Yuri Trostenyuk an... Read more

    14 hours, 29 minutes ago by   Abichal
  • Beautiful Destination Wedding with Pastel Colors | Gemma & Sean

    Beautiful Destination Wedding with Pastel Colors Gemma Sean

    Chic Stylish Weddings Chic Stylish Weddings - The destination wedding we are sharing today is so beautiful; from the pastel colored flowers used for the... Read more

    15 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
  • The Humor Writing Business

    Making people laugh is no laughing matter. Someone should have told me this before I...oh, wait, a lot of people did but, as usual, I never take advice that run... Read more

    17 hours, 41 minutes ago by   C. Suresh
  • Baptism of My Babies. All of Them.

    Baptism Babies. Them.

    Today was so emotionally intense for me. Three of our seven children were baptized at the church Matt and I met in and got married in. Each one has been... Read more

    17 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Rachel Rachelhagg
  • Asparagus and Courgette Rice

    Asparagus Courgette Rice

    I wanted to cook us something quick and light today . . . fresh, and healthy. I remembered seeing this recipe in the June issue of Food to Love and I had... Read more

    17 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner

Paperblog Hot Topics