On April 21 and 22, 2022, the Research Technical Assistance Center hosted the second two-day RTAC Virtual Conference on Public Interest Technology for International Development with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory™ at Arizona State University. The two 2-hour sessions offered participants the opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with other experts in the public interest technology and international development fields and learn specifically how they relate to two of today’s critical issues: education and energy.
Co-hosted by Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier and Dr. Faheem Hussain of the College of Global Futures, this virtual workshop featured two keynote speakers, breakout discussions, and participatory dialogues to explore socio-technological synergies for the advancement of human wellbeing in the era of a global pandemic and beyond.
Dr. Gary Grossman gave the keynote address, Education and Technology in Development: Defining Terms and Leveraging Assets. His presentation explored the concept of defining development in the 21st century and breakout rooms discussed both the roles that education and technology play in development and the changes in education and technology that are necessary to address challenges and reduce disparities in development.
Dr. Saurabh Biswas, scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, delivered the keynote address, Discovering Public Interest in Energy Transitions (Tensions, Opportunities and Paradoxes). Dr. Biswas explored energy as a function of public interest and shared how the energy system does and can contribute to the public’s interest when intentionally designed to do so. Breakout rooms explored the types of technologies and forms of public interest that are found within the energy system.