Hosting Appropriate Technologies, Near and Far, an Open Science Café (OSC) with Lonny Grafman, was a memorable experience for me. One reason was our collaborative planning process. Karen Lauritsen, Lonny, and I set up several video conferences prior to the event to ensure that it would be interactive for our audience and personal to our campus community. We discussed different ways that we would run the show and agreed on what would be the best plan of attack, given the short amount of time.
While Lonny did have a plan, he encouraged Karen and I to offer other ideas – which I think really revealed the collaborative aspects of appropriate technologies. Appropriate technologies require not just the collaboration of engineers and scientists, but also the community. In addition, in order for the technologies to be sustainable, scalable, and environmentally sound, solutions may involve:
- social scientists, such as cultural anthropologists, to understand/interpret the culture of those who will use the technology
- economists to figure out how the technology can be made scalable and inexpensive
- environmentalists to figure out the potential impact of the technology on the environment
….and so on!
The OSC taught me how to collaborate effectively, fit a lot of content into a small time slot (only one hour and a half hours!), and to work on a team where each person is specializing in a single aspect of the entire production – a lot like a theatrical performance.
One of the most valuable things I gained from the OSC is Lonny Grafman’s friendship. I appreciate Lonny’s authenticity. He was approachable, amicable, down-to-earth, and willing to engage with students, faculty, staff and community alike. I look forward to joining him in his future endeavors in appropriate technologies!
To those that may be interested in hosting an OSC, I suggest picking a guest speaker who you can see yourself becoming good friends with and collaborating with in the future!
Learn more about Nasim in an interview with Rachel Scott, communications and public programs student assistant.
Open Science Cafe student proposals are accepted in the fall. Learn more at Kennedy Library.