Media and technology: Beyond the Stockholm Syndrome

Taking part in Storyology, a media conference as far as away as Sidney, I found myself standing still before a scene I had seen identical versions of in Vienna, Bonn, Barcelona and who knows where else. There is a booth by the conference rooms where people in 3D glasses are watching videos. A few years…

Why we need to reconsider how knowledge and innovation are measured

Nadine Weheba Knowledge and innovation have taken the lead as drivers of economic growth in developed countries and so there has been a growing interest by the international community to measure and assess progress in this area. Excited to embark on new research on alternative metrics of knowledge and innovation at A2K4D, the student of…

Digital entrepreneurship in Egypt: Opportunities and obstacles

By Nagham El Houssamy There has been a notable increase in the number of startups and startup incubators in Egypt in the last decade. With an interest in the intersection between knowledge and technologies, my colleague Nadine Weheba and I became engaged with the digital entrepreneurship field and with how technology is transforming business models in the…

Transmission through toktoks

Fatema Niazy A few years ago, Maḥraganat, a branch of Shaʿby music, appeared on the surface out of disenfranchised urban areas. Its appeal lies in the roughness of its electronica infused beats, profane language, relevance to everyday mundane life or nonsensical rhyming lyrics,[i] as opposed to the more common themes of over-romanticism, patriotism and what…

The knowledge Forum: The economies of knowledge and development

A talk with Nagla Rizk, Ahmed Hussein, and Samer Attalah “Knowledge has peculiar characteristics,” said Nagla Rizk, professor of economics at the American University in Cairo. She is also the head of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center, to which this blog belongs. Rizk was addressing a group of students, techies, lawyers, and others…

The impossible development: Buying access to knowledge

Fadila Noureldin Diego Gomez’s career as a researcher took an unprecedented turn when he was charged with violating “economic and related rights” for sharing an academic paper online. Resembling the case of Aaron Swartz, Gomez has recently been sentenced to jail for up to eight years. Gomez is a Columbian graduate student of Conservation and…

nolege is power: Rancière’s lesson in inequality

By Stefanie Felsberger Seeing this picture of the tattoo “nolege is power” for the first time made me laugh. The message of the tattoo stood in such stark contrast with the fact that it was misspelt. But soon after I remembered a quote by Jacques Rancière in his book The Ignorant Schoolmaster where he argues…

Exploring knowledge and innovation in Africa

By Nagham El Houssamy ‘Africa is not a uniform continent; it is rich in diversity.’ This pivotal statement was always on my mind while working with the Open African Innovation Research and Training Project (Open A.I.R.). Since 2011, Open A.I.R. has surveyed different intellectual property (IP) systems that govern knowledge production in Africa and explored…

Security; a history and multiple challenges: A conversation with Sherif El-Kassas

Sherif El-Kassas teaches computer science at the American University in Cairo. He has been researching issues of security management and open sources technologies. In this conversation with Lina Attalah, he talks about the history of security, the incentives around it, the large spectrum that exists between being a low hanging fruit for security threats and…

Toward a thriving open source software arena: Opportunity and challenges

In 2011, weeks after the departure of the Hosni Mubarak regime under the pressuring mobilization of the masses against his rule, public morale was high. Many thought that after an unwanted order had seemingly gone, time had come for a new one, the seeds of which emanated from a collective imagination for a different future….