Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Jason Bloomberg, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Could Mobile Devices and the Internet have Prevented the Rwandan Genocide?

This week marks the tragic 20-year anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.  On April 7, 1994, the Hutu majority, which was in power at the time, began an organized effort to wipe out the minority Tutsis living in Rwanda and other neighboring countries.  During an approximate 100-day period nearly 800,000 Tutsis and sympathizers were massacred, most by machete.

The genocide was only stopped when an exiled Tutsi rebel group marched into Rwanda and overthrew the Hutu government.  No outside international forces intervened to stop this massacre.  The UN peacekeeping soldiers, lacking authorization to intervene and protect, stood by as the massacres happened within sight of their forces.  This was and is to this day a great international shame.

In Boise, Idaho we have a fast growing Congolese and Rwandan population of refugees that were forever impacted by this event.  Many have spent the last 15 years living under plastic tarps on mud floors in refugee camps.  The tragedy of these events is personal to me.  It hits home nearly every day as our home is often filled with newly arrived Rwandan refugee families and friends.  Many of my close friends suffer nightmares to this day from the mental and physical scars of these events.

I often wonder if mobile devices with broadband Internet could have prevented or limited the Rwandan Genocide.  In 1994 letters were sent through the postal service from fearful Tutsi families and churches begging for protection.  Here is an excerpt from just one letter sent by a pastor to his church leadership, “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families.”  Tragically, the pastor’s words went silent and his predictions came true.  His entire family and congregation was massacred.  These letters were sent through the postal service.  The world was not aware, informed or alerted in a manner that rose above the noise.  These letters are now archived for us to read, remember and learn from.

There was no instantaneous access to social media sites, online forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or places where citizen journalists with iPhones and broadband Internet could upload photos, videos and articles.  There was no YouTube or widely used public news websites to spark immediate worldwide outrage.

In 1994 the news of the massacres leaked out slowly and the rumors were too horrific to be believed.  Facts were hard to come by. The scope and scale of the tragedy was difficult to measure.  News crews found it dangerous to venture out into remote areas.  It took weeks for the world to begin to learn the full scale of the violence and genocide and by then the tragedy had nearly run its course.

I ask again, could mobile devices with cameras, broadband Internet connectivity and access to social media sites have stopped or limited this tragedy? In 1994, the world had limited news, limited understanding of events, limited perspective of the scale and scope of this tragedy, and limited interest.  These challenges limited international outrage and prevented UN intervention and humanitarian responses.

In the absence of news crews and photojournalists, the Hutu government, militia and instigators of violence felt immune from personal accountability, scrutiny and retribution.  They gave into a mad, uncontrollable and unexplainable bloodlust.  The violence continued unabated for 100 days.

In 1994, the ruling Hutu party controlled most of the radio stations and newspapers in Rwanda. Propaganda ruled the airwaves calling for violence against the Tutsis.  Many of the Rwandan news agencies and broadcasters themselves were later found by International courts to have been guilty of instigating and organizing the violence.

I hope and pray that the ubiquity of mobile devices would make keeping genocide a secret far more difficult today.  Every person with a mobile phone has the potential to be a citizen journalist.  Every act of violence has the potential of being documented and the location and perpetrators identified.

There are models today that demonstrate how mobile devices can be used to help prevent future genocides.  In Kenya, a small group of volunteer programmers have developed a website and mapping solution called Ushahidi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushahidi, where people with mobile phones can report violence and document the location of incidences on a map.  This information is instantly projected to a map on a website for the world to visualize, study and understand.

Today, freedom of speech and the ability to widely communicate news, knowledge and ideas has the opportunity to transform societies and peoples as never before.  Evil does not like the exposure and light of public scrutiny and debate.

In some circles, it is popular to cast disparaging remarks at technology, mobile devices, the Internet and social media, but I for one appreciate the value of information transparency afforded by these technological advancements.  I will celebrate the opportunity and freedom to know, and pray for the strength and courage to react with immediacy.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...