The Cuban Ministry of Higher Education recently announced it will host the first annual Open Technology for Life Workshop on June 7-13 in Havana, Cuba.
The general goal of the annual OT4Life Workshop will be to cultivate long-term relationships between technology thought leaders in the USA and leading experts and influencers in Cuba. Within that broad framework, each year will focus on a specific topic.
This first workshop in June 2016 will be a particularly special gathering. As technology-oriented industries begin to engage with Cuban educational leaders for the first time, the hope is to set the stage for cultivating a collegial environment where ongoing enthusiasm and collaboration can flourish.
With that in mind, the initial OT4Life Workshop in June 2016 will be focused on discussing creative and sustainable applications of open source technology to fit community needs. With an eye toward making rather than consuming, workshop participants will explore the meaning and implications of a creative, maker-oriented implementation of technology.
In short, the June 2016 Workshop’s objective is to begin fostering a maker’s movement style approach toward the sustainable application of open source technologies in Cuban communities.
We’re excited to collaborate with the OT4Life Organizing Committee and help them coordinate the June 2016 Workshop.
Note: Complete workshop details are not yet finalized. However, please submit the Information Request Form below and we’ll be sure to keep you informed via email as details emerge.
Participation in the 2016 OT4Life Workshop will be limited to approximately 30 USA-based individuals. Participants will be selected by the OT4Life Organizing Committee (see below).
If you’d like to participate in the June 2016 Workshop, please fill out the Information Request Form below (indicate your interest in the comment section). We’ll be sure to get in touch with you regarding next steps.
Over the course of one week from June 7-13, USA-based participants will travel to Cuba to brainstorm and collaborate with Cuban educational, technology and community leaders in an informal setting. Together, USA and Cuban participants will share experiences in their respective fields to learn from one another, discuss challenges and forge lasting connections for the future.
Cuba and the United States both have long and important traditions of innovation. Despite differences in scale, scope, and historical contexts both countries have complementary experiences in finding creative technological solutions.
OT4Life will be a meeting space for thought leaders, inventors and makers of both countries to share passions, knowledge, and experiences in finding creative and sustainable technological solutions to fit community needs.
OT4Life is committed to the ideals of the open source and open technology movements. These include a belief that creativity, sharing, and learning is an essential part of the human experience. The overarching premise is to create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly future that embraces open technology. To that end, the goal is to foster a “culture of makers”.
This model of citizens as makers is in sharp contrast to the notion of a consumer-oriented society where citizens are primarily consumers of technology. OT4Life aims to empower people to invent and create. The aspiration is to combine the sheer joy of creating with the fulfillment of community needs.
For the initial Workshop, the OT4Life Organizing Committee has chosen the theme “The Internet of Everything: Open Technologies for Human Development”.
Participants will focus on sharing ideas and practices around Internet of Everything oriented open technologies such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi or 3-D printing because such tools encourage people to engage proactively in a culture of making and innovating rather than merely consuming technology-based products.
Possible areas of discussion include:
- Open hardware platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3-D printing, etc.
- Open software platforms such as Ubuntu, XAMP, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc.
- Open methodologies for knowledge sharing, project development and community involvement, etc.
The workshop will employ an informal, BarCamp style. Participants will present ideas, show illustrative work in progress and engage in group discussions. Sharing, collaboration and brainstorming is highly encouraged.
The Workshop will end with a “Maker’s Expo”, uniting makers from both the USA and Cuba to showcase adaptable technologies and solutions that address unique or challenging situations and fulfill community needs. The Maker’s Expo will be a hands-on celebration the possibilities enabled by open technologies with a community-oriented focus.
The 2016 OT4Life Workshop will be organized as a complete 7-day package from June 7-13, 2016.
The tentative schedule of events is as follows (final schedule TBD in the coming weeks):
|Arrive in Cuba. Introductions, orientation to technology in Cuba and the Maker Movement
|Tour of Havana, with visits to design and engineering universities
|Presentations from Cuban and American perspectives, BarCamp-style working groups and discussions, plus recreational experience of Havana’s rich culture and nightlife
|Continuation of BarCamp working groups, field trip to innovation and art spaces
|Continuation of BarCamp working groups, visits to community health centers and organic farms
|The “Maker’s Expo” where workshop participants unite with Cuban makers and over 200 guests. Farewell dinner.
|Return to USA
Travel, Accommodations & Cost
Travel and workshop package cost information is not yet available, but please submit the Information Request Form below and we’ll be sure to alert you via email as details are finalized. For now, note the following:
- USA-based participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements to Cuba. We will soon publish a list of preferred travel agents that participants may contact directly.
- The Workshop Package cost will be determined in advance. Participants will be required to pay in-person upon arrival at the venue in Cuba. We will soon publish instructions on how to do so.
The OT4Life Organizing Committee
Professor at the University of Havana. Former director, National Medical Sciences Information Center, and founder of INFOMED, the national health information network of Cuba.
Mr. Urra has dedicated his career to information management, the development of the national health information infrastructure, and the training of human resources in information sciences and informatics. In past projects he developed tools for information automation in libraries. He also helped develop the Latin American and Caribbean Virtual Health Library and the Virtual Health Campus of the Pan American Health Organization. He’s also consulted on a number of international projects and initiatives. Mr. Urra is currently working with Cuban institutions of cultural heritage to develop a national platform for data and information management in the field, and he is a leading advocate for open technologies and social commitment.
Jesús René Olivera Reyes
Professor at the University of Havana, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education.
Mr. Olivera Reyes has served as a policy advocate and mentor to four generations of engineers. Currently he serves as adviser to the Minister of Higher Education. He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineer from the University of Havana, and earned Master of Science from University of Swansea, Great Britain. Mr. Oliveira Reyes is an expert in architecture of microcomputers and mobile devices for mLearning. Early in his career he was awarded the Clerk Maxwell Prize by The Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers of Great Britain, in 1976.
Yudivian Almeida Cruz
Professor in the School of Mathematics and Computation at the University of Havana.
Mr. Almeida Cruz currently researches web-based information distribution systems and their application in Cuba.
Alina Ruiz Jhones
Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences, University of Havana.
Ms. Ruiz Jhones served the Dean of the School of Mathematics and Computer Sciences from 1999 to 2002. She was also founder and First Deputy Rector of Havana Informatics and Sciences. Currently, she is Head of the Office for the Computerization of the University of Havana. Ms. Ruiz Jhones is a member of the Cuban National Boards of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Automatics.
Rita Ma. González Denis
Automated Systems Engineer.
Ms. González Denis is a graduate of CUJAE. She holds a Masters in Marketing and Business Administration from ESEM Madrid. For the last 10 years, Ms. González Denis has worked in commercial and academic services to organize academic programs and courses.
Director of Assessment, Samuel Merrit University
Co-Founder, Cleber, LLC.
Managing Director, Brutal Business, Inc.
To inquire about participating in the 2016 Open Technology for Life Workshop, to stay informed about upcoming details regarding the workshop, or to ask questions about the OT4Life Workshop please submit the following form.