As part of the St Anthony's Foundation, the San Francisco-based Tenderloin Technology Lab works with non-native computer users who are primarily homeless. Megan Trotter is the Manager of this lab and the moderator of the SXSW Interactive panel, “Mobile Technology Solutions for the Marginalized”. Today’s Session Spotlight gives insight into her work that is centered on creating tech solutions to issues of poverty. Trotter's session represents one of hundreds of Global Impact and Policy sessions at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival.
SXSW: In 100 words or less, what topic are you going to be covering in this panel?
Trotter: There is an increase in low-income and homeless individuals utilizing smart phones, yet, there is a lack of mobile development to meet their needs. Link-SF looks to address this, as a mobile optimized platform that connects people with basic services (food, housing, medical care, hygiene services, and technology access) around them. This platform was developed through cross-sector collaboration to address a complex local problem utilizing a pro-poor tech solution.
SXSW: Who is the target audience for your presentation? Will you need a specific background to be able to follow the discussion?
Trotter: People who are interested in domestic pro-poor tech solutions will want to see this panel. It will also be of interest to those who are working in nonprofits or for civic tech, as well as developers who want insight into developing tech for non-native users. Anyone will be able to follow the discussion.
SXSW: Why should attendees come listen to your panel? What will they know at the conclusion of the session?
Trotter: This is an interesting presentation because it is a new thing to be developing tech to specifically assist those who are living in poverty domestically. This angle has challenges and new issues to mobile tech. A person who attends this presentation will have a better understanding of homeless issues and new homeless needs in America, as well as options for tech solutions to these problems.
SXSW: Who else will join you on this panel?
Trotter: The other presenters are Salena Bailey who used to work for a community based organization, which started our mobile site project. Kenshiro Nakagawa is one of the corporate developers who is working on the project, and Kimberly McCollister is the designer and user testing expert who was consulted for this project.
SXSW: What is the most exciting part about your session?
Trotter: I'm excited about this session because it is bringing light to a new area of tech for good and I hope that it sparks dialogue and makes people more interested in further exploring this area.
Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. Register now to attend “Mobile Technology Solutions for the Marginalized,” and other programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.
Megan Trotter photo by Kimberly McCollister.