United Methodist Communications to host first ICT4D conference

October 09, 2013

Learn how to strengthen the global community through technology and stronger communications

Seventy-five percent of the world has access to mobile phones according to a report from the World Bank and infoDev. No longer considered a luxury, these communication devices are saving and enhancing lives globally.

The Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) team from United Methodist Communications invites local churches to attend a two and a half day conference September 3-5, 2014 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. to discuss how congregations can use technology to strengthen communication and the global community.

“Whether it’s used to track disease outbreaks or to supply software and books to educate children, technology has the ability to not only transform lives in developing areas, but to also save them,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “Strengthening our work in ICT4D can help us fully realize the power of the connection within The United Methodist Church through global mission.”

The conference will provide an opportunity for United Methodists to learn from internationally renowned leaders in communications technology that contributes to the health, educational, agricultural and community-building missions of the church beyond the U.S.

Ken Banks, founder of Frontline SMS and one of the forefathers of ICT4D, will be a keynote speaker. Frontline SMS is free software that can be used to send text messages to groups of people without an Internet connection.  Other speakers include Wayan Vota of Development Gateway, Bruce Baikie of Inveneo, Maeghan Ray-Orton of Medic Mobile and Chris Locke of GSMA, the trade association for mobile operators worldwide.

The conference will give local churches the chance to network with other congregations that are involved in global mission and to learn how they can collaborate with United Methodist Communications to deliver solutions to communication challenges in the developing world.

In the coming months, United Methodist Communications will release more information about other speakers on the agenda and additional details about the conference. For more information about ICT4D, go toumcom.org/global.