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[liberationtech] Stanford WTO/Liberationtech: Jenna Burrell on Nov 3rd at 12pm

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Oct 31 16:30:38 PDT 2014

From: Bobbi Thomason <bobbijt at>

Please join us on *Monday, November 3rd* from *12-1:15* for the next WTO
Colloquium in *Spilker 232*.

*Speaker:* Jenna Burrell, University of California at Berkeley, School of

*Title:* On the Importance of Price Information to Farmers and Economists

*Abstract:* The notion that farmers use mobile phones to acquire market
price information has become a kind of shorthand for the potential of this
technology to empower rural, low-income populations in the Global South. In
this talk, I will touch upon some recent projects I've undertake with
collaborators Janaki Srinivasan and Elisa Oreglia that interrogate and
complicate this simple formulation. This work considers the translation of
‘market prices’ from neoclassical economic model, to development policy
truism, to application in technological system building. Yet, the
technological systems that often result, called market information systems
or MIS, frequently fail to gain users or affect prices or profits in the
ways that have been promised. Our ethnographic work among fishers in
Kerala, India, on Lake Victoria in Uganda, and farmers in Northern rural
China surfaces counter-narratives about mobile phones (and market price)
that could explain why.

*Bobbi Thomason* | Stanford University
Center for Work, Technology & Organization
Department of Management Science & Engineering
215.510.4856 | bobbijt at
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