Nicola J Bidwell

Member for

3 years 11 months

First name

Nicola J

Last name

Bidwell

Organization

International University of Management, Namibia

Country

Namibia

Author Profile

Nic Bidwell is Gender and Social Impact Facilitator for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Local Access Project, Adjunct Professor at Namibia’s International University of Management, Namibia and affiliated researcher with the Digital Ethnography Group, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia). For the past 22 years she has lectured and researched in both prestigious and rural/regional universities in Namibia, South Africa, Australia and UK. She is Australian-British but spent the first few years of her life in Sudan, has lived in Africa more than outside the continent, and her home is currently Namibia.

Nic researches in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Most of her consultancy and over 125 peer-reviewed publications in books, journals and high impact proceedings, relate to technologies that suit and empower the communication and knowledge practices of marginalised groups. Her current projects include studying the impact of community-based digital networks; designing and implementing ICTs to support rural and/or indigenous connectedness and endangered oratures; and use of network platforms in innovation, in formal work contexts and informal economies. She has decolonising sensitivities and, wherever possible, pursues a located accountability in co-generating methods that are situated within local literacies and dialogues, and involve community members in applied research and innovation. This has involved living in extensively in very remote areas and has produced significant social, economic and epistemic impacts, from ICT infrastructure to human capacity building.

Nic initiated the first ever panel on Indigenous Led Digital Enterprise at a leading HCI forum; was inaugural Technical Programme co-Chair of the first African HCI conference; and, has co-edited a book on IK-related innovation. She is an active ally and mentor for African women technologists and internet advocates, from being founding advisor of ISOC-Namibia Chapter to supervising many early career researchers and postgraduate students. Her contributions to research and empowerment have been recognised, such as by a social impact award for research, by being one of ten informatics/computing researchers that rated internationally acclaimed by South Africa’s National Research Foundation, and by invitations to keynote at high-impact conferences and serve on advisory panels, including the first United Nations AI4Good Summit and the 2018 Women in Africa Summit.