In this talk, I will ask if it is possible that the work we do to help others actually harms or even hurts them? The talk is based heavily on concepts from the book When Helping Hurts, adapted to our work and life as technologists in missions. We will explore the idea that the work we do is really “poverty alleviation”, where “poverty” has a different definition than you may think. We will be thinking how the three stages of poverty alleviation — relief, rehabilitation, and development — apply in our work, and how we decide what is the most appropriate response for different circumstances.
2021 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Victor Norman is a professor of Computer Science at Calvin University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Vic’s interests include researching and implementing best practices for teaching computer science, applying technology to Christian missions, and examining the relationship between technology and his Christian faith.
After receiving his PhD from Purdue University, Vic worked in the networking industry for 14 years. He then transitioned to teaching. He and his wife have spent a 5-month stint working with Operation Mobilisation in Carlisle, England, in 1999, and a 6-month stint in Kandern, DE, working with Greater Europe Mission in 2019. In both places, Vic was doing what he loves to do: computer programming for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.