Last weekend I delivered the inaugural Jim Bettison Memorial Oration at the biannual Adelaide Festival of Ideas. This was a great honour, and my presentation was well received by the audience, as was evidenced by the poignancy of their questions.
Here is the abstract of my oration:
Modern communications systems use extensive and expensive infrastructure to deliver services we could only dream of a few decades ago. This works for those who enjoy peace and sufficient wealth, but fails to reach the last billion people in poorer countries, as well as those in remote, emergency or disaster situations. Now modern mobile phones have the potential to communicate directly, to form networks without reliance on any infrastructure. The Serval Project based at Flinders University is turning this dream into a reality. It is working to make communications available to everyone, anywhere, any time especially to those who need it most.