Eric Zan is interested in how information can play an empowering role in human lives by enhancing a person’s agency and freedoms. Eric was first introduced to the Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICTD) world after he quit his software engineering job to help start an ICT4E program in Cameroon with Helps International
He then attended graduate school at University of California Berkeley where he studied Human Computer Interaction and User Centered Design methods for creating appropriate technology. He spent much of his time researching best practices for ICTD projects, telling stories with data and designing products for social impact.
During graduate school, his affinity for nature and conservation led him to use his new-found skills as a product designer and user researcher to improve the visitor experience in California’s public places and the U.S.’s national parks. His internship as a park technology ranger at Bandelier National Monument was a dream come true.
He is a co-founder of Sahay, a social enterprise leveraging information technologies to empower domestic help workers through greater access to job opportunities in India.
Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas and a master’s in Information Management from UC Berkeley’s School of Information. He is working for Inveneo connecting organizations in West Africa who are assisting in the ebola response and recovery effort with high-speed wifi. Eric grew up in Texas and currently resides in Berkeley, California.