Mark Oppenneer

About Mark Oppenneer, Ethnos Project founder

Mark is an independent researcher who started the Ethnos Project in 2008 while pursuing a doctorate at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State. His research interests include culture and development, ICT4D, oral traditions, indigenous knowledge, technology, online communities, human computer interaction and interface design. He holds an MS in Communication and Rhetoric, an MALS in Mythology and Oral Traditions, and a BA in English Education.

His interest in Indigenous knowledge issues grows from his experience researching for his MALS degree as well as through the relationships he developed while serving as Education Director for The Ndakinna Education Center (05-08) and as organizer of The Saratoga Native American Festival (06-07).

He has been web developer for several ICT4D-related projects including FrontlineSMS:Legal and FrontlineSMS:Credit, and as web consultant for Mobile Money Africa. He has served as ICT Advisor for the Saratoga Race Track Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) Global Communications Center.

In December 2014, Mark was invited to present as a keynote speaker for El Primer Congresso Internacional Patrimonio Cultural y las Nuevas Tecnologias in Mexico City. His presentation titled “Shiny objects and Salvation: Navigating new technologies for intangible cultural heritage preservation” is embedded below:

Mark’s Activities

inah-logo-200 Invited to give plenary address at INAH’s 1st International Congress of Cultural Heritage and New Technologies in Mexico City (December 2014)
logo-excelsior-college Since late 2013, serving on the steering committee for the new Center for Game and Simulation-Based Learning at Excelsior College.
Have served as ICT Consultant for the Saratoga Springs Racetrack Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) Global Communications Center for the 2012 and 2013 racing seasons.
logo-rpi In December 2010, I presented at a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Symposium hosted by RPI. Topic was Using ICTs for Indigenous Cultural Preservation: Challenges and Strategies.
On September 21, 2010, I had the opportunity to experience and tweet live from the UN Week Digital Media Lounge in NYC.
Completed a proto-type museum kiosk designed for the Ndakinna Education Center. The kiosk is an interactive introduction to storytelling and the Native American oral traditions of the Northeast. Learn more…
Developed the web site for one of the newest members of the FrontlineSMS family: FrontlineSMS:Legal! Visit
logo-rpi In 2010, I co-created and co-taught (with Tamar Gordon) an undergraduate course titled Culture & Development involving heritage, sustainability, and development.
CreditSMS (see below) is now FrontlineSMS:Credit. Welcome to the FrontlineSMS family! Visit Note: I served as web developer for their first site – their present site is designed by someone else.
Finished writing an ethnography of the Saratoga Springs Racetrack Backstretch Employees and their use of the Backstretch Global Communications Center.
CreditSMS gets a write-up in The Washington Post: “Start-Up Aims To Facilitate Loans With a Global Reach D.C. Trio Hopes to Aid Poor, Rural Communities”. Shout outs to Benjamin Lyon, Scott England and Mark Oppenneer.
From 8/09 to 4/10, I served as Mobile Money Africa’s web development consultant. Mobile Money Africa is Africa’s leading online resource for mobile financial inclusion.
I developed the MMT Africa Directory at CreditSMS. It was a directory of Mobile Money Transfer and Airtime Transfer services across Africa.
I worked with Ben Lyon on the web development for CreditSMS (now FrontlineSMS:Credit – see above).
logo-rpi I developed the Sustainability Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Studies program sites for the Science & Technology Studies Department at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Ethnos Project was a news source for the now defunct NewsForDev, a service that employed RSS and e-mail news technology to bring knowledge and information to agricultural development practitioners in ACP countries.
On July 10, 2009, I attended the Open Development Barcamp at the World Bank in Washington, DC.