Open Technology Exchange in Havana, Cuba – Spring, 2016

June 7-13, 2016 

Open Technology for Life (OT4Life) summit is designed to cultivate long-term relationships between innovators in the United States and leading Cuban experts. Over the course of one week, “Makers” from both nations will exchange ideas, identify challenges and opportunities, and forge connections for the future. Cuba is a world leader in healthcare, education, and sustainability, despite the lack of global connectivity and access to modern technology. As foreign, tech-centric industries engage with Cuban society for the first time, OT4Life provides a platform to learn from Cuba’s successes and collaboratively explore the thoughtful, people-centered implementation of technology.

Workshop participants will:

–       Participate in the first US-Cuba Exchange on Open Technology

–       Collaborate with Cuba’s leading professors, engineers, designers, and thought leaders (See bio of the organizing committee)

–       Experience the brilliance of Cuban innovation first-hand

7-day Conference Package – June 7-13, 2016 

Includes the conference and in-depth experiences at key sites

Seven days, six nights (tentative agenda subject to change)

Day 1: Arrive in Cuba. Introductions, orientation to technology in Cuba and the Maker Movement / Internet of Everything (IoE)

Day 2: Tour of Havana, with visits to design and engineering universities

Day 3: Presentations from Cuban and American perspectives; BarCamp-style working groups and participatory discussions, experience Havana’s rich culture and nightlife.

Day 4: Continuation of BarCamp working groups field trip to innovation and art spaces.

Day 5: Continuation of BarCamp working groups, visit community health centers and organic farms.

Day 6: The final day of the workshop will be an expo of invited Cuban makers and over Cuban 200 guests. – farewell dinner

Day 7: Return to US

Call for participation

OT4Life Workshop Call for participation: email brief bio and reason for interest:

Participants will work in user-generated, action-oriented discussion groups in the style of BarCamp, with the goal of continuing these conversations after the Summit.

Open Technology 4 Life (OT4Life) Workshop Call for participation: email brief bio and reason for interest:




Founding Principles of Open Technology 4 Life

Cuba and the United States both have long and important traditions of innovation. Despite differences in scale, scope, and historic contexts both countries have unique and complementary experiences in finding creative technological solutions.

Open Technologies for Life (OT4Life) is a meeting space for the inventors and makers in both countries to share passions, knowledge, and experiences in finding creative and sustainable technological solutions to fit community needs.

OT4Life is committed to the ideals of the open source and open technology movements. These include a belief that creativity, sharing, and learning from and with others is an essential part of the human experience. In order to create a sustainable future and protect the environment we intend to foster a culture of makers.

This model of citizens as makers is in sharp contrast to the notion of a consumer society where citizens are primarily consumers of technology. OT4Life aims to empower people to invent and create combining the sheer joy of being creative with the  fulfillment of community needs

The culmination of OT4Life will be a Maker Expo uniting makers from both US and Cuba to showcase adaptable technologies solutions to address unique and complex situations and community needs.

For the first meeting we have chosen the theme “The Internet of Everything: open technologies for human development”. We will focus on sharing ideas and practices using Arduino, Raspberry Pi and 3-D printers because these tools encourage participants to engage proactively in a culture of making rather than merely consuming new and innovative technology.

See Organizing Committee Biographies


Photo by Terry Beaubois inside Jose Fuster’s home and gallery during the Landau Travels May 2015 Broadband & Internet Delegation visit.

Dinner at the home of Cuban artist and maker, Jose Fuster

Tour the biosphere and wildlife preserve, Las Terrazas – with optional zip line over the river

Las Terrazas BioSphere Preserve. Optional Zip Line over the river. Photo by Valerie Landau, 2015
Las Terrazas BioSphere Preserve. Optional Zip Line over the river. Photo by Valerie Landau, 2015




If you are interested send brief bio and areas of interest to
American Makers, inventors, and designers are encouraged to donate components and supplies for the workshop (Raspberry Pi, Arduino, sensors, small batteries, small solar panels, etc to leave with our hosts)


Organizing Committee

Cuban Organizing Committee for  OT4Life Workshop 2016
OT4Life Organizing Committee
From left to right: Professor Pedro Urra, University of Habana, Professor Emmanuel, Chair of the Interface Design Department at the Superior Institute of Design, Jesús René Olivera Reyes, Asesor del Ministerio de educación Superior de Cuba, Professor Yudivian Almeida Cruz, University of Havana, Professor Alina Ruiz Jhones, University of Havana, Valerie Landau, Samuel Merritt University, Engineer Rita Maria Gonzáles, Paraiso Travel

Pedro Urra
Full Professor at Havana University. Former director, National Medical Sciences Information Center, and founder of INFOMED, the national health information network of Cuba. He has dedicated his professional career to information management, the development of the national health information infrastructure, and the training of human resources in information sciences and informatics. He has developed tools for information automation in libraries. He helped develop the Latin American and Caribbean Virtual Health Library and the Virtual Health Campus of the Pan American Health Organization. He has been an international consultant in information projects and initiatives. He is working with Cuban institutions of cultural heritage to develop a national platform for data and information management in the field. He is a vocal advocate for open technologies and social commitment.

Professor Pedro Urra
Professor Pedro Urra, Founder of InfoMed talking with Professor Alina Ruiz Jhones

Professor Alina Ruiz Jhones
Ph.D in Mathematics, University of Havana, 1999. Dean of the School of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, from 1999 to 2002. Founder and First Deputy Rector of the University of Informatics’ Sciences, La Habana, from 2002 to 2009. Head of the Office for the Computerization of the University of Havana, since 2010. Member of Cuban National Boards of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Automatics, since 2006. Currently Full Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics from the School of Mathematics and Computer Sciences.

Jesús René Olivera Reyes, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education, Professor at the University of Havana
Jesús René Olivera Reyes, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education, Professor at the University of Havana

Jesús René Olivera Reyes has served as a policy advocate and mentor to four generations of engineers and as adviser to the Minister of Higher Education. He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineer from the University of Havana, and earned Master of Science from University of Swansea, Great Britain. He is an expert in architecture of microcomputers and mobile devices for mLearning. Early in his career he was awarded the Clerk Maxwell Prize by The Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers of Great Britain, in 1976.

Alejandro Cabrera, ViceDecano de Investigaciones. Facultad Eléctrica. Instituto Superior politécnico José Antonio Echeverría.

Yudivian Almeida Cruz, Ph.D.
Professor in the School of Mathematics and Computation at the University of Havana who researches web-based information distribution systems and their application in Cuba. Presentation of Judivian Almeida Cruz TEDx Havana 2014

Msc. Rita Ma. González Denis
Ingeniera en Sistemas Automatizados de Dirección, graduada de la CUJAE, 1990.
Master en Marketing y Gestión Empresarial, ESEM, Madrid, 1995
10 años de experiencia como Especialista Comercial en Servicios Académicos, en la actividad de organización de programas y cursos académicos, así como taller y cursos de intercambio.

US Organizer
Valerie Landau
Inventor and maker and educational technologist. Landau is author of “Developing an Effective Online Course” and co-author of the “Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart.” She graduated from the  Technology, Innovation, and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
If you are interested


  1. Hello I´m the second person (left to right). My name is not Alejandro, Is Emmanuel and i am a designer and professor chief of the interface Design in the Instituto Superior de Diseño (Design Superior Institute). i will thank you guys that correct my name.
    Best regards,


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