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re: [bytesforall_readers] Invitation to Enter the Citibank-Changemakers.net Global Online Competition

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  • Jeff Buderer
    Dear All, I notice that Citibank is a major sponsor. Not that I am against all and any form of corporate sponsorship...but I am just wondering what is the goal
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 31, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear All,

      I notice that Citibank is a major sponsor. Not that I am against all and any form of corporate sponsorship...but I am just wondering what is the goal of Citibank in this process and what is their influence on the process. My thought is that all those "opinion leaders" should not so much be influencing the process and seeking to forward their corporate agendas in the process so much as listening to people in the grassroots.

      I do feel that is the goal of Changmakers (to provide access to grassroots efforts of top level policymakers and opinion leaders to enable dissemination and further development of grassroots best practices on a global scale). Yet I am wondering how do we measure such progress and ensure that it is not the other way around (meaning that its just another vehicle to increase sales of coke and MS and Citibank)?

      I mean dont many of the multinational corporations see these so called emerging markets and see "progress" and "development" as more potential American consumers or people living the American way of life albiet with minor cosmetic changes based on superficial social and cultural differences? Isnt this Thomas Friedman's vision of globalization that has been accepted by these very global opinion leaders of whom we are seeking their support to carry forward what is in truth agenda not ours.

      I hope I am not coming forward as overly cynical (or even gasp anticapitalist) here, its just I think we need to overcome this barrier of seeing ourselves as developed and undeveloped or first or third world. The real difference is between those who seek homogenity of cultures to maximize the continued growth of the ruling classes power and those who seek to promote a modified version of modernity upon which the corporate system does not dominate does today upon our lives in both so called developed and developing societies.

      What role is technology in terms of ICTs playing? Who is ICTs real master? Is it serving this corporate, neoliberal (and this is not to say that all of neoliberalism and corporate culture is bad) globalist agenda or authentically serving the people it claims to serve in the communities using these technologies/telecenters? Is it is possible to have the good socially conscious corporation and what does it look like? What is criteria to ensure accountability in that process to those standards of what is now called Corporate Social Responsibility? I think this is very much an open question.

      Let us finally consider that it is not so much about corporate or noncorporate (for one thing because just about everything is through some kind of corporate entity) but rather the attitude and approach of that entity in terms of how it serves it customers, clients, members or constitiuents. Steve in his recent responses about OLPC I think really demonstrated the essence of what I am trying to put forward in showing that many organizations with good intentions are designed with the same old mentality - as western educated whiz kids saving the world with new fangled technologies.

      I think the key point Steve makes is that it is not about the technology but rather about the kind of genuine human commitment to inspiring people of all walks of life that change and real evolution is possible. So when we consider technology and education we must be clear in our understanding that it is about creating a global culture or movement upon which we can as humans believe in ourselves again as positive, conscious, loving and caring beings. I do believe that technology and computers and the internet can help us to do this but let us be clear that the solution is not the technology itself but the genuine intent of those who carry forward a new way of living and experiencing life and who use these tools to share these innovations with others.

      Jeff Buderer

       


      From: "Dhiraj Sinha" <dhirajksinha@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:38 PM
      To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [bytesforall_readers] Invitation to Enter the Citibank-Changemakers.net Global Online Cois notmpetition


      Dear Group members,

      Greetings from Changemakers. net, an initiative of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the leading global network of social entrepreneurs, with cutting-edge solutions to social problems. Changemakers. net is the first global online platform for business plan competitions, aggregating the best social solutions and then, through collaborations and partnerships, refining and further developing them for widespread implementation.

      We are delighted to announce the new Citibank-Changemake rs Collaborative Competition – Banking on Social Change: Seeking Financial Solutions for All. The Citi-Changemakers partnership is a global search for innovations in inclusive financial solutions around the world.

      The advent of new financing methods – from mobile banking to peer-to-peer lending – are changing the way we access, spend and save our money. We aim to unearth the most innovative and cutting-edge methods that allow financial security to become a reality for everyone. The competition is looking for the best solutions where financial opportunity is possible for all.

      We invite you to participate or nominate and showcase the work of your organisation and to also share your insights to improve high impact innovations and drive social change. This is Changemakers' 19th collaborative competition. To date, the competitions have helped us source over 3,500 on-the-ground innovations on various topics from over 145 countries. Competition entries are transparent, posted online to be studied, and refined by all who are interested.

      More importantly, the competition platform provides entrants with exposure to new ideas, the opportunity to promote their solutions, and a wide range of access to collaborative partners and investors. For instance, you will find resources including collaborative partners and potential investors, while the global online community will discuss, debate, and improve upon the most creative solutions.

      Some of the past industry/opinion leaders who have participated as judges include senior leaders from the Gates Foundation, Google.org, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nike Inc., and UNICEF.

      For more information and to fill the online form, visit www.changemakers. net. To enter the competition and to access our online form, you will need to first register on our site. At the Log In/Register page, once you enter your Username and any Password of your choice, you will get email confirmation from us within minutes, following which you will be able to open the competition form.

      All entries must be submitted online between July 16 and September 30, 2008.

      Enter before August 15th and be eligible to win an early entry prize of a camcorder and digital camera worth USD $1000.

      Alternatively, tell us about a person or project you know of that will do just that at www.changemakers. net. Submit your nomination by October 1 and be eligible to win a new digital camera.

      We look forward to active participation from you. We assure you of a rich and rewarding experience. For any clarifications please call 9910499207 or email ssharma@ashoka. org.

      Shivendra Sharma
      ssharma@ashoka. org
      91-11-9910499207

      oes
    • Ziaur Rahman
      Hi Jeff, Very interesting view to note and I too resonate similar feelings like you. I am also not against globalization or capitalism but I am against run
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Jeff,
         
        Very interesting view to note and I too resonate similar feelings like you. I am also not against globalization or capitalism but I am against run away capitalism and greed; therefore, I also take some of the fanciful ideas promoted by multinationals with a grain of salt. Everyone has an agenda but we need to ask ourselves the question of whether some agendas are going to hurt us in the long run or not.
         
        The idea of 'developing and developed world' is also a Western concept that in some spheres apply but in many others it is a wrong conception. The very idea of developing has been attached to monetary well being without paying any attention to emotional, family or spiritual well being. I believe if we take these factors into consideration the global equation may tilt heavy and then the debate of who is really developed or developing can flare up. While I say this, I do not want to brew any discontentment among the members of this forum many of whom come from the developed world (as per current definition). This is purely my personal thinking.
         
        Take care.
         
        Ziaur Rahman
        IITM
        Dhaka
         
        On 7/31/08, Jeff Buderer <jeff@...> wrote:

        Dear All,

        I notice that Citibank is a major sponsor. Not that I am against all and any form of corporate sponsorship...but I am just wondering what is the goal of Citibank in this process and what is their influence on the process. My thought is that all those "opinion leaders" should not so much be influencing the process and seeking to forward their corporate agendas in the process so much as listening to people in the grassroots.

        I do feel that is the goal of Changmakers (to provide access to grassroots efforts of top level policymakers and opinion leaders to enable dissemination and further development of grassroots best practices on a global scale). Yet I am wondering how do we measure such progress and ensure that it is not the other way around (meaning that its just another vehicle to increase sales of coke and MS and Citibank)?

        I mean dont many of the multinational corporations see these so called emerging markets and see "progress" and "development" as more potential American consumers or people living the American way of life albiet with minor cosmetic changes based on superficial social and cultural differences? Isnt this Thomas Friedman's vision of globalization that has been accepted by these very global opinion leaders of whom we are seeking their support to carry forward what is in truth agenda not ours.

        I hope I am not coming forward as overly cynical (or even gasp anticapitalist) here, its just I think we need to overcome this barrier of seeing ourselves as developed and undeveloped or first or third world. The real difference is between those who seek homogenity of cultures to maximize the continued growth of the ruling classes power and those who seek to promote a modified version of modernity upon which the corporate system does not dominate does today upon our lives in both so called developed and developing societies.

        What role is technology in terms of ICTs playing? Who is ICTs real master? Is it serving this corporate, neoliberal (and this is not to say that all of neoliberalism and corporate culture is bad) globalist agenda or authentically serving the people it claims to serve in the communities using these technologies/telecenters? Is it is possible to have the good socially conscious corporation and what does it look like? What is criteria to ensure accountability in that process to those standards of what is now called Corporate Social Responsibility? I think this is very much an open question.

        Let us finally consider that it is not so much about corporate or noncorporate (for one thing because just about everything is through some kind of corporate entity) but rather the attitude and approach of that entity in terms of how it serves it customers, clients, members or constitiuents. Steve in his recent responses about OLPC I think really demonstrated the essence of what I am trying to put forward in showing that many organizations with good intentions are designed with the same old mentality - as western educated whiz kids saving the world with new fangled technologies.

        I think the key point Steve makes is that it is not about the technology but rather about the kind of genuine human commitment to inspiring people of all walks of life that change and real evolution is possible. So when we consider technology and education we must be clear in our understanding that it is about creating a global culture or movement upon which we can as humans believe in ourselves again as positive, conscious, loving and caring beings. I do believe that technology and computers and the internet can help us to do this but let us be clear that the solution is not the technology itself but the genuine intent of those who carry forward a new way of living and experiencing life and who use these tools to share these innovations with others.

        Jeff Buderer

         


        From: "Dhiraj Sinha" <dhirajksinha@...>
        Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:38 PM
        To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [bytesforall_readers] Invitation to Enter the Citibank-Changemakers.net Global Online Cois notmpetition


        Dear Group members,

        Greetings from Changemakers.net, an initiative of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the leading global network of social entrepreneurs, with cutting-edge solutions to social problems. Changemakers.net is the first global online platform for business plan competitions, aggregating the best social solutions and then, through collaborations and partnerships, refining and further developing them for widespread implementation.

        We are delighted to announce the new Citibank-Changemakers Collaborative Competition – Banking on Social Change: Seeking Financial Solutions for All. The Citi-Changemakers partnership is a global search for innovations in inclusive financial solutions around the world.

        The advent of new financing methods – from mobile banking to peer-to-peer lending – are changing the way we access, spend and save our money. We aim to unearth the most innovative and cutting-edge methods that allow financial security to become a reality for everyone. The competition is looking for the best solutions where financial opportunity is possible for all.

        We invite you to participate or nominate and showcase the work of your organisation and to also share your insights to improve high impact innovations and drive social change. This is Changemakers' 19th collaborative competition. To date, the competitions have helped us source over 3,500 on-the-ground innovations on various topics from over 145 countries. Competition entries are transparent, posted online to be studied, and refined by all who are interested.

        More importantly, the competition platform provides entrants with exposure to new ideas, the opportunity to promote their solutions, and a wide range of access to collaborative partners and investors. For instance, you will find resources including collaborative partners and potential investors, while the global online community will discuss, debate, and improve upon the most creative solutions.

        Some of the past industry/opinion leaders who have participated as judges include senior leaders from the Gates Foundation, Google.org, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nike Inc., and UNICEF.

        For more information and to fill the online form, visit www.changemakers.net. To enter the competition and to access our online form, you will need to first register on our site. At the Log In/Register page, once you enter your Username and any Password of your choice, you will get email confirmation from us within minutes, following which you will be able to open the competition form.

        All entries must be submitted online between July 16 and September 30, 2008.

        Enter before August 15th and be eligible to win an early entry prize of a camcorder and digital camera worth USD $1000.

        Alternatively, tell us about a person or project you know of that will do just that at www.changemakers.net. Submit your nomination by October 1 and be eligible to win a new digital camera.

        We look forward to active participation from you. We assure you of a rich and rewarding experience. For any clarifications please call 9910499207 or email ssharma@....

        Shivendra Sharma
        ssharma@...
        91-11-9910499207

        oes




        --
        Ziaur Rahman
        CEO
        International Institute of Technology & Management
        56/2 Lake Circus, West Panthopoth
        Dhaka 1205
        Tel: 8112916, 01726153318, 01711-543431
        www.iitmbd.org

        &

        Chief Executive Officer
        IITM Software
        www.iitmsoftware.com
        info@...
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