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Re: [socialagriculture] The value of local communications networks

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Andrius, Jeff, and All, Excellent ideas! The experience of KAIPPG alone (which serves 20+ locations throughout several districts which are linked via
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2007
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      Dear Andrius, Jeff, and All,

      Excellent ideas! The experience of KAIPPG alone (which serves 20+ locations throughout several districts which are linked via various--mostly low-tech--ICTs), as well as GRASSUP NOW (with communications between 5 nonprofits in different parts of W Kenya), does bear out the value of local communications networks.

      If even one party can then be linked to the Internet, and possibly enhance their computing and ICTs power via twinning or thin-client solutions--which can then be passed along throughout the local communications network--that would be a further enhancement.

      The idea of getting work for the Lab which would then utilize these local communications networks (at the same time that we are finding ways for them to talk with one another, as we are doing now, and with "the world") is excellent, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for such opportunities and grants.

      The MyFoodStory project is a natural, in that regard, and am sure we can find others. For example, many orgs/projects/donors are now asking for translations of all kinds of materials into local languages. We already have a number of languages represented here, so a translation service--which could utilize local communications networks--is another idea.

      If we could get work translating HIV/AIDS, bird flu, health, and/or development materials, local learning could take place at the same as the translations are providing work for local individuals and orgs, and for the Lab itself.

      There may not be funding in this, but a project developing an African-languages wiki is also taking place--to which we might contribute, via local communications networks--and "Rising Voices" has asked for volunteers to translate its curriculum into different languages. The links we have made with that project already might provide a stepping-stone to this translation work (we could consider this when submitting another grant application).

      I'm thinking there might be EU funding in particular for the development of local communications networks, esp tied to e-learning. And The Commonwealth of Learning might be interested too.

      One thing: if we set up an office in Kibera, unless Ken or David wants to head this up, I would like to suggest that we work with KCYP (www.kcyp.net). Both Jeff and myself know and have worked with them, me as a board member. They have a range of experiences to recommend them, including with ICTs, and they actually need an office space of their own, as rent is a perennial challenge to meet, even with their income-generation projects. I'm sure they would welcome discussions, and I'd be happy to make the link as needed.

      Thanks again and hopefully "we've only just begun" to communicate locally and contribute globally! Blessings and best wishes, Janet

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>
      >Sent: Aug 4, 2007 10:05 PM
      >To: backtotheroot@yahoogroups.com, socialagriculture@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [socialagriculture] The value of local communications networks
      >
      >I'm looking for new clients for our Minciu Sodas laboratory. I have
      >been thinking of what work I'd most like to do? What would be most
      >important for our lab right now? And who would we like to work for?
      >
      >I think the most important project for us right now is to improve the
      >ability of our people to participate at our lab, but especially create
      >software that would allow Wendi Losha Bernadette in Cameroon, Fred
      >Kayiwa in Uganda, our colleagues in Tanzania and others be able to rely
      >on their own computers offline rather than pay large amounts of money
      >for poor connections at Internet cafes. I want to design a system where
      >they could download our activity (typically 1 MB of letters, wiki pages,
      >chat per week) onto a flash drive and spend hours at home working on it
      >(we would help them acquire computers) and then write their responses at
      >home and finally upload their responses when they are back at the
      >Internet cafe. This way they could do enormously valuable knowledge
      >work for us and others and they would do it in their own environment,
      >not kilometers away at the Internet cafe.
      >
      >I am realizing that there is all kinds of business value in this. One
      >that I will focus on is that this can help people like Samwel roll out
      >their own local wireless networks. He is 5 km away from the Internet,
      >but I imagine he could be setting up a local wireless network even where
      >he lives and then build it out one computer at a time, one wireless
      >access point at a time, until one day his "local network" links up with
      >the global Internet. My thought is that there is great value in having
      >"local Internet" (communication among computers locally) even if one is
      >not yet able to connect to the global Internet. It is possible to have
      >a vibrant local wireless network in a village or a group of villages.
      >For example, one could use Skype (or Skype phones) to call locally which
      >I think can be very useful. My thought is that vibrant local
      >communications (within your village and amongst villages) can foster a
      >healthy local economy that can later have global relevance once there is
      >connectivity with the global Internet. And there are many skills needed
      >for this and all kinds of knowledge. The software that we're developing
      >would make that knowledge available as well as the feedback loops with
      >the rest of the world that can provide the needed expertise. This is a
      >low-capital strategy for bringing the Internet to all of Africa with
      >investments of simply 100 to 200 USD at a time. I believe the right
      >company will support such a strategy and develop business services as
      >well as equipment focused on such local networks.
      >
      >Indeed, in the West, I would not be surprised if half or more of the
      >value of telephones or even Internet are from local communications and
      >local services. Why can't that be the driver for communications
      >development in Africa? And wouldn't that encourage economies that are
      >organized around the local logic?
      >
      >These thoughts arose from my chat with Jeff Buderer of One Village
      >Foundation as to how I and our lab might work for Joy Tang (founder of
      >OVF) who this year joined Accton as Vice President of Marketing. Jeff
      >reports that "the time is not right for this". I will develop my
      >proposal further and consider a variety of clients that we might work
      >for and all manner of business value that we might provide.
      >
      >Also, I'm very heartened from being back in touch with Greg Wolff and
      >that he joined us for our Thursday chat. He mentioned some important
      >ideas that we might pursue for MyFoodStory. For example, we could make
      >5 short videos about the food stories that we care the most about. For
      >example, at our lab we have Sasha Mrkailo of Serbia helping Fred Kayiwa
      >of Uganda learn about beekeeping, we have Wendi writing about Artemisia,
      >we have stories and pictures about Cassava. Let's suggest our favorite
      >stories, perhaps have a poll or a vote, perhaps at our wiki, too, and
      >make those videos! using also photos and audio voice over, etc. And
      >that is a way to learn to promote our endeavors, what would we like to
      >accomplish.
      >
      >And these ideas about "localization" are also important for our work
      >with Steve Bosserman in Columbus, Ohio. I still have to write up my
      >notes from our talk on "microhouses" and I look forward to our next talk.
      >
      >I will lead a chat this coming Thursday at 2:30 pm London time on my
      >proposal for the software and for rolling out local wireless networks.
      >
      >Andrius
      >
      >Andrius Kulikauskas
      >Minciu Sodas
      >http://www.ms.lt
      >ms@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >------------------------------------
      >August 3, 2007: Andrius, You can use it all I guess. I talked to Joy
      >and she as I predicted did not see that the time was
      >right for this. I suggest you focus your effort on other leads. I can
      >still work with you on this through. Jeff
      >------------------------------------
      >July 31, 2007: Jeff, Great! Please, could you delete any lines from our
      >chat that shouldn't be public! And then I would use that including at
      >our wiki and start from there. Thank you! Andrius
      >
      >------------------------
      >Andrius: Hi Jeff I'm ready [...]
      >Andrius: I'm writing proposals
      >Andrius: and so I would like to work for Joy at Accton
      >Andrius: but I wanted to check with you first
      >Andrius: and make a plan if you are interested.
      >Jeff: ok
      >Jeff: we need someone to do research and design system for
      >managing the research online
      >Jeff: to consider community development model instead of
      >conventional telecom/WISP model
      >Jeff: understand?
      >Andrius: I think so
      >Andrius: I have been thinking of something related
      >Jeff: shoot
      >Andrius: for a group like ours its important to have a good system
      >for participating offline
      >Andrius: rather than at Internet cafes
      >Jeff: right
      >Andrius: so that it is affordable
      >Andrius: and also so that they are embedded in their own places
      >Jeff: there are provisions for this
      >Andrius: rather than at somebody else's Internet center
      >Jeff: First Mile Solutoins
      >Andrius: So my plan is to write a proposal where I would earn about
      >10,000 USD and perhaps a similar amount for our lab's team
      >Jeff: or just simply a software infrastructure for managing
      >data for uploading and downloading without an direct internet connection
      >Andrius: to set up software where people could get our lab's
      >activities (letters, wiki, chat from the last week, say, about 1 MB) and
      >then look through it at home, and also upload responses.
      >Jeff: exactly
      >Jeff: i think thats fundable Andrius
      >Jeff: and you ahve the smarts to set that up right?
      >Andrius: http://www.firstmilesolutions.com/
      >Andrius: Yes the programming smarts and the organizing smarts.
      >Jeff: so basically do the research find out what SW FMS
      >uses and wala
      >Jeff: plug that into a proposal
      >Jeff: and then we narrow down possible funders
      >Andrius: yes that's very important to know about, thank you
      >Jeff: this sounds great
      >Jeff: lets do it
      >Jeff: do a search on Ian Howard
      >Andrius: I'm catching up regarding FMS.
      >Andrius: And I see it is patented technology.
      >Jeff: I can send you a summary of FMS if I still have it
      >Jeff: yes your right its proprietary
      >Andrius: There are many Ian Howard's which one?
      >Jeff: Ian Howard and GeekCorps Mali
      >Andrius: I found the link and am reading it:
      >http://www.firstmilesolutions.com/
      >Andrius: How do you imagine this? Should our lab work directly for
      >Accton? And how might we best work together with One Village Foundation?
      >Andrius: I found this:
      >http://www.firstmilesolutions.com/documents/DakNet_IEEE_Computer.pdf
      >Jeff: ok
      >Andrius: And is 20,000 USD a good size for a proposal?
      >Jeff: i think so
      >Jeff: but you already got 25k from Greg
      >Jeff: so thats a track record
      >Andrius: yes
      >Andrius: it's a good example of what this would be like
      >Andrius: except the focus would be different
      >Andrius: this would be similar to our lab's original 2003 proposal
      >for the Soros fund
      >Andrius: but we've developed a lot of venues since then
      >Andrius: so it's very clear what we need: letters, wiki, chat, photos
      >Jeff: my thought is to get a focus point
      >Jeff: in africa
      >Jeff: and to set up a center there
      >Jeff: start the center out with a few computers
      >Jeff: and modest location
      >Jeff: maybe OVF can locate itself HQ there?
      >Jeff: also Owino and others
      >Jeff: we start with no internet
      >Andrius: Where would be a good location for the center?
      >Jeff: or if we have enough funding we get internet
      >Jeff: Kibera
      >Andrius: yes
      >Jeff: and then we develop this system there
      >Jeff: as well as other related activities
      >Jeff: but the idea is that we train people to think about
      >how to use their cybercafe time very wisely
      >Jeff: so it is just downloand and upload
      >Jeff: and maybe a special chat or conference every now and
      >then
      >Andrius: My thought is that this first proposal would be to meet the
      >basic software needs for our network so people can participate. The
      >10,000 USD for me would keep me afloat for half a year and another
      >10,000 USD would allow for lots of participation and small projects on
      >the ground. That would include making sure everybody has a computer,
      >doing computer assembly, etc.
      >Andrius: Because right now people like Fred Kayiwa or our Tanzanian
      >group don't even have their own used computer.
      >Andrius: So these are very basic initial needs and they aren't in
      >one place they are global.
      >Jeff: ok
      >Andrius: Although for that first project I think we could set up
      >centers in Kibera, we have one in Dar es Salaam, and something in Mbita.
      >Andrius: We could do experiments in wireless access, telephony, etc.
      >Andrius: The next stage after that I envisage as creating a
      >GlobalVillageIndex
      >Andrius: that would let us self-evaluate our needs.
      >Andrius: So I have started a list of places:
      >Andrius: http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?GlobalVillageIndex
      >Andrius: these are existing places that typically need just a bit of
      >key help.
      >Jeff: this all sounds good
      >Jeff: lets work together on the proposal
      >Andrius: So for example in Dar es Salaam, Agnese is already funding
      >an office for Uyoga
      >Andrius: but they don't have a computer!
      >Jeff: right
      >Jeff: crazy
      >Andrius: Or in Chicago, I gave my friend David Ellison-Bey a laptop,
      >projector and wireless
      >Andrius: but he doesn't have anybody technical who can help him with
      >that.
      >Jeff: koolus are only 200 USD
      >Jeff: + shipping
      >Jeff: www.koolu.com
      >Andrius: Or here in Lithuania we have a 2 story building but it's
      >simply a matter of getting the local official to agree to us being there
      >Andrius: and practically that means organizing local citizens to be
      >leaders and take over the community organization that is supposed to be
      >doing this.
      >Andrius: Or in Hotel Karolinenhof Franz needs a good manager.
      >Andrius: Etc.
      >Jeff: what is the key theme that ties them all together
      >Andrius: And my thought is that if we can work together to solve
      >these problems then we will see the different dimensions that make for a
      >Unity Center, a hub for coworking.
      >Jeff: ok
      >Andrius: Because in each case there is one dimension: legal,
      >communications, expertise, equipment, etc. that is hanging things up.
      >Andrius: So this would be the second project and would make for
      >strong centers in Africa.
      >Andrius: And then the third project would be to learn from this and
      >develop a pattern language that could be used for Hubs old and new.
      >Andrius: And would be open source sharing across continents around
      >small projects.
      >Andrius: And that is where telephony and Internet become very
      >relevant, too.
      >Andrius: As we have somebody to talk too!
      >Jeff: that are all good points
      >Andrius: So I suppose the theme is "having somebody to talk to"
      >Jeff: yes you know that is a powerful think in itself
      >Andrius: and that involves a lot more than just "talking"
      >Jeff: get to know each other
      >Andrius: yes and having the set of networks that let us respond to
      >each other
      >Andrius: telephony being just one
      >Jeff: and supporting eachh in terms of gaining the courage
      >to not only create
      >Jeff: but create our destiny
      >Andrius: but also Internet, shipping, verfiability, values,
      >Andrius: Yes and so it is driven by our "courage to create" even
      >when we are on our own
      >Andrius: and appreciating that in others as the key to understanding
      >who and how to support
      >Andrius: So Phase I would be an initial proposal for 20,000 USD to
      >focus on the basics to get our network available for work for Accton
      >Andrius: and that might already include business value as people can
      >then download projects and knowledge work that they can then upload.
      >Jeff: pls though lets not see accton as the money train
      >Andrius: And then Phase II and III would be larger up to about
      >100,000 USD
      >Jeff: lets go for grants
      >Andrius: I'd much prefer to work for a company
      >Jeff: Accton is not in a position to give out money
      >Andrius: ok I wanted to check
      >Jeff: you can put something together
      >Andrius: but this is not giving out money
      >Andrius: this is work
      >Andrius: and investment in business
      >Jeff: you know what Joy is going to say dont you?
      >Jeff: when the ROI?
      >Andrius: no I don't that's why I wanted to start with you
      >Andrius: the ROI depends on their business direction
      >Andrius: for the right partner the ROI could be one year
      >Andrius: if they have knowledge work that they want done on the
      >ground in Africa
      >Andrius: and it's not just about ROI
      >Andrius: it's about being in position for future ROI
      >Jeff: ROI will take time given many of us dont have
      >practical biz exp
      >Andrius: if they don't have this set up
      >Andrius: then they will have trouble doing the community model
      >Andrius: so we're clearing the way for them and 20,000 USD is not a
      >lot at all
      >Jeff: at this point I think anything is a lot for them
      >Jeff: if is not based on their conventional biz approach
      >Jeff: CEO to Joy: sell more routers
      >Andrius: Well, for example,
      >Jeff: :)
      >Andrius: if they want to have information about their routers
      >Andrius: available offline
      >Andrius: then this is a way to do that.
      >Andrius: For example, to make their help system
      >Andrius: available offline
      >Andrius: and furthermore to allow people to become in Africa to
      >become expert in routers
      >Andrius: so that they can be helping with any discussion groups they
      >may have etc.
      >Andrius: or do experiments under different conditions, etc.
      >Jeff: ok if you want to do this it requires a bit of a change
      >Andrius: There's a lot of business value for companies here but it
      >depends on their business needs.
      >Jeff: search Harold Feld
      >Jeff: he is one of the leaders of the community wireless
      >movement in USA
      >Jeff: also subscribe to wsfii
      >Andrius: yes I see
      >Jeff: so you get the picture
      >Andrius: is he related to Accton?
      >Jeff: the corporate and grassroots need to be blended
      >Jeff: no relation what so ever
      >Andrius: is he connected to Gary Bolles?
      >Jeff: second degree
      >Jeff: meaning he knows Sasha and Sasha know Gary
      >Andrius: Which Sasha?
      >Jeff: Meinrath of CUWiN
      >Andrius: One way to think abou the Software project (Phase I) is
      >that it allows people on-the-ground to access knowledge about wireless -
      >which is very knowledge intensive -
      >Andrius: without having to already have a good Internet connection.
      >Jeff: right well need to develop curriculum around wiki and
      >online chats
      >Andrius: And it allows for the participation of the very people who
      >wireless could reach.
      >Jeff: so that is rationale for funding
      >Jeff: low bussines development
      >Andrius: Yes that is one and there are others, too.
      >Jeff: wireless network development
      >Jeff: local biz i mean
      >Jeff: sustainable appropriate technologies
      >Andrius: I think more in terms of global participation
      >Jeff: the global has to be connected with the local
      >Andrius: so for example imagine knowledge work where you would like
      >to pay 100 USD for 100 hours.
      >Andrius: well here you would have that available
      >Andrius: imagine people writing Wikipedia articles
      >Andrius: or checking them for spelling errors
      >Jeff: well you might want to not spread the money too thin
      >Andrius: what do you mean?
      >Andrius: 100 USD is a lot of money for somebody in Africa
      >Jeff: yes and no
      >Andrius: in the villages yes
      >Jeff: for peasant farmers yes
      >Jeff: for technical and intellectual people no
      >Andrius: and we have a lot of people who would like such work
      >Jeff: for good trainers no
      >Andrius: well Samwel was happy to get 100 USD for two months part
      >time work
      >Andrius: and that's the kind of people we have access to
      >Andrius: and that we naturally train
      >Jeff: then we need to figure out how to get some on the
      >payroll constantly
      >Andrius: so I'm saying the business opportunity is very big
      >Andrius: why?
      >Jeff: my model is 1000 for one years work
      >Andrius: ok
      >Jeff: we need core staff in my view
      >Jeff: if we are going to make this work
      >Andrius: these are operational issues
      >Jeff: 1000 is a fair amount for some one like Samwel
      >Andrius: the first question is What is the business value?
      >Jeff: and I think he has done great worl
      >Jeff: work
      >Andrius: as you asked
      >Andrius: and the business value is huge
      >Jeff: train people to set up wireless network in their
      >communities
      >Jeff: and eventually complete unity center type model
      >Andrius: for the businessses that want access to knowledge workers
      >and related workers
      >Jeff: conteingent on local needs
      >Jeff: with practical plan for sustaianbility
      >Andrius: I plan to write a proposal to Joy
      >Andrius: what would make it relevant to her and Accton?
      >Jeff: so say pay for you and then pay for 3-6 staff in
      >several locations in Africa and then money for equipment and office
      >Jeff: and maybe a consultant fee for me
      >Andrius: how much would you like to earn?
      >Andrius: and for what kind of work?
      >Jeff: and then you might want some 100 stipends
      >Jeff: help with proposal and research and implementation
      >assistance
      >Andrius: I think the team you are describing is what I would imagine
      >for a second project Phase II
      >Jeff: you could also consider some fees in so that some of
      >the training costs are covered
      >Jeff: right
      >Andrius: would you like to be on the ground in Africa?
      >Jeff: ok thats fine but my view is that would be phase 1
      >Jeff: that will probably be the case
      >Jeff: i will not be able to work full time on this project
      >of course
      >Jeff: that is why I suggested consultant
      >Andrius: what I'm calling phase I would be about 20,000 USD whereas
      >what you're describing would be about 100,000 to 200,000 USD
      >Jeff: not
      >Andrius: ?
      >Jeff: i said 6 people @ 1000 in 2-3 locations in Africa
      >Andrius: ok
      >Jeff: with basic equipment
      >Andrius: ok so that is like MyFoodStory but a little bit more perhaps
      >Jeff: rent 1-3 k 5-10k (15k max) per equip
      >Jeff: core staff 6
      >Jeff: how much do you need?
      >Andrius: what is the time frame? I was thinking about 12,000 USD
      >for a six month project
      >Jeff: i think phase I should take six months if that is
      >your focus
      >Jeff: ues
      >Jeff: thats good
      >Jeff: 12k for Andrius
      >Andrius: how much would you like? 6k for you and 6k for your travel?
      >Jeff: suggest you shoot for three grants of say 30k for
      >funding for the year
      >Andrius: and you could be the liaison with our sites?
      >Jeff: ok
      >Jeff: and that would fit well with OVF work/vision for Kenya
      >Andrius: and you would be at least 3 months in Africa?
      >Andrius: And your role might be to help people decide on good
      >locations and arrangements for Unity Centers.
      >Andrius: so 3 x 1 month for three locatiosn?
      >Andrius: and we would have 12,000 USD for the team in Africa
      >Andrius: including 6,000 USD for the team leaders, 3,000 USD for the
      >broader team, and 3,000 USD for Internet or equipment
      >Andrius: because our focus would be on marginal Internet access
      >Andrius: so this is not yet to set up centers
      >Andrius: but rather to coordinate work with centers.
      >Jeff: ok thats one way to approach it
      >Andrius: You would be a research coordinator
      >Andrius: to understand how the Unity Center
      >Jeff: but for it to work with OVF
      >Andrius: would serve the people away from it.
      >Andrius: Yes?
      >Jeff: we need to go for a center in Kenya
      >Andrius: yes one in Kibera
      >Jeff: it is very difficult to develop an org in Kenya
      >without an office
      >Andrius: and I think the Kibera office
      >Andrius: would be an example where it serves Mbita
      >Andrius: and we experiment how it can do that
      >Jeff: ok
      >Andrius: and similarly in Tanzania and Uganda?
      >Andrius: or Nigeria or Ghana
      >Andrius: we might typically have 3 urban-rural teams
      >Andrius: so in Kenya for example Kennedy Owino in Kibera linked with
      >Samwel Kongere in Mbita
      >Andrius: so we have 6 leaders
      >Andrius: and they are to help each other
      >Andrius: given marginal Internet access
      >Andrius: how can they be linked in different ways?
      >Andrius: including SMS, phone, wifi, travel, post, electronic
      >publishing
      >Andrius: training, etc.
      >Andrius: That would be practical in our situation.
      >Jeff: yes I found a router than converts cellular to wireless
      >Andrius: hmm
      >Jeff: i dont have details on how it works though
      >Andrius: So how would Minciu Sodas be linked with One Village
      >Foundation in this proposal?
      >Jeff: on several levels
      >Jeff: we would source research and materials and experts on
      >wireless networks for the training
      >Andrius: And a practical goal for our proposal would be to make
      >wireless information available offline including information about
      >Accton products.
      >Jeff: but also focus on the development of a more
      >generalize knowledege based for Unity Centers
      >Jeff: Accton why would that be relevant at this stage?
      >Andrius: I'm going to approach Accton for funding, yes?
      >Jeff: ok but be realistic about this ok?
      >Andrius: Well, what is realistic?
      >Jeff: I am saying you have something that makes sense
      >Jeff: here
      >Andrius: What is possible
      >Jeff: and I think it could be funded by group like OSI
      >Andrius: no because the grant process is hell
      >Jeff: well not OSI...
      >Andrius: all these grant processes are not necessary here
      >Andrius: there is business value
      >Jeff: corproations are hell too
      >Andrius: My interest is to work for people who understand our ability
      >Andrius: like we did for Greg Wolff.
      >Andrius: So I now go to Joy and you
      >Andrius: but if that's not realistic
      >Jeff: so have you talked to greg about follow up funding?
      >Andrius: then I go elsewhere
      >Andrius: No there never was any possibility of follow up funding.
      >Jeff: Joy is struggling to get funding for her own project
      >Andrius: But we're in touch and he seems happy.
      >Jeff: ok good
      >Andrius: What is her project?
      >Jeff: i also meant any leads he could offer
      >Andrius: Yes I will be checking with Greg.
      >Jeff: its for marketing Accton products for emerging markets
      >Andrius: So the impact of her vision is unclear at this point?
      >Andrius: Perhaps that's not so important
      >Andrius: but what is important is to offer a clear proposal to her
      >Jeff: I wil let her answer that but my sense is that
      >nothing is a given
      >Andrius: that would increase what she can contribute.
      >Jeff: ok but I just want be sure you dont have any
      >expectations
      >Andrius: yes that's why I'm checking in!
      >Jeff: ok
      >Jeff: ill discuss this chat with her
      >Jeff: tommorrow
      >Jeff: as it is nighttime for her now
      >Andrius: So in this case, this would be a proposal from Minciu
      >Sodas, yes
      >Andrius: and our main link with OVF would be that you would be our
      >liaison researcher
      >Jeff: with OVF as supporting partner
      >Jeff: we can discuss the details
      >Andrius: and you would explore how the Unity Center will likely
      >reach beyond its locality
      >Jeff: but the basic idea is that I behalf of oVF would work
      >with you and the MS network in Africa
      >Andrius: to support urban-rural connections
      >Jeff: right
      >Jeff: global village
      >Andrius: and there are two practical goals, one for our lab and
      >networks is to make sure people can participate so they are available
      >for offline knowledge work
      >Jeff: and training to set up wireless network and unity
      >centers or similar telecenter models
      >Andrius: and the other is for general knowledge about wireless and
      >specifically Accton products, knowledge base, support be available
      >Andrius: yes including training knowledge
      >Andrius: and so we will be supporting very small on-the-ground
      >projects in wireless and related areas
      >Andrius: where our people start to practice
      >Andrius: and we see what kind of information they need
      >Andrius: in Mbita and elsewhere
      >Jeff: my thought is that accton products is not the issue here
      >Andrius: to set up their own "local networks"
      >Jeff: a replicable telecenter wireless network model is
      >Andrius: and keep improving them until they can reach the Internet
      >Andrius: for example by hopping
      >Andrius: So the goal is to allow wireless information to reach area
      >where they will set up local networks and build them out until they can
      >connect with the global Internet.
      >Andrius: Yes?
      >Jeff: and that will be good for accton
      >Andrius: ye
      >Jeff: and its emerging market business plan
      >Andrius: yes
      >Andrius: yes
      >Jeff: that Joy and I are working on
      >Andrius: Anything else I should think about?
      >Jeff: i think this is a start
      >Jeff: i appreciate your throughts
      >Andrius: But for this project Minciu Sodas would be the lead and One
      >Village Foundation would play the supporting role and Minciu Sodas would
      >hire you directly and coordinate with OVF regarding team and locations
      >and work would go through Minciu Sodas, yes?
      >Andrius: so that responsiblity is clear?
      >Jeff: right i think so because you have strong network in
      >East Africa
      >Andrius: should we focus on East Africa or try to do a place in
      >Ghana, Nigeria or Cameroon?
      >Jeff: no focus on east Africa
      >Andrius: ok we have three strong places there and they are able to
      >travel with each other
      >Jeff: we have three locations in east africa
      >Jeff: that will be a handful to start
      >Andrius: Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Uganda (with Fred)
      >Andrius: ok
      >Jeff: we can expand to other locations
      >Jeff: we are developing Cameroon and Ghana and Nigeria
      >networks
      >Andrius: and for research we will involve a "control group" in West
      >Africa that will get just a little bit of funding for small projects to
      >see what they can accomplish in wireless
      >Jeff: that can eventually tie into MS in East africa
      >Andrius: ok
      >Andrius: as we do this we'll learn how to coordinate our networks I
      >think
      >Andrius: Wendi is in Cameroon and Pamela is linked to Nigeria and so
      >those are two groups that I think about for us.
      >Jeff: right and OVF has networks in those countries as well
      >Andrius: Jeff, that's great and so I will focus my proposal for Joy
      >and then adapt it for others like Larry Brilliant of google.org
      >(pandemic flu) because this software is important for catastrophe
      >resilience, too, I believe and many other applications.
      >Andrius: But it would be best to work for you and then we could
      >expand, too, with others we work for.
      >Jeff: larry brilliant sounds like good lead
      >Andrius: I will also try to connect again with Gary Bolles after I
      >write this.
      >Andrius: Yes, I'm trying to find the great people to work for.
      >Andrius: This is great. Thank you!
      >Andrius: May I share our chat? Send it to you and then have you
      >delete as you like?
      >Jeff: i agree very productive conversation
      >Jeff: yes
      >Andrius: ok I will do that tonight
      >Andrius: anything else?
      >Jeff: yes I would like to go through it and edit it
      >Jeff: thanks
      >Andrius: Thank you - this is many years in the making!
      >Jeff: yes talk soon
      >Jeff: bye
      >Andrius: peace
      >
      >
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