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Ed Cherlin will coach our lab leaders (and vice versa)

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Ed Cherlin and I spoke today. Ed lives in Silicon Valley, California and leads our Earth Treasury working group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2009
      Ed Cherlin and I spoke today. Ed lives in Silicon Valley, California and
      leads our Earth Treasury working group
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/ (please join!) and subwiki
      http://www.earthtreasury.org He's the leader I'm organizing around for
      Minciu Sodas and Worknets vision of education, both adults and children.

      Please see below Ed's business plan outline and expertise request. His
      goal is to end poverty, oppression, war, disease. His business will
      organize all that's needed for the people of a village to organize a
      bright future for themselves, including electricity, microfinance,
      health services and one laptop per child.

      This is all too much to believe. But I think that we do need to think
      with Ed's boldness if we're going to address our local situations,
      especially our challenges in Africa. I therefore ask us to take up his
      challenge, to take him seriously and then, in turn, we will take each
      other seriously as well.

      What we agreed would be helpful for Ed, and for Worknets as well, and
      for our African leaders, would be that we identify those among us who
      aspire to be "super lab leaders" such as Samwel Kongere in Rusinga
      Island, Kenya. Samwel's fish pond (for food security) is a good example
      of the kind of project that Ed's business would find support for.
      Together we can look for microcredit (about $2,000) to finance the fish
      pond, and look for advice (such as from Jeff Buderer or Ben de Vries) on
      how to make the most of the fish pond. And we can think how the fish
      pond might be part of the wider effort for a village rebirth. Such
      projects will help Ed's business become understandable to those who
      might provide larger funds some day. I think it will also help him and
      us think about all of the aspects of leading a lab and organizing a
      global village, to help us make visible all that we do and should do, to
      formulate and meet our expectations. What is our reality? Samwel, Franz
      and all, please join Ed's group if you are interested!

      Ed is also writing a book of "Lessons on Discovery".
      "The chief task in building new learning materials will be discovering
      ways to structure learning to maximize the amount of discovery the
      children can achieve, with the minimum of direction."
      What are the hints that inspire us to discover?
      I'm hoping that Ed leads us to create and publish such isolated lessons
      that each of us can learn to write so that we have a wonderful
      collection of them. I have been thinking about writing "ethics lessons"
      for our Worknets culture of independent thinkers - what behavior we
      might expect of ourselves and why - because I think this is what truly
      is important to teach and learn. I am thinking that mathematical
      thinking can be relevant as the kind of models that come up in ethical
      situations (sometimes multiplying, sometimes dividing, sometimes adding
      or subtracting, for example). In Lithuania, we have participants
      interested in making sense of money, and that is another place where
      ethics and math come together. Consequently, I will be working on our
      wiki interface so that it is helpful for publishing such individual lessons.

      Ed and I have creative tension in our different concerns. Ed wants to
      respond to poverty and serve those who might help. My own instinct is
      that the notion of "poverty" separates people into a caste system of
      "us" and "them", whereas if we engage each other as equals (as
      independent thinkers with a shared culture), then we are brothers and
      sisters and have a natural interest to care for each other and those
      around us. In that sense, we multiply our resources and we get a richer
      sense in what ways we are rich or poor.

      Similarly, Ed has a list of solutions that have proven to work. But I
      believe that the people who I'm attracted to, people like Ed, have a
      creative streak where they're not so interested to do what's been proven
      to work, but want to follow their own path. Furthermore, I think from a
      business point of view, that this is the value that we have to offer in
      remote villages, that we can be places to experiment and our research
      can advance innovations (as in education, ecology, health) that would be
      very expensive to develop in a wealthy or established country like the
      US or Western Europe. If we ask, what can we offer the west? then I
      believe we will discover the business value that Ed can offer.

      So I hope that we might coach Ed just as he might coach us. What I
      emphasize, though, is that organizing around Ed we have the opportunity
      to advance ourselves as leaders of labs, of global villages and of
      schools for self-learners. He might link us to the ideas and resources
      we need to respond to Samwel's situation of food insecurity and many
      other such real challenges that we're facing.

      Please join us!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas

      Edward Cherlin:

      I am writing a business plan for Earth Treasury to include
      infrastructure (electricity and Internet), education, and
      microfinance, all in a virtuous cycle so that it can generate profits
      for all concerned and put an end to poverty. I welcome any of you to
      discuss how your initiatives could fit in here.

      The overall anti-poverty and global empowerment plan is on the Earth
      Treasury site. You will see that there is much more to it than this
      business idea, such as replacing textbooks with Free digital media.
      Here is a quick sketch of what I have in mind right now.

      Go into a village, by invitation only, and start with non-technical,
      non-financial organizing and planning, as do Sarvodaya and Grameen.
      When conditions permit, including some education and training of
      children and adults, start microfinance operations. We would like to
      provide a telephone, a computer, the electricity to run them, and a
      low bandwidth Internet connection to four entrepreneurial groups
      (typically five women each). There are relatively easy business
      opportunities at that point in e-commerce, with local art and craft
      items obtainable nowhere else. We want to provide free information
      services on the computer, and paid business services. We must examine
      the costs and benefits of education so that we can find opportunities
      with a short payback period to finance the longer education cycle to
      support a lifetime of work and social engagement.

      This begins a virtuous cycle, where every step enables other steps,
      and almost all steps are profitable in a fairly short period.

      o The Grameen Phone model for village infrastructure at a profit all around.

      o The ITC e-choupal model of increasing farm income with village
      computing for farmers.

      o The Sarvodaya Shramadana model of integrated village development.

      o The Partners in Health approach to health care.

      o OneVillage Foundation, particularly in Ghana, is involved with
      wireless communications, ICT, and education.

      o One-to-one computing in education, so that children can do homework
      together from their scattered homes and make friends around the world,
      among other things. We expect some of those friendships to turn into
      global business partnerships in time. One Laptop Per Child provides he
      model for the computers, and Sugar Labs for the software. 40-year
      computer and education pioneers Alan Kay (Smalltalk, GUIs,
      Object-Oriented Programming), Seymour Papert (Logo, Turtle Art), and
      Doug Engelbart (Mother of All Demos, Enhancing Collective
      Intelligence) are major supporters.

      Senator John McCain has recently endorsed the OLPC/Sugar program as a
      counter-insurgency strategy. I'm not sure about that, since it might
      make targets of the children in some places. But there are XOs in some
      of the more difficult areas in Colombia, including Medellin, so maybe.

      o Electricity and Internet for even the poorest and most remote
      villages. The technology is here, and many for-profit and non-profit
      organizations are working on various parts of the problem of
      optimizing products and services for every inhabited terrain and
      climate. The infrastructure sine qua non. We are negotiating with
      SolarNetOne on integrated solar PV/wireless installations for 25 to
      1,000 XOs in a school, plus lights, servers, and some outside

      o Microfinance to complete the loop. Electricity and Internet
      businesses can be profitable from the beginning. As children learn
      computer skills, more and more opportunities will open up. We are
      proposing to start with the Fantsuam Foundation's microfinance project
      in Nigeria.

      Our part of the program has opened up just recently because OLPC will
      now accept orders for fewer than 10,000 XO laptops. The minimum order
      is now 25 of the improved XO 1.5 units @ $250, or $6,250.

      I don't see any problems in coming up with a financial plan showing
      how much capital would be required for various possible rates of
      growth. I do foresee numerous, mostly temporary, obstacles from
      governments, from corruption, and from culture clashes. I have been
      making a study of such problems, which does not mean that I have all
      of the answers, but that we have a decent chance of asking the right
      questions of the right people.

      Many people confidently predict that what we are doing cannot be done.
      My view is that it took 50 years for the campaign to end slavery in
      the British Empire to come to fruition, and that I don't care whether
      we can succeed tomorrow at something that must be done sooner or
      later. And that doing it at a profit all around is the only way to do
      it sooner.

      http://www.laptop.org/ OLPC

      http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/ Sugar Labs

      http://www.sarvodaya.org/ Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement

      http://ipo.grameenphone.com/ Grameen Phone IPO

      http://tedblog.typepad.com/tedblog/2006/10/iqbal_quadir_on.html Iqbal
      Quadir on TEDTalks: The impact one cell phone can make on a village...

      http://www.fantsuam.org/ Fantsuam

      http://gnuveau.net/cgi-bin/wiki.cgi SolarNetOne Wiki

      http://www.pih.org/ Partners in Health. See also Mountains Beyond
      Mountains, by Tracy Kidder; Rx for Survival, PBS

      http://www.echoupal.com/ ITC e-choupal program

      Harvard Business School on e-choupal

      ITC eChoupal Initiative
      by David M. Upton, Virginia A. Fuller
      20 pages. Publication date: Oct 28, 2003. Prod. #: 604016-PDF-ENG

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      Farmers are generally poor and often illiterate and are forced to be
      "price-takers" after an arduous journey to the mandi. They also have
      very limited access to information and education on farming
      techniques. Describes the use of Internet technologies to reach these
      farmers and, in particular, examines a new system called the eChoupal,
      developed by the India...

      ITC e-Choupal: Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural India -
      Harvard Business Publishing
      Case ITC e-Choupal: Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural India by
      Ali Farhoomand, Saurabh Bhatnagar 26 pages. Publication date: Jun 30,
      2008. Prod. #: HKU765-HCB-ENG Set against the ...

      [PDF] ITC-eChoupal-Platform-Strategy on WRI.PDF
      BSAP Conference, HBS Dec 1-3, 2005 ITC eChoupal ©Anupindi and
      Sivakumar 1 ITC’s e-Choupal A Platform Strategy for Rural
      Transformation Ravi Anupindi Stephen M. Ross School of Business
      University of Michigan Ann Arbor,...

      Global Poverty Abstracts - Social Enterprise
      Panel 4: Measuring Success at the Base of the Pyramid Panel 5: Civil
      Society & Social Entrepreneurship Panel 6: Government Regulation &
      Public-Private Partnerships Panel 7: Pre-conditions, Limitations & New

      International Development with an MBA-twist - News

      Conference on Global Poverty: Business Solutions & Approaches - Social
      A Conference on Global Poverty: Business Solutions and Approaches
      December 1-3, 2005 Overview Panel Sessions An index and full text
      version of conference abstracts, by panel, is available at Panel
      Abstracts Home...

      [PDF] FindingMissingMarkets.v25
      08-065 Copyright © 2008 by Nava Ashraf, Xavier Giné, and Dean Karlan
      Edward Mokurai (??/???????????????/????????????? ?) Cherlin
      Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
      The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
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