LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 2

Notes from the first Lift @ Austria conference from 19. to 20. March 2010 in Vienna, Austria.

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After the framing talks (LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 1) and a delicious lunch, the participants of Lift @ Austria conference split in three groups to discuss certain aspects of “enabling” in depth. I joined the group on Enabling Structures meet Enabling Metamorphoses. The workshops were initiated by two short impulse talks. Information on all the groups and speakers can be found at the Lift @ Austria conference program page. Abstracts of all talks can be read at the Lift @ Austria speakers page.

Pictures of the speaker are either shot by myself or taken from the website of the conference.

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Sava Dalbokovgood.bee holding

Cross-pollinate! Financial and Support Platforms for Social Development

Good.bee holding:

  • Banking the unbanked
  • Microfinance (act), capacity building (teach & learn), community solution (orchestrate)
  • Economic sustainability
  • Changemaker initiative together with Ashoka
  • Enabling capacity: f(freedom + leverage)

Important attributes for projects which are supported in the social entrepreneurship sector:

  • Economically sustainable
  • Hard to measure social impact – one approach: is it scalable?
  • 20-50k support

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Jean-Henry MorinUniversity of Geneva, Dept. of Information Systems,
Switzerland

Social-Micro-Innovation : Leveraging the Crowds as co-Innovation Enabler

Wisdom of the tribesSeth Godin

  • self-organizing crowds gathering around a leader

(more…)

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LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 2
was published on 21.03.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 1

Notes from the first Lift @ Austria conference from 19. to 20. March 2010 in Vienna, Austria.

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After a bus tour through various enabling and open spaces in Vienna at the day preceding the conference (detailed program at Lift @ Austria program page), the first day of the regular Lift @ Austria conference started with five framing talks to give impulses for thoughts and discussion about the topic “enable”.

The abstracts of all these talks can be read at the Lift @ Austria speakers page.

Pictures of the speaker are either shot by myself or taken from the website of the conference.

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Marcus F. PeschlUniversity of Vienna

Enabling – introduction

Trends to mechanise innovation and the desire to create new knowledge end up in a contradiction – as this just makes the implicit rules visible

Alternatives: enabling

  • facilitating framework
  • leave behind the “regime of control”
  • only moderation – give up the control

Important for such an approach

  • openness & the ability to reflect
  • listening and observing (weak signals & details)
  • wait & let come

Overall, a new humbleness and alternative attitudes and values with an application and mening for various contexts, domains and disciplines are required

The conference itself is an enabling space

  • location
  • design
  • frame (bus tour, talks)
  • concepts (workshops)
  • documentation

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Stefan WiltschnigCopenhagen Business School, Denmark

Enabling creative processes as framing between openness and rigidity

Concept of enabling in the context of creative processes / profound innovation

  • “insight” – seeing something and acting on it, new viewpoint
  • European / Greek vs. Chinese perspective of innovation: forcing vs. non-interventionist

(more…)

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LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 1
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Lift@Austria

From coming Thursday to Saturday a local version (Lift @ home) of the Lift conference will take place in Vienna. The theme is “Enable! Profound Innovation in Society, Economy & Knowledge”.

From the website:

Mechanistic models and a deterministic worldview may have worked well for the last centuries, but are not apt for the upcoming challenges we are facing today. Rather, we need completely different concepts and attitudes, accepting that the underlying processes escape our control and are unpredictable. It seems that the concept of “Enabling” is the key to this shift of thinking. Enabling is the art of carefully configuring adequate levers (physical space, networks, resources, etc.) that best support specific innovation processes, such as idea generation, prototyping, market entry, etc..

I think ICT4D, with “empowerment” as one of its big goals fits in here really perfect and I’m particularly looking forward to hear more from Franz Nahrada’s project GIVE where he linked up several villages around the globe with visions gathering around ecology and sustainability to share experiences with each other. Also I’m really curious to find our about amazing and innovative projects around Vienna I haven’t known about to share experiences and network with.

If you want to follow the conference on Twitter, watch out for the hashtag #enable.

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Lift@Austria
was published on 15.03.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Announcement: Stammtisch #5

It’s time for our monthly meeting – Stammtisch – again, this time even punctual one month after our last one – Stammtisch #4.

This meeting is for curious people in Vienna to find out about ICT4D in general, what we do, how to help and generally just to have a nice evening. We’d be happy to get to know a lot of new people.

What: ICT4D.at Stammtisch

Where: Cafe Benno, Alser Straße 67, Wien

When: Thursday, 11. March 2009, 19:00

If you intend to come it would be great if you could notify us via mail or RSVP on

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Announcement: Stammtisch #5
was published on 28.02.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Announcement: Stammtisch #4

After four months break since Stammtisch #3 took place, we would like to go on with this kind of informal meeting format and therefore would like to invite you to our 4th Stammtisch.

A lot has happened and we have even grown in numbers – so come by to meet us, find out about how our projects go, tell us what you are currently working on or what you’d be interested to do and spend a nice evening with like-minded people.

What: ICT4D.at Stammtisch

Where: Cafe Benno, Alser Straße 67, Wien

When: Thursday, 11. February 2009, 19:00

If you intend to come it would be great if you could notify us via mail or RSVP on

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Announcement: Stammtisch #4
was published on 26.01.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Bamboo, Tin and Callabashes

Bamboo, Tin and Callabashes is an exhibition currently being held in the Leopold museum in Vienna. It’s just a small exhibition, but still very interesting, fascinating objects and great pictures.

The exhibition features children’s toys from different regions. From the description on the Leopold museum official page

In this exhibition, the Leopold Museum will be showing over 250 items from the one-of-a-kind toy collection of Austrian ethnologist Dr. Fritz Trupp. The items come from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and they were created from everyday materials by children for their own use.

One thing particularly interesting is how skilled the children get in creating their toys. Often they are made from scrap material which the children just find on the streets – or they even search these materials on waste-yards.

Several of the objects reminded me innovation of the Afrigadget kind of innovations. The picture below shows movie projectors which actually work – with a candle or flash light.

Another interesting aspect is what actually moves and inspired the children to create their toys. The picture below is pretty sad – children building toy weapons, helicopters or chainsaws.

(more…)

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Bamboo, Tin and Callabashes
was published on 05.01.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Announcement: Stammtisch #3

As we successfully survived two previous “Stammtisch” events plus the release party of our movie Hello Africa, we want to continue this series EVERY FIRST FRIDAY of a MONTH in Vienna, Austria and of course vie internet worldwide, open for everybody in the area of ICTs that wants to get to know us, wants to talk about own projects or just wants to have a nice evening with like-minded people.

One of our big aims when we created this platform was not only to provide information about ICT4D topics, but also to establish real life contact between interested and commited people.

It’s not institutional, it’s not even a barcamp so don’t be shy, we are happy to meet you. Bring your own cold drinks, since this is appreciated by the management of the venue.

What: ICT4D.at Stammtisch #3

Where: Museumsquartier Vienna, Meeting point right in the middle of HOF1 (Haupthof); We will hold up a banner, so you can’t miss us … Later on we may recline to one of the bars.

When: Friday, 7th August 2009, 19:00

See you there!

RSVP via: and/or

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Announcement: Stammtisch #3
was published on 02.08.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under eastern and central europe
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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Interviews

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

Just a list of the people interviewed at AfrikaCamp – the interviews will be on the ICT4D.at youtube channel soon.

PS: We won’t upload all the material, partly because people didn’t want the interviews to be online, partly because the interviews were too short.

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Interviews
was published on 03.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 2

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

Notes from Saturdays AfrikaCamp Vienna. Overview of the sessions can be viewed at the AfrikaCamp wiki.

Session 4 and 5 were our presentations, so I didn’t note down anything.

The platform ICT4D.at – who we are, what we do – Martin Konzett, Florian Sturm

ICT4D.at – UZI, the movie – Anders Bolin

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Business driven Philantropy – Business development platform

Big problem: poverty – can it be eliminated?

Businesses have to help

  • philantropy is not the same as charity

Solution:

  • social entrepreneurship
  • philantro-capitalism – business driven philosophy
  • microfinancing – really works

Example: Maya One

  • network of partners
  • spending 3% of profit to an NGO
  • school projects for child laborers
  • reward: partners help each other
  • cyclic

I have to admit that I didn’t really get the concept of this business driven philantropy – how is it different than just donating a certain percentage of the profit for a good cause just for marketing reasons? Maybe somebody can comment on that?

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OpenStreetMap – Helge Fahrnberger

There is no proper street map of Burkina Faso. The ones that exist are not accurate and quite expensive.

Solution:

  • crowd-sourcing mapping of the world
  • OpenStreetMap
  • CC licensed version of Google Maps
  • these maps can also be used for commercial reasons

Helges plan:

  • creation of a digital street map of Ouagadougou (capital)
  • donation to printing services there

Ouagadougou is currently not really present in Google Maps, but almost fully covered in OSM

Consequences:

  • it is very easy to create maps for any country
  • these maps are available for free
  • local people can map their city

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HandyÖkonomie in Afrika – Christoph Chorherr

How is money on mobile phones created?

At the ITHUBA project:

  • until now there is no internet because the cables are always stolen
  • but everybody has a mobile phone

Here there are ATMs all around, but how do you pay when there are no ATMs?

-> Mobile Banking

Mobile phone companies see a business there and support this development

  • a virtual currency is created
  • prepaid airtime
  • without interest
  • it is not possible to accumulate money, it would lose its value
  • economic theory: Schwundgeld

Money is transferred over wide distances this way

  • e.g. in Tanzania parents transfer money to their children this way
  • Kenya: M-Pesa

What would happen if a mobile phone company stopped its business?

  • all the airtime would lose its value
  • lacking trust

Nokia has a strong focus on driving forward these development

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 2
was published on 02.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under middle east and north africa, sub saharan africa
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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 1

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

(cc) Walter Krivanek, www.vividvisions.com

After attending AfrikaCamp Vienna yesterday, I want to share my notes on some of the sessions. As there were parallel sessions and we had two presentations, I couldn’t attend all of them. There is also the AfrikaCamp wiki on barcamp.at where the sessions are listed.

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HIV AIDS und Human Rights AdvocacyFlorian Schirg

Florian talked about his experiences when doing his civil service in Cameroon at a hospital.

Although the work there was quite rewarding and interesting for him, generally it is hard to motivate local people want to work there, as the connectivity in the area is quite bad and it is hard to get access to a mobile phone network or the internet. The only doctor working there right now is Austrian. The next internet connection is a one day travel away.

Now an Northern American church organization wants to install an ERP system there, to make processes more efficient.

Florian raised the question if this project would make any sense taking into account that

  • there are not enough employees
  • there are no local people capable of maintaining the system
  • electricity is not constantly available

and asked for input from the audience.

The subsequent comments from the audience were mainly critical towards the lacking communication between the Northern American sponsors and the local church and hospital. Most people agreed that the project was bound to fail and the approach not to involve local people was ignorant and antiquated.

Another remark was that enhanced connectivity would motivate more people to go there. With mobile network coverage and internet connection people wouldn’t feel as far away any more.

Organization in Vorarlberg: http://www.kamerunpartner.com
Church: http://www.oseelc.org/
Blog: http://florian.nomadlife.org/

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Peak oil und Afrika – Michael Cerveny

Peak oil: the climax in oil production followed by a constant decline and a sharp raise of the oil price – what are the effects on Africa?

Energy is the most important resource in the world, especially oil can cover the worldwide consumption. The production of oil will have its peak some time between 2010 and 2030 which will cause a sudden scarceness and result in a price explosion. This will definitely change the world, how will it affect different societies?

Consequences in Austria:

  • everything will become more expensive, especially energy-intense products and food
  • standard family:
  • about 3000€ additional costs for heating per year
  • 700€ more for fuel per year

How will it affect Africa?

Comments from the audience:

Agriculture in Africa is not that energy-intensive, it’s more labour-intensive. That’s why maybe the peak-oil will affect Africa less than other regions of the world.

Most of the African countries would have enough production to sustain themselves without imports. If the countries manage to organize the work efficiently and build up an active market, they would not be dependent on foreign countries so much any more. Inner-African trade is also important.

Right now the agricultural market in many countries of Africa is destroayed through subsidized imports from Western countries. Raising costs for industrial agriculture could correct this imbalance.

In many African countries the Western lifestyle serves as an ideal for a lot of people. So people here have the obligation to change their behaviour before demanding changes from others.

It is substantial to foster education, but on the other hand also production in these countries. NGOs often don’t invest, but donate. This does not help to develop a healthy economy.

Video cast from Christoph Chorherr interviewing Michael Cerveny.

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Web 2.0 für große NGOs – Björn Stockleben

New donation-platforms such as Betterplace or Kiva offer their users a very personal connection to development assistance projects. For big NGOs this project-based approach is not practical as projects are organized at different levels of the organization. So the existing platforms are not used by big NGOs. How can they overcome this dilemma?

Björn suggested a cetral approach for a donations-platform, where all the organizations can upload their projects. To offer an enhanced persoalization, the project desctiptions could be accessed through an API and made visible depending on where they are integrated.

Comments from the audience:

Do NGOs even want that? Is there a demand for this type of platform?

It is important to identify oneself with the NGO and the project as donator. There is no sense for NGOs to compete with 1000 others for donators, if they cannot offer a personal connection to the projects.

Decentralization is vital, every NGO can create their own network with the tools which are already there (e.g. Facebook, …).

NGOs do not have the interest to create a network, when it comes to surviving, the aims are put behind.
-> This is not true, there are a lot of networks such as Globale Verantwortung or Ökobüro. Networking takes place in the exchange of experience, when it comes to donations every NGO works on its own.

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AfrikaCamp Vienna – Sessions 1
was published on 01.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under middle east and north africa, sub saharan africa
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