In Progress: Social change and globalization of work

The Technical Museum in Vienna, Austria, are now showing an impressive collection of artefacts and display of information under the headline “IN ARBEIT” (“IN PROGRESS”). The 800 square meters large venue opened up for the public in late October this year, and will be running for around two years.

It aims to show different aspects of technical developments, economic conditions, social change and “the effects of increasing mobility and globalization of work”. ICT4D.at are represented here too, with a selected edit of our documentary Hello Africa from 2009.

Go have a look: In Arbeit, Die Ausstellung zur Dynamik des Arbeitslebens, Technisches Museum Wien.

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In Progress: Social change and globalization of work
was published on 06.12.2011 by Anders Bolin. It files under eastern and central europe, global
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DIY Kenya commission, at Maker Faire Africa 2010

Here’s a shout out for an upcoming event called DIY Kenya commission, which is a new residency opportunity for technologists, creatives and collectives to travel to rural Kenya. The aim of the residency is “to develop innovative ideas, products, events, interventions or artworks in response to everyday African concerns“.

Background Technology is being used in highly innovative ways both in the west and in the developing world. These innovations are not always for artistic or cultural purposes, but that may alter or call into question traditional ways of doing things. The effect of these changes on the day- to-day lives of individuals is significant and often inspiring.

When: 18 July- 10 August, 2010. Deadline for submissions: 14 May. More info here.

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DIY Kenya commission, at Maker Faire Africa 2010
was published on 07.05.2010 by Anders Bolin. It files under sub saharan africa
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Hello Africa goes to Barcelona this weekend

We are very pleased to announce that our documentary received an invitation to be showed at the NOW festival in  Barcelona, at the CCCB (Centre de Cultura e Contemporània de Barcelona).

The festival is going on between 26-27/3, and Hello Africa is to be screened on Saturday 27 March, 19:00 in the main foyer, listed under the New Activism category.

The festival describes itself like this:

NOW is a reflection on the present based on the scientific, technological, artistic, social and spiritual transformations that are taking place at the start of the 21st century. It is a process of research, creation and dissemination that aims to bring together different local and international agents involved in the actions that are promoting a change of paradigm in the information and knowledge society and in globalised cultures.

If you want to follow the event on Twitter, the hashtag is #now10. There is also a live streaming of the ongoing events on their webpage.

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Hello Africa goes to Barcelona this weekend
was published on 25.03.2010 by Anders Bolin. It files under global
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Hello Africa festival screening in Wales

Our documentary Hello Africa continues to tour the world. Previously shown in Accra, Ghana, at the Maker Faire Africa event, 14-16 of August (Which we attended and covered in detail here) , and just recently we were honoured to be invited and have it screened at a festival event called May You Live in Interesting Times, in Cardiff, Wales, 22-24 of October. This was a three-day festival “that celebrates the latest intriguing uses of everyday technology and social innovation, enabled through shared ideas”, and the film was screened daily on their festival hub. Here’s a brief description of the core idea behind the festival:

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“With technology now firmly placed in the everyday we have put together a festival programme that explores how participation is increasingly the driving force behind much digital content. Mass-technology has enabled individuals and communities to become connected and share information.”

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Unfortunately we had no possibility to attend this great event ourselves, but according to Carolina Vasquez who is a festival coordinator there, the movie was highly appreciated by the audience and a “great success”. Check out the screening program here, and the Hello Africa entry here.

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Hello Africa festival screening in Wales
was published on 03.11.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under eastern and central europe
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e-Sri Lanka: Transforming a Nation with ICT

Notes from the World Bank seminar “e-Sri Lanka: Transforming a Nation with ICT” in Washington.

The E-Sri Lanka initiative, which became effective in January 2005 is one of the pioneering ICT for Development projects supported by the World Bank. This ambitious e-development project aims to bring connectivity to rural populations, improve the way government operates and raise awareness of the benefits of ICT for remote rural populations as well as support the development of a vibrant private ICT sector. The leadership team from Sri Lanka’s ICT Agency presents the original E-Sri Lanka vision and emerging lessons and key results after the first four years of implementation experience.

Key talking points:

Where does Sri Lanka stand?

Network Readiness Index (NRI) presentation, shows high percentages of ICT Literacy and Governmental readiness for ICT.

Some examples:

  • Information on any Government Process, Service or Application just a phone call away
  • Civil Registration (Birth, Marriage, Death certificates etc.) documents in hand within a matter of minutes
  • Drive-in Vehicle / Revenue License Registration
  • Government  Organizational Machinery (Ministries, Departments etc.) connected, on-line and secure
  • Single-window, multi-channel access to any e-service in Sri Lanka (very soon)

Figures for Industry and Education show:

  • 30,000+ new jobs created in the IT/BPO sector since 2005
  • IT/ITeS becomes the 5th largest foreign exchange earner for the country – USD 250+ million in 2008
  • 2009 – Declared as the “Year of English and IT”
  • 2000 schools equipped with computer labs (6000 by 2010/11)
  • 40 Distance Education Learning Centers set-up, offering 35 online graduate level courses

Figures for society show:

  • Increased access to ICT for citizens across the country – 600 Nenasalas (Tele-centres) set-up
  • Provision of Market Prices & Crop/Agriculture information to farmers
  • Providing e-health/tele-medicine facilities to rural patients
  • Development of digital talking books for the visually impaired, to developing visual hearing aids for the hearing impaired
  • Availability of supplementary school educational material both at primary and secondary educational level to students.
  • Setting up of rural BPOs and creation of job opportunities for youth in rural communicates

How did this happen?

Answer lies in the implementation of structural grids in the society:

Infrastructure-, e-Governance-, Knowledge-, Industry- and Rural grid.

Infrastructure grid examples:

Nenasala – knowledge centers. Both public and private ownership: entrpreneurs, religious institutions, community based organizations, rural schools and public libraries.

NBN – National Backbone Network. Objective: Deployment of affordable broadband services throughout Sri Lanka:

  • Island-wide Ultra High Bandwidth Broadband Backbone
  • Provision of affordable broadband connectivity to all parts of the country
  • Technology Neutral, Least Cost Subsidy
  • Tariff Regulation: Re-activate ISPs & NFB providers; increase competition

Lanka Government Network – Objective: Highly available, secure backbone to connect the government.

Rural grid examples:

e-Society Development Initiative (e-SDI):

  • Seeks to spread the benefits of ICT to disadvantaged communities
  • Solicit issues and ideas from communities, build their capacity
  • Help them implement  ICT projects to solve their most pressing issues
  • 175 communities have had 175 sustainable ICT centers established, with over 72,00 people benefiting each month

e-Sri Lanka Vision: “Take the dividends of ICT to every village, citizen, business and also transform the way government thinks and works”.

Q&A session

Viewers of the webcast sent in their questions via Twitter (hashtag: #eSL09), and via a videolink

Wamuyu (twitter):

– Any study that shows that students exposed to ICT education have performed better than students who have not?

– Did Sri Lanka begin with a single e-Transactions law that was later split up into computer crime, copyright and e-Signature or did Sri Lanka enact all the specific laws separately?  How did the country get consensus from the various Ministries?

lpant (twitter):

– Have for-profit entrepreneurship models been more successful than community dev ventures or state-sponsored, funded models?

– About ICTs’ role to break status quo. Specifically I am interested on enabling role of ICTs to facilitate governance innovation, social innovation and institutional change. I am wondering if the speaker can talk about specific experience about this from the projects in Sri Lanka.

– When the speaker was talking about the LGN he mentiones that all gov organization will be connected , on what level this connection?

Video link from Rwanda, Moldova, Tanzania:

-Can the e-gov become a common denominator and contribute to international cooperation?

All the questions can be viewed on the eDevelopment Twitter page. The webcast will be archived and made available on the e-Development website. Facts presented above are collected from the seminar slideshow presentation. To learn more about e-Sri Lanka program, visit: www.ictalk.lk

Photo credit: Gregory Asmolov.

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e-Sri Lanka: Transforming a Nation with ICT
was published on 28.05.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under global, south asia
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Hello Africa: to be continued.

Since the grand opening of our documentary at the Schikaneder Kino in Vienna, we have been busy distributing it through different channels. Several cinema screenings are already planned, and we’re promoting it to film festivals around the world. Confirmed screenings and dates will be published on our Hello Africa Wiki page.

The movie is released under a Creative Commons license, so it is available for anybody to watch and distribute for free. There is a online version up on Vimeo (488 views as of today), from there you can either stream it online, or download as a .mp4 file if you scroll down the page. Another option is to download a high-quality version on Mininova (705 downloads so far), where it’s featured as a high-speed torrent. This is a .ISO DVD file, 1.56 GB in size, which can be burned directly onto a DVD, or played within a media player of choice. Just grab the torrent file and download it with your favourite torrent client.

Since last week we also began to publish informational video snippets out of the movie, on our YouTube account. The video clips are putting the different uses of mobile phones into context and explaining some of the buzzwords as seen in the movie. We also have a lot of interesting clips that didn’t make it into the final edit, they will all be shown here, so keep an eye open.

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Hello Africa: to be continued.
was published on 25.05.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under east africa, sub saharan africa
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Soon to a theatre near you:

The documentary project about the emerging use of mobile phones in Africa, which we recorded in Zanzibar last fall, has now got an official premiere date. It will be screened at the fine old (100 yrs) cinema of Schikaneder in Vienna, the 8th of May, 19:30.

But this is actually just the kick-off of a world tour; we will also show the movie in Kampala/Uganda with the help of Jon Gosier and in Nairobi/Kenya with help of Ugo Vallauri. Also Florian Sturm will organize a screening in Ghana when he is teaching there this summer. We are as well working hard on getting it showed at the international film festival in Stone Town, Zanzibar, ZIFF.

So here’s a finished segment out of the video I just finished editing, buckle your belts & enjoy the ride.

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Soon to a theatre near you:
was published on 13.04.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under east africa, global
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Airtime makes the world go around

Recently I wrote a short piece about the emerging mobile banking systems in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. The article was published in the bi-monthly Swedish eco- and lifestyle mag Camino. This issue’s theme was about “smarter money”, and I mention here the advantages of simple SMS-based services like the Z-Pesa, a credit-transfer service from Zantel, one of the main telecom operators in Tanzania/Zanzibar. You can send ‘hard cash’ if you get a Z-pesa account, but more common is to send SMS with ‘airtime’ (cellphone credits) to anybody with a cellphone (requires no fixed account).

The text is also about how the fast growth of mobile technology are changing the economical infrastructure in these countries, the difference it has made for people and the myriad of small businesses which has been generated around mobile phones. Also worth noting is, the embarassing fact that these simple yet great services still are not available in Sweden or Europe (at least not to my knowledge).

Check out the piece here (yes, in Swedish, but neat pictures to look at), or even better, get your own, shiny copy straight from Camino.

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Airtime makes the world go around
was published on 16.03.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under global
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Where to surf in Kigali? Kids know.

An article today in the online edition of a major Swedish newspaper, DN.se, tells about young Rwandan’s internet behaviours (in Swedish only). Rwanda has so far delivered 5.000 OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) units to kids, and plan to ship no less than 50.000 more units this year alone. The government has set up an ambitious IT plan for the country, which is to provide internet connection to all schools for older children, in most schools for younger children and all state offices by the year 2020.

The article goes on to say that Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is one of the best cities in Africa to get internet access with decent speed everywhere around, especially in cafés. Apparently the airport in Kigali has the best, free wi-fi connection available, and the article features four kids sitting outside the airport, googling on their OLPC’s for hours after pictures of their action heroes Jean-Claude van Damme and Bruce Lee.

(Photo by Anna Koblanck)

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Where to surf in Kigali? Kids know.
was published on 21.02.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under sub saharan africa
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Coop 2.0 Gijón – Interviews

Here’s a list of the interesting people we did interviews with, on location at the Coop 2.0 conference that took place between 10-12 of February in Laboral University in Gijón, Spain. We will publish all or most of the videos, continuously in the coming days on our ICT4D.at YouTube channel.

• Ana Ruth Bernardo de Paz & Juan Pablo Moncada Florez – S.E.D.E Itaca
• Jan Blom – Nokia Research Center
• Stéphane Boyera – W3C
• Brendan Doyle – CTIC Foundation
• Anriette Esterhuysen – APC (Association for Progressive Communications)
• Jon Legarrea Oteiza – Universidad Pública de Navarra
• Adrien Mangin – Cibervoluntarios
• Vikas Nath – South Centre
• Ismael Peña-López – Open University of Catalonia
• Oleg Petrov – e-Development Thematic Group
• Juliana Rotich – Ushahidi
• Miriam Ruiz – Debian Woman
• Kentaro Toyama – Microsoft Research India
• Alexander Widmer – SDC

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Coop 2.0 Gijón – Interviews
was published on 19.02.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under global
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