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First Day UN-GAID Meet Web 2.0: Impressions of Jordi Duran i Batidor


It has been a long journey, with very interesting experiences that we have lived today in the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, but I would like to share with you, before the day is over, what this journey has been.

Although it is not the first time that I enter the United Nations building in New York, I must confess that this morning, when I passed the security control, I had that nervous beginner´s sensation that I had never given a conference, mixed with pride, and the responsibility of being able to participate in such a world level event. And it is not only the United Nations which gives you goose bumps, but also the quality and the level of the speakers,…. I won´t name all of them, that is what the program is for, but in the room there were ministers, directives and presidents of companies such as AMD, Intel, Cisco,… and naturally people of the sector. 

The session began in the worst way. I know it is not politically correct to say it like this, but… that’s how I am ;-) Yes, over an hour of political monologues, unsubstantial, content empty and but…. what are we going to do… In the end we must thank them for organizing the event and having the opening of inviting the private sector and the NGO to this debate… The only one I am going to save is Mr. Talal Abu-Gahzaleh, who was in charge of waking up the assistants with his brilliant contributions and points of view.

I won´t speak of the following panels, it is not in my concern since i was one of the presenters… On the contrary, what I am going to do is emphasize and present what I have liked, by rigorous order of presentation…. (or not ;-) ) 

The first project that called my attention and that I did not know was Inveneo. Kristin Peterson, founder of the project, has explained how her company, a non-profit organization or social company, dedicates to provide ICT solutions for rural communities, especially in Africa. Basically, those communities that want to improve their ICT infrastructure can solicit their services… They are not an NGO, their services have a cost, but since they are non profit-making, the costs are not high. On the other hand, what they promote is that in the rural areas the ICTs are a business, for what the local agents are motivated in the use and improvement of facilities. The projects that are working can be small medical/hospital centers, schools, communities… I advise you to read the web…. That surely explains it better than me what they are doing.

Another project that I would like to emphasize is TakeITGlobal a participative or web 2.0 community of young people, in which the contents are generated by the users. They have the content in 12 languages. They define themselves as an online community that connects the youth and gives it opportunities to access information, find inspiration and participate in their community, in a local and global level. It’s the biggest community online of young people interested in the social change, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each month.

And to finalize, at least for this post, a different non-profit organization, the Fondo Acumend. Basically they have collected capital and they invest it in projects of developing countries as if they were a capital risk fund. Naturally the criteria are not the same as the traditional VC , but they search for the return of the investment to continue with their labor in other projects. They come to cover the financing necessities of small and medium sized companies that don´t have enough with a micro-credit, and are not sufficiently big for traditional funds. The risks will allow them to see if they are capable of obtaining a good return of the investment, without putting in risk the social pattern that must rule the selection of projects. More information on http:www.acumenfund.org/

In short, this is it, in a partial and personal way what I wanted to highlight of today´s day.

More about: un , gaid , events , nyc
Translation by Maria Lucia Rodriguez Ilaria
on 27/03/2008
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