Each panellist was asked to give three “takeaways”.
Ami Dar – Idealist.org
He said they now have 74,000 NGOs signed up in 200 countries. 60,000 visitors every day. They send out (automated) 100,000 emails every night. I really liked his philosophical approach.
1. good intentions are hard and difficult to realise
He gave the example of an organisation called Apopo who train rats to sniff out landmines – why can’t we have these rats everywhere? Apparently also different diseases smell differently. Organisations, people and institutions have intentions – not always expressed. Herorat
2. There are no mechanisms for ideas to travel to reach all places they need to reach.
3. We are all divided – good ideas travel slowly.
Katrin Verclas of MobileActive.org asked everyone to turn their cell phones on.
There are 3.5 bn mobile phones in the world. 50% tipping point in 2009.One person in the room admitted to not having a phone.
Three takeways –
1. We are all connected.
2. A new word … phatic.
Is this building social capital in a way that we haven’t seen before – gesellschaft to gemeinschaft?
3. Katrin talked about a few examples of using mobiles and sms in diaster relief , in Tibet, in conflict resolution, connecting people with Aids and made a plea for more projects to move beyond the pilot phase. Environmental sensing in Ghana /Accra. Giving mobile phones to taxi drivers to take environmental soundings and mapping data. Partipatory science, extreme crowdsourcing. People were told which areas to avoid due to bad pollution.
Talked about the development of Social Edge. ‘Telling stories – storytelling is opening up to the rest of the community and for us all to learn from mistakes. Then we went onto podcasts.
“Cross cultural stories a lot of social entrepreneurs don’t use English as their first language. Didn’t want to create two classes of citizens on the internet. So we also did print out of the podcasts and now video.
“Then we moved onto sharing stories…..Itunes. Social Edge doing well in itunes.
Working with Santa Clara university – can apply online to join incubator. Three business excercises. Open processes live – 100 people make it to first excercise, 70 to second then very difficult.
Then thee was some general discussion about what is the point of one-way stories..that made me chip in! There aren’t really any one way stories if you have an audience at all. The human brain is hardwired to follow narrative. The question is is your story good enough to enable another person to take some kind of action?
Discussion about how mobiles can be used for bad and good. How do we stop the bad? Katrin says we don’t – mobiles used for all sorts of activism – rumours, and counterbalance in Sierra leone – – could update and validate what was happening in Kenya. Ethics and the media is interesting. That could be a whole other panel…