web 2.0 for development

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Today is Mandela Day

I want to celebrate THE man who gave me an example as no one else did.


Open Invitation to the Virtual Forum on “Mobile telephony in rural areas”

This is an open invitation to take part to the online forum on “Mobile Telephony in rural areas” which will take place from the 17 to the 28 of November.

Mobile technology for development seems to be today an excellent solution in support of many development activities. As you remember, we introduced the topic and collected many examples. Now, this Forum is an occasion to learn more about projects which are using these tools and above all people’s ideas and vision for the future.

Everyone is invited to take part to the discussions as your attention and contribution can be very interesting and useful for all the participants.

Mark your calendar and participate in the Virtual Forum “Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” 17-28 November 2008

Mobile phones are the success story of bridging the rural digital divide, bringing tangible economic benefits and acting as agents of social mobilization through improved communication. But what are the real challenges that face reaching rural areas, and what are some of today’s most beneficial applications that can help these rural communities, specifically regarding agriculture development?

This Forum will examine the challenges that rural communities face in enhancing the benefits of mobile telephony, and look at some examples of interesting initiatives and good outcomes from around the globe.

Subject Matter experts include:

  • Pete Cranston, ICT and New Media in Development Consultant
  • Laura M. Drewett, Partner Director, BusyLab Ltd.
  • Jawahar Kanjilal, Global Head of Emerging Market Services, Services & Software, Nokia
  • Christian Kreutz, Consultant, Knowledge Activist
  • AHM Sultanur Reza, Additional General Manager and Head, Community Information Center, Grameenphone Ltd.
  • Luca Servo, Communication for Development Consultant, Research and Extension Division – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Nigel Scott, Gamos Ltd


Charlotte Masiello-Riome, Communications Expert and Coordinator
Michael Riggs, Information Management Specialist for the Asia-Pacific region, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Register on the Online Forum

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Visiting the radio and video studio of FAO

Some days ago a group of communicators working for different services of FAO had a very interesting visit to the radio and video studio of the organization.

Ten of us, part of the “bluebar” communicators list, spent the morning with the responsible for the infrastructure debating on: how to use the facility, the recent and past products of the studio (the production is accessible online via the audio, video and webcasting pages), the FAO communication policy and other issues related to our jobs.

In few lines, I found this gathering very interesting for different reasons:

  • it was a real visit in the “field” as the infrastructure has been refreshed very recently and many of us were not aware yet of the new possibilities offered by the studio;
  • it was a meeting among colleagues and a good occasion to discuss, outside formal occasions, reciprocal points of view and difficulties (different and sometimes opposite opinions came out but mutual understanding won), and current issues related to our work and the future of our organization;
  • it became a source of ideas and will to create new initiatives inside the house (something that’s crucial in these days, while waiting for the organization’s restructure and in the light of the activities of the “Culture Change team“).

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BLOG ACTION DAY: Professional football against Hunger

In the framework of the World Food Day, FAO and the European Professional Football Leagues have launched a new campaign called “Professional football against Hunger”. Roberto Baggio and Raul, two of the FAO Goodwill Ambassadors are among the promoters of the campaign.

What I think to be interesting in this attempt is the power of emotions and examples. The campaign, as the Austrian Ambassador explained, is based on the power of the emotions that football can produce in many of us. They are the levers to open the hearts and the minds of the people who are, watching the games, fascinated by the “good examples” offered by the football ambassadors and, as a consequence, pushed to replicate positive behaviors many and many times.

As a citizen and a football amateur, I really hope the campaign to be successful. As a professional, I’m reflecting on the times I’m able to work on the emotions of the people involved in KM/KS activities and the number of good examples I can find and offer to this public so as they can be stimulated to reproduce the same “positive” attitude. The 923 millions people who are actually suffering for hunger and poverty need an answer as soon as possible from all of us.

This posting sustains the Blog Action Day 2008 dedicated to Poverty.