web 2.0 for development

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Barry Schwartz at TED

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Some inspiring points extrapolated from recent Barry Schwartz’s speech at TED:

– Human interactions involving kindness care and empathy are essential part of the job.

– Wise persons:

  • know when and how to make the exception to every rule;
  • know how to improvise;
  • are like jazz musician, using the notes on the page but dancing around them, inventing combination that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand;
  • know how to use these moral skills in the service of the right aim.

– Rules and procedures may be dumb but they spare you from thinking.

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Jan Chipchase at TED

These days we are ending the Forum on Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas with the question: “What is your vision for the future? Here we are looking for suggestions for new services or improving existing services, and ideas for collaboration going forward?

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Some interesting ideas from Jan Chipchase at TED about the future of mobile. I’ll blog earlier next week about the ideas and visions coming out of the Forum.

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Gapminder sw

I found this very interesting application, Gapminder, to show dynamic data evolution in time and in comparison with other data. I have already seen it in action in a quite famous video of Professor Hans Rosling speaking at the TED-conferance 2006 about “Myths on Developing World“.

Some more notes about it: Google, always them, acquired the software few months ago and will add it to their free sw package pretty soon. Let’s reflect on this approach.

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Distributing software for free helps doing that. Google will redistribute it for free as it is doing with other tools like Picasa, Analytics, Google Earth, etc. This can be considered good or bad, according to the point of view.

At the moment my judgement is positive: having this software for free means that we can transfer knowledge and capacities in an easier and faster way. Obviously there a price to pay. It is not visible, and not quantifiable, but there is: our data will be known, analysed and used by someone. At this point of the reasoning, the question is still open: I can considered myself “supported” or “spied” according to pros being more or less of counts. I have not yet formulated my idea as, until now, I’ve seen only the first and not yet the second…