Strengthening global connections: telecentre leaders in Delhi
September 3, 2006 § Leave a comment
Delhi, India – August 21 – 25, 2006: Watching her wander around Delhi with telecentre leaders from around the world, it was hard to believe that Mariana Posfai is new to the telecentre movement. She jumped right into the explorations of Indian telecentres, sharing ideas with her peers from other countries and musing about the global telecentre movement. Maybe it’s because she’s been doing grassroots networking on other issues for so long. She seems to have networking in her blood!
Mariana – the new managing director of the European Union of Telecottage Associations – and telecentre leaders from seven other countries came to Delhi to participate in the India Telecentre Forum. There were people from Mali, the Philippines, Hungary, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Ecuador and Canada. Each of them had a chance to share their experience with Indian telecentre leaders through a two hour long speedgeek and talk show on sustainability issues. In addition to attending the Forum, this group went on a study tour of Drishtee and Datamation Foundation telecentres. This was a chance to see what is happening here in India first hand, looking at how entrepreneurship and social goals are blending in real time.
This sort of exchange program points to an important role that telecentre.org plays – helping ideas travel and partnerships blossom. On one level, this is about the direct knowledge exchanges that you can point to (the speedgeek, the telecentre visits, etc.). But it is more importantly about the way knowledge and social capital grow as telecentre leaders from different countries spend time together and become friends. From this you get the hybridization of ideas and the creation of concrete collaborations (e.g. blending European socially focused infomediary training with Indian social entrepreneur training). It’s hard to touch this sort of thing sometimes, but it essential glue that helps the movement grow and the telecentre concept evolve.