Rockin’ the telecentre house
March 14, 2008 § Leave a comment
Over the past six months, alot of people have asked me ‘how’s it going with telecentre.org?’ My response has typically been: ‘Ah, umm, okay. I think.’ 2007 was a year of change and uncertainty.
My answer changed to ‘telecentre.org is rockin’ the house’ this week as I hung with the whole team in Valparaiso.
This team is focused on concrete action that can truly help telecentres: a global telecentre.org training academy; a venture fund that will help telecentre networks and their members become successful social enterprises; a research program that will dig deep into the social and economic impact of public access computing. Also, there is new and strong communications team in place to capture and share stories of what is happening across the telecentre movement. Florencio has done a great job rebuilding this team, and they are moving fast.
Being at the team meeting also reminded me how much the telecentre.org community has achieved in the past three years. There are existing and emerging telecentre networks in almost 50 countries. There are strong grassroots leaders who are spreading the telecentre.org ethos on every continent. And, most importantly of all, the whole conversation about telecentres has shifted from ‘this is a dying idea’ to ‘this is a social entrepreneurial spark that’s about to catch fire’. While there is lots more concrete work to do, the telecentre movement has come a long way in the last few years.
From my side, I’ve made a commitment to work with the telecentre.org team for at least another year. My main job will be to focus on social enterprise development, with most of my time going into the creation of a small (and probably single-region) social venture fund to help networks develop into product and service channels. I will also continue to work on the development of new global partnerships.
It was a pleasure to hang with the whole telecentre.org crew again. They’ve got the tunes cranked and they are rockin’ the house in a big way. It’s a party worth watching, and joining.