Greetings from the 2008 NetHope Summit. I’m standing on probably some of the most valuable realestate in the technology universe – San Jose – at the Cisco headquarters. Virtually every big tech player is within eyesight here, but, not being a tech spazzo groupie – and I’m sure you’re not either – I won’t blog you to death about the companies I drove by on the way here. Instead, I’ll blog about the summit. I joined approximately 100 people this morning representing some 20 NGOs from as far as Finland, the Philippines, Bangladesh, the UK and other locals. Their intention: meet, greet and build collaborations leading to more and better results in the development and aid industry.I imagine some of these people knew each other already. Indeed I had the pleasure of meeting someone from the Nature Conservancy last night who I had worked with on a project three years ago but had never met face-to-face. It was good to put his face with his name and voice. The agencies’ common purpose is bringing technology to the last 100 kilometers in emerging markets. There was a lot of passion and commitment to do good in the room. And I felt a tinsy bit chagrined about my previous post, where I had cited critics who [rightfully although a bit bombastically] criticize the industry these people belong to. My chagrin comes from the fact that it seemed these people are genuinely intent on doing good. And have done good. I’ll write a separate post about that, maybe tomorrow. The critics do say that while the industry as a whole has major problems, it is these groups – the grassroots, faith-based and NGO organizations – that are doing the best work. Speaking with the representatives here today and looking at some of their results, I can see what the critics are pointing to when they say these guys are doing real good. Wanna see for yourself? This video (thank you Cisco for providing the vid) doesn’t talk much about real examples, but it does give you a sense of the genuine intention that seems to fuel this organization and its members. Check it out.
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