Re: [GKD] A Hundred-Dollar Laptop for Hungry Minds

2005-10-05 Thread Jeff Buderer
The $100 PC sounds great. Four questions I want to know:

1. How are they made? (It is my understanding that Europeans have the
edge in terms of sourcing computer componentry so that they have minimal
ecological impact and are easy to recycle).

2. How long will they last?

3. What do they do with them when they break or are no longer usable?

4. How does the $100 PC business plan address not just the digital divide
but the 
technology divide/gap (in other words, does the plan allow for the
development of facilities in emerging markets to produce these computers
including supply chains)?

Jeff Buderer
oneVillage Initiative - Trust. Unity. Prosperity
Holistic ICT Development for Eco Living 
+1 408 813 5135
San Jose, California

On Tuesday, October 4, 2005, Mikhail Doroshevich wrote:

 At Technology Review's Emerging Technology Conference at MIT September
 28, 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT's Media Lab, showed off
 the design of a laptop he hopes can be sold for just $100. At that
 price, governments in developing countries could afford to buy one
 laptop for every child, he said, opening up educational opportunities
 for millions.

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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-07 Thread Jeff Buderer
Dear GKD Members,

Its been a while since this was originally posted but in relation to
current discussions, I wanted to add this response to the original
comments by Femi Oyesanya.

The comments relate to the Interesting parallel between this Nigerian
government proposal and the Unity Center concept that we
have developed through OVF, explaining how if it was done a little
differently, the Nigerians might just be able to pull it off.

These comments also relate to the recent post I made in relation to
Walter Rostow's Stages to Take-off.

On 12/03/2004, Femi Oyesanya [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 A recent Nigerian Newspaper article cited the Nigerian Minister of the
 Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, as saying that the
 Nigerian Government has given the approval for the building of a
 Technology Village. Nigeria will be building its own Silicon Valley on a
 650 hectare property, located in a suburb of the Federal Capital city,
 The Newspaper article quoted El-Rufai as saying, we want to create a
 city of knowledge in Abuja. And on the way to the airport, we have got
 about 650 hectares of land we have reserved out of the Abuja
 master-plan. What we hope to do with the technology village, which is
 going to cost us between $300 to $400 million is to have the highest
 quality infrastructure attracting the best brains in information and
 bio-technology, pharmaceutical and Information Technology (IT) research
 to work in Abuja. (1)


Silicon Valley Story

The determination of such a center's success is not so much the
technology or the planning but the building of a framework of governance
from which financial, technological and social infrastructure can emerge
in a climate of trust and transparency.

Such a realization of a grand vision, necessarily involves the social
and cultural components of storytelling and myth-making. Silicon Valley
at its essence is a replaying of the modern American mythology of rugged
individualism. The story of Apple Computer being started in Steve Jobs'
garage is repeated again and again, so that it has become the classic
Silicon Valley success story. It is the story of hard working, highly
intelligent people who identify innovations and know how to make them
happen by working with other, often underappreciated innovators.

Ironically, though, the very necessary ingredients which led to America's
Silicon Valley success (and its overall success in modern times) are
being weakened from the pressures of a ruling class that eshews
accountability and transparency.


Pre-conditions to Take-off:

1. Such a center would ideally be organized to avoid any of the
transparency and corruption issues that plaque Nigerian civil society.
In this way it could be a model for a more decentralized model of
governance as an alternative to the nation-state model and therefore
putting Africa on the leading edge of post-industrial development.

2. Rather than seek to create one massive center it might be more
realistic to develop several prototype nodes that could experiment with
leading ICT as well as other leading sector innovations and then
integrate them to create new models of living that are suitable for
emerging markets. These nodes would be designed to be rapidly replicated
into surrounding regions, eventually forming a decentralized,
distributed grid that would facilitate sustainable commerce. This would
include communications, food production, consulting as well as ICT
related services.

3. Emphasis would be on an open source, community scaled and ICT
augmented development paradigm rather than a top-down proprietary model
that reinforces elite-periphery dynamics.


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Re: [GKD] Nigeria: Silicon Valley Transplant

2005-01-04 Thread Jeff Buderer
This is an interesting conversation and I see the points from both
sides. I think Ken is right in questioning the idea that you cannot as
Tim says skip the first three stages and go straight to flying.

I want to make an important distinction here between infrastructure
approach and readiness and mental/organizational capacity/readiness.
There are preconditions to take off such as outlined by former
Kennedy/Johnson advisor Walter Rostow:

I feel also that these preconditions to nation-state development
critical mass also apply today. Because what Rostow is talking about
applies not just to nation states but to all aspects of human
development. His stages to take-off are a generalized set of criteria
relating to developing momentum towards a critical mass within a
particular system towards rapid growth and replication.

From my perspective we are talking about a rule of physics that applies
to human phenomena and relates specifically to a core area of interest
to the group here: growth and modernization (and preferably fitting the
triple bottom line criteria of ecologically, socially and economically
sustainable development). I see ICT as an augmentation tool that can
rapidly change the dynamics and characteristics of the growth curve that
Rostow described.

The concept of disruptive technologies offers another new concept to the
mix. When disruptive technologies as well as approaches are applied
effectively as part of a comprehensive package of solutions to address
not only development, but world urgent issues like global warming, AIDS
and loss of biodiversity, we start to see that the old rules of
development don't always apply.

Now I want to emphasize I am not talking about rejecting Rostow's
assumptions because to me to reject those preconditions he is talking
about is sort of like saying the law of conservation of energy does not
apply. However what we see is many assumptions that conventional
development policymakers and economists make about the best way to
develop a society not only are increasingly irrelevant, but are
counterproductive to the stated goals and intentions.

What many of us are seeing materialize is something that is truly a
bittersweet experience for us, because we see the potential of
disruptive technologies and approaches to totally transform human
reality like never before. However, the human network readiness on a
global level is still not in place to properly execute this. Therefore,
it is very frustrating for many of us to visualize the integration of
these various disruptive technologies and approaches into a
comprehensive and whole systems approach to sustainable development. We
see the potential is there but the capacity to effectively implement (so
that the effectiveness of ICT as an augmentation tool is obvious and
unchallenged) is still missing.

The central component of this thesis relates not only to ICT/wireless.
What we are seeing is that new technologies in every aspect of human
existence are rapidly making the old technologies and centralized
infrastructure systems obsolete. This has important implications on the
very way in which economies grow because:

1) It impacts ROI, primarily by significantly reducing the
infrastructure costs of development.

2) We are at a unique point in history. Those previously marginalized by
highly hierarchical systems of command and control suddenly have access
to tools to disrupt the conventional order/status quo of contemporary

The technologies are there and ready to be applied, what is needed now
is the effective ICT augmented global network. However, this is not just
an issue of organization but mental and organizational readiness: right
attitude and right mindset. There has to be a basic level of educational
aptitude, strong social networks, effective governance, financial
backing, a general economic justification for developing an integrated
ICT infrastructure and network and finally a firm resolve to do so, and
maybe that is what Tim is getting at.

You can have all the innovative ideas about wireless networks and
disruptive and sustainable technologies, but if there is not the right
execution or implementation, it has limited value... as theory that
seems plausible but is not proven to be true on a practical level. To
effectively address the unprecedented challenges that humanity now faces
(which extend far beyond issues of development to embrace the very
nature of modernity and human existence) we need to get many of us
(including me) who spend a lot of time on the computers talking, more
fully engaged in implementation in the field.
Jeff Buderer | [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Sustainable Design/Project Development 
oneVillage Foundation USA | |

102 Ballatore Ct.
San Jose CA 95134
Cell 408.813.5135
Yahoo IM: jefbuder

Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-29 Thread Jeff Buderer
 as the reality that the money has to come from somewhere
and I think we would all prefer that capital flow be sustainable and not
interrupted. The core issue is not financial sustainability but
financial stability and local empowerment. Many current projects are not
financially sustainable and they are dependent on funding from affluent
countries. Now I am not necessarily against this but I do feel that it
needs to be a system that is more accountable, more direct, focusing on
end-to-end human services rather than on sustaining bloated,
inefficient and highly centralized bureaucracies with high overhead.

With ICT, we can enable networks that make the bottom-up economy empower
the grassroots in emerging markets but also the grassroots in affluent
countries. This is what we call at oneVillage a multi-track approach
because it considers the complementary (rather than adversarial)
nature/relationships of people in both the affluent and non-affluent
worlds and explore how we can work together through the development of
end-to-end human services.

I would say the donor driven ideology is problematic in the development
field because it encourages a disconnect to emerge between the people
who are served and people who provide the funding, organize the projects
and design and build them. It also encourages a dependency mentality
whereby people spend much time filling out grant proposals and all the
associated paper work. This from my perspective has a very limited ROI
and actually inhibits our creative and innovative capacity to find
solutions and effectively more forward in reaching our ambitious
sustainable development goals.

An alternative non-profit subsidy framework could involve using ICT to
develop a research database to outline the costs of the current
globalization model and to evaluate the economic, social and ecological
sustainability of existing capital and resource flows. For example,
because Ghana faced a high debt load in the 80s, it was forced to
increase the export of natural resources and much of this was not
ecologically sustainable as the forest cover dwindled.

Now if these transnational trade flows were deemed unsustainable (as
most are), then a tax would be levied on that product or service.
Consumers in affluent countries would then more accurately pay the full
ecological and social cost of that product. This fee would go to defray
and mitigate the costs of these unsustainable practices possibly
building rural development/empowerment centers. The emphasis would not
be on profitability but on developing local social enterprises that
would provide local services using ICT to build capacity through
education, health and improved agricultural practices, and to promote
the sustainable management of natural resources. They might actually be
profitable in many cases with the money plowed into the
replication/expansion of these sustainable prototypes. Their focus would
be on addressing local ecological degradation such as biodiversity loss,
soil loss, water loss, desertification, and loss of cultural identity
through tree planting, land preservation, carbon sequestration and
sustainable agriculture, etc.

Jeff Buderer
oneVillage Foundation
Sustainable Design/Project Development
Cell 408.813.5135
Yahoo IM: jefbuder

This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by USAID's dot-ORG Cooperative
Agreement with AED, in partnership with World Resources Institute's
Digital Dividend Project, and hosted by GKD. and
provide more information.
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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] Is Profitability Essential for Sustainability?

2004-11-05 Thread Jeff Buderer
Dear GKD Members,

It is great to hear all the thoughtful ideas and I am encouraged by them
particularly as a nice counterpoint to the recent political setbacks in

I am working with a start up social enterprise called the oneVillage
Foundation We are excited by this
conference and the potential of BOP. We currently are in the beginning
stages of developing what we call Unity Centers. I hope that our work on
this may have some relevance to this discussion.

 Most telecenters are not profitable or economically self-sustaining.

This would not be an issue so much if the telecenters were developing an
integrated program of development that incubated social enterprises in
the communities they operated out of. It is not so much an issue of
whether telecenters are directly profitable but whether they are
building economic value in the communities they are operating in.

Yet as Meddie Mayanja seems to imply, profit is essential not only for
successful ICT Development but for all things done in a civilized
society. If one is ideologically downed by the idea of profit then one
can use the term resources. To replicate sustainable communities-based
economies you need to have a return on the initial investment.

Here is one scenario we have looked at as we have worked to develop a
comprehensive plan for local community development around ICT centers:

ICT centers could be designed as money losers but the businesses and
other organizations they incubate or assist could pay a fund to keep the
operation going from their profits or surplus revenues. At the same
time, the program could be designed to subsidize small groups doing
research and organizational work relevant to increasing the momentum of
local development.

People just wanting to see the Madonna website or find out if Bush won
the re-election on would have to pay to use the computers, as
would be the case in normal cyber-cafes where everyone has to pay. The
subsidy towards serious computer usage would discourage frivolous use of
what is still a very precious resource in non-affluent countries. I
think it is important to not only look at profit but how the profits are
spent. This is a real issue in non-affluent nations and also affluent
ones (probably more so as they are the 15% of the world's population
that unsustainably consumes 85% of the world's resources) as well.

More on this later...


This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by USAID's dot-ORG Cooperative
Agreement with AED, in partnership with World Resources Institute's
Digital Dividend Project, and hosted by GKD. and
provide more information.
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