Archive for January 2010

Web Scale: Tim Berners-Lee at the World Economic Forum, Davos

Tim Berners-Lee spoke today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland about the future of the Web and the value of working at “Web Scale”. The next generation of the Web promises greater opportunity for advancing human intelligence, creativity, collaboration, and commerce by linking the underlying data representing knowledge, opinions, activities, personal preferences, etc. This Web of linked data — the semantic Web — will realize the Web as “humanity connected by technology”. Watch the video …

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Regreening in Africa

The Web Foundation starts work on the Web-alliance for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) during the first week of February, with Steve Bratt and Stephane Boyera doing field investigations and planning with our partners in Burkina Faso.

Leveraging the Web, mobile phones, community radio and local expertise, W4RA will expand the collection and sharing of knowledge on how to grow trees and crops in the desert using local ideas and tools.  A handful of innovative farmers possess this knowledge now.  The Web Foundation train local experts to spread this knowledge to thousands of farmers across the Sahel and beyond. Farmers, families,  communities and the environment will benefit.

The Man Who Stopped the Desert: Helping Others to Do the Same

Photo by Anna Bon

Photo by { Anna Bon}

The Web-alliance for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) — the Web Foundation’s first project — starts in earnest in a bit over a week.  We are all quite excited, to say the least.  We are also collecting other experiences in the use of the Web to support agricultural projects.  So please comment below or send email with your knowledge and experience.

Stephane Boyera, George Sadowsky and I will be meeting with our new W4RA partners (VU University, Africa Regreening Initiative)  in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to make field visits, gather with technology and agriculture experts, and then refine the project plan.  The problem to be solved begins with the fact that a very, very small minority of ingenious, typically uneducated, farmers in the African Sahel have figured out how to grow plants and trees in near-desert conditions.  They use little more than the materials they have at hand to do so (hoe, rocks, manure and sprigs of native vegetation, natural rainfall, etc.). Yacouba Sawadogo is one such genius, with whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  You’ll enjoy viewing the trailer for a great documentary that 1080 Films is completing on Yacouba, titled: The Man Who Stopped the Desert.

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Happy 2010! Holidays and Sunday River.

Hope everyone had a wonder holiday season.  Was great to have all kids around for much of the Christmas and New Years period.  The only road trip we took was to Sunday River, Maine for some skiing (not much, as the weather was a bit nasty for a couple of days), and relaxation in a home with a nice big room with fireplace.  A few pics are below…

House at Sunday River

Amy skiing at Sunday River