Archive for Web Foundation

Vodafone Donates $1 Million in Support of Web Foundation Initiatives

Grant to Fund Training of Entrepreneurs in Africa.

The World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the Web to empower people, announced today that the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company Vodafone Group, will donate $1 million toward projects that will train entrepreneurs in Africa to leverage the Web as a platform for delivering locally relevant content, applications and services. Some of the funding will also go to research on what needs to be done to make the Web more accessible and valuable to people in developing economies.

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Tim Berners-Lee at TED2010: Visualizations of Linked Data for Haiti Earthquake, Afghanistan Elections and More

A year ago, Tim Berners-Lee had the audience at TED chanting “raw data now”. At TED2010, Tim gave an update, with cool animations, on how governments and other institutions have been accelerating the process of making their raw data available, and what clever people are doing with those data through linking, mashing, visualizing and understanding phenomena in new ways.

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"Web" and "People": Top Words in Our Blogs in Q1 of 2010

… words such as “mobile”, “services”, “information”, “farmers” and “development” have also been frequently used. OK, no major surprises here, but the “word cloud” visualization is kind of cool. This cloud was compiled from our blog posts so far this year, using the Wordle service, which scales the size of words by their frequency of use.  Thanks to Vera Newhouse from Edelman for recommending it. Click on the word cloud for a higher-resolution image.

Tim Berners-Lee's Video at Community Radio Station in Kenya

You may recall from past blog posts, Web Foundation founder Tim Berners-Lee, Director Rosemary Leith, and program manager Stephane Boyera had really interesting visits with many people in Egpyt, Kenya and Uganda during November 2009.   I don’t think we have previously pointed you to a cool video that Tim took himself (and took of himself) at Ghetto-FM, a community radio station, Nairobi, Kenya.  Check out the tour of the station and a live (at the time) interview with Tim …

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Visits with Farmers and Agents of Change in West Africa

 Had a fantastic trip to Burkina Faso, an inland country in western Africa.

Since the readership of this blog is deservedly low, please see my posts, with video and photos, in the World Wide Web Foundation blog:

Videos from Day 1 of Visit with Farmer Innovators in Burkina Faso

Farmers and Promoters in Burkina Faso: More Videos and Pictures


Farmers and Promoters in Burkina Faso: More Videos and Pictures

I returned to Boston from Ouagadougou, after 27 hours in transit.  Sibiri Sawadogo and his mobile phone Stephane and I will have much more to relay from this exciting visit.  This post relays a number of additional observations, as well as still and moving images, from our 31 January – 1 February visits north of Ouaga (the towns of Dori, Kaya, Kongoussi and a small village 10km west of Kongoussi) with farmers who’ve developed techniques for promoting natural regeneration of trees on the edge of the Sahara Desert.  A video mapping the trip can be found in my 3 February post.  See the entire Burkina video album containing 25 short segments.

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Videos from Day 1 of Visit with Farmer Innovators in Burkina Faso

Chris Reij from VU University – Amsterdam led a group including Stephane Boyera, George Sadowsky and me from the Web Foundation on an educational tour of the desert regions north of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The purpose was to orient participants in the new Web-alliance for Regreening in Africa (W4RA) and others on the progress and challenges made by initiatives aimed at natural regeneration of trees in these regions. This was an incredibly useful trip for informing the  Workshop on Mobile Web for Rural Development, the Foundation’s first workshop held in  Ouagadougou on 3-4 February. I have many, many pictures and videos from this trip, and many more stories and memories. In the interest of speed over completeness, below is a small set of  visuals from Burkina Faso from 31 January 2010 with less explanation that there should be.

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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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