As I look around this online space I see potential that reminds me of childhood visits to the new homes of my many uncles and aunties. I adored my uncles. In my eyes they were big, strong, fun-filled heroes to whom nothing was impossible. When their cars broke down (as, in those days, cars frequently did) they fixed them. If their new home didn't have a bathroom, they put one in. If a door was in the wrong place they moved it - the same with cupboards and walls and windows. They transformed poky little sculleries into shiny kitchens. They made magic.
I enjoyed our online chat the other day. You suggested we should share it - but I protested that I had made too many typos. Now you have edited them out and sent it to me - so here it is for anyone to see. Andy suggested including it in our Open Letters. Later, if we get more conversations we can bring them together somewhere. I like the title you chose:
The Strength of Dadamac.net
Dadamac Day 2009 was a new and exciting extension of our annual online celebration. Usually it is pretty much "a family affair" - reuniting people who already know each other. This time we widened our reach, both in the UK and in rural Nigeria, so there were extra guests at the celebration.
You were thinking about climate change, its impact on Africa, and the reliability of forecasters. We don't have any current Dadamac project or Special Interest Group (SIG) related to climate change, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't have one. Dadamac is concerned with using the Internet to help people rub minds and learn from each other - especially people who could never have connected with each other before the Internet existed.
I enjoyed reading your blog. it seems that we do share the same concerns and have similar ideas. The ideas of technology transfer and of investing in renewable energy initiatives are dear to my heart (and got some mention in my blog "Pam - we want street lights") so I was interested to read about the President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, and especially his comments that:
The Western countries cannot ask "dynamically fast developing" countries like India not to produce or consume energy in order to control carbon emissions. The better option for the rich countries is to invest in renewable energy initiatives and facilitate transfer of technology to developing countries.
Thank you for your open letter today directing our attention to Nobel prize winner Elinor Ostrom and her work to show that privatising natural resources is not the answer for stemming environmental degradation.
I also appreciate the fact that you have introduced the issue of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) For me your blog was a strong reminder that there is great overlap between the problems of India and Africa (so it is good that you have brought an Indian perspective to add to Dadamac's usual African concerns). I was especailly struck by the comment that "FAO says Asia and the Pacific has the largest number of hungry people (642 million) followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 265 million."
I wonder if there is any chance you will see this before the day is out (and of course, given our time differences, your day is much close to ending than mine is). Anyhow - in the hope that you do see this - you may be interested to know that today is blog action day, and bloggers worldwide are encouraged to post blogs about climate change.
Things are getting very busy here, and it is hard to share it all as much as I would like to do. I hope that (once more of Dadamac's activities have "moved in" to this single online space that is dadamac.net ) life will get simpler and it will be easier for everyone to know what is going on.
A couple of years ago I hardly ever went to any face to face events connected with my Dadamac interests (back before Dadamac developed out of Cawdnet). I simply worked away online - or went on working holidays to Africa. Now there are so many related activites in London that it is hard to know which to attend (even if you apply my usual rule of - if it's going to cost money then its probably out of my range)
These are the two most recent events:
Yesterday was the final event in a series from the UK Department for International Development, the Overseas Development Institute and Business Action for Africa on ‘Harnessing the power of business for development Impact’
Folabi (Fola) Sunday teaches in a primary school in rural Nigeria - a motor-cycle ride away from Ago-Are, in Oyo State.