Live Blogging the Key Note at Netsquared

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Identity Woman got excited when Angela Glover urged to get involved with policy - particularly around data exchange standards.

 

Live blogging disclaimers apply - typos, missed words, etc. 

Daniel Ben Horrin welcomed everyone.

The possibilities ...

We get excited about every new gadget and widget.  A field that tends to overestimate the importance of what happening now and underestimate the future.

We feel there is a sea change hapenning.   Nonprofits need stuff.  We got in the business of helping nonprofits get their technology assets.  What we think is going on now.  The emphasis has moved from stuff to people.  It has moved from what npos have the least us - money and moved towards communities.  This presents an opportunity to use technology in a transformative way.

What if HR could be mobilized with new forms of technology to fight aids, genocide, peace. It's a whacky notion.   We've avoided the buzz word, web2.0.  A year from now it will live in the dust bin of old sound bytes.  We are using the phrase social web.  The adpation of tools for human interaction and social change. We're on the cusp.

It's about matching social network side to the task of building activists.   This conference is about imaging the difference.  Reaching across sectors and using tools to follow through.

Encouraged to think about specific actions, commit, and we'll hold your toes to it. 

Think about who is in the room.

7 sectors in the conference

  • Funders
  • NGO presence
  • American Nonprofit Presence - making change with new tools
  • Infrastructure tech companies
  • Web services companies
  • digerati
  • helper community - nptaps, nptech

 

Bringing back the index cards.

Identify an action item - either yours or someone else.  Write the idea down and stick it on a bulletin board.  They will collate and summarize it.

Thanked all the sponsors for taking a chance on the unconference concept.

Angela Glover

How can we build the space for the community and technology come together.

I like to be in a room with people who are about action.

PolicyLink

Technology, Economy, and Regions - we want everyone to participate and prosper. 

Everything is changing.  One thing exciting and scary.  People have taken charge of their own participation.   They are clear about it.   Not allowing others to define their participation.  One way is American Idol.  I have to admit that I did one time. 

Think about Katrina.  American people responded in a way -- didn't want to wait.  People got busy.  Got on the Internet.   People were participating.

Look at immigration.  People are putting out front what they think the government should do.  Challenging people - thinking about how to join and have an impact to the expectation.

Covenant of Black America  On CPSAN in February - you can watch it.   There was a decision to build the convenant.  Largests viewing audience that CSPAN had.    It came from the word of mouth from the black community.  That book in a 4-week period shot onto the best seller list - stayed on it for 10 weeks.   Black folks embracing policy all across the country.  What would have been MLK setting the agenda, is now black people all across the country.  We can define how to improve life.

What does it mean for leaders?  What does it mean that people build their own movements?  It's a challenge -- each one of the things - is about America coming to grips with race and poverty.  It is the agenda that stumps this country.  People have been disappointed with government - in the way we've been dealing with that.   When we uncovered the poverty in New Orelans - despite the signals - American people responded.   People tried to figure out a way to participate.

We are stumped when it comes democracy, race, and politics.  It is a challenge to democracy on how it will work.   We have an opportunity to say that society is moving in a new direction, so is tech.  They have a common thread - open up possibilities.   I challenge us to think about what is possible.  Go the last yards -- allow the wisdom of the people to define how to share information, share policy.   Through e-advocay - we can tell the politicians what to happen.

It is a rare opportunity and we're living through it.  We can combine technology with our moral aspirations.   This is the moment we get to build an inclusive society.

Daniel

The digital divide has been described as a shortest of hardware/software.  The divide is larger over time. As the basics of infrastructure come availabe,the nuances are more complex.  There is basic access and more access.  What are policy solutions that go beyond getting computers into people's hands.  Equipping people to imagine and act on your ideas?

Angela:

The first thing is to get comfortable with policy.  People don't understand policy link.   People are intimidated by policy.  Policy is premptive action.  We know what will happen.  We don't need the reports and statistical data to know the risks and how poor we are doing.  People living in poverty didn't need Katrina to know they're living in poverty.  If you know that, you can take action to avoid people in the future suffer.

Technology - preemptive action is needed.  Referenced the TOP program.  We needed that.  It was then in 2001 that we began to get to 50% of people online.  In 2004, a nation online - government saw the 50% of glass half full - and cut back on the programs.   We have the same need we had before and a new need.  We need to get the new innovations to reach people.  We need to establish resources at fed, state, and local level.   

We need forms and intermediaries at the local and national level that facilitate adoption of technology.   That's how we can speed up.  The content of the policy changes things.  You have to put people in place who know how to solve the problem.  You need intermediaries -- during this explosive innovation.

Universal service reforms - to allow nonprofits to get access to what is best - e.g. broadband.  We need to make sure that people get brandband.  Mentioned a housing project in SF that is wired.   It is starting in the low income community.   That's a good policy approach. 

If you solve the problem for those who are most vulnerable, you solve it for everyone.  Think about the curbs in sidewalk.  The curbs were for disabled people, but they help everyone.

Establish standards and methods for data sharing.  We need to liberate data with policies.  The structure isn't unique.  (Kayla Hamlin at our table was jumping up and down saying yes!)

I don't expect to have just a technology agenda, but a fully inclusive agenda and understand that technology will achieve it.

DBH:   We have one foot in the old (web1.0) and one foot in the new (web2.0).  What is like to have a foot in both web worlds and what impact has it had?

Angela:  

Mentioned their rebuilding Louisiana rebuild project.  We need to reach people all over the country who need to know what's going on.

On our own site, we're doing a forum and we're struggling how to keep it fresh.  We see the possibilities on the other site.  We need to make the move. 

We need to understand the technological possibilities to understand what we need to do.  All social change organizations are struggling - we have put ourselves out as representing the vulnerable voices.  It is very threatening that those voices can be heard directly.   If we believe what we have been saying, this is the most exciting moment.  Test the legimacy of what we're saying.  To test the authencity of your capacity to galavanise people, to be able to serve.  We are serving people who are trying to improve their own lives.

The next step is how to use those technologies to serve those people.  We are going the next steps.  We are going slowly, thoughtfully.  It is exciting, participatory.