(or more from Jody Mahoney, our intrepid representative at WSIS)
Unlimited (if your body holds up). This was the first day of full WSIS operation. The President of Tunisia arrived this morning, the ICT4all exhibit hall was open with an array of multistakeholder exhibits, and the WSIS plenary hall was in full swing.
Three innovative organizations
CTCs in South African urban and rural communities: Refilwe Tshabalala of South Africa (who came highly recommended by David Barnard, Executive Director of SANGONeT in South Africa). Refilwe is very knowledgeable about Community Technology Centers, particularly about the social impact of CTCs. It was Refilwe's opinion that technology was in many ways the least important work of telecentres. Really good telecentres, he said, are able to address the fundamental social needs of people, providing them an introduction to techology within the social customs most familiar to them. He said a really effective telecentre understands that if technology is presented within the social customs of a group of people, not only is it likely to be adopted, but it changes the adopter, inspiring confidence and a willingness to risk.
Content: Teanau Tuiono, Online Editor, Te Kete Ipurangi, An Online Learning Centre. TKI is a bilingual (English and Maori) portal-plus web community which provides educational materials and online learning focusing on the Maori indigenous people of New Zealand.
Content: Brett Leavy, Project Leader Digital Songlines, Australian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID), focusing on new forms of human interaction with emerging content technology. ACID is host to an innovative and exciting project aimed at conserving Indigenous heritage using virtual reality technologies. Digital Songlines is an ACID project that is developing protocols, methodologies and toolkits to facilitate the collection, education and sharing of indigenous cultural heritage knowledge. The project explores the effective recording, content management and virtual reality delivery of indigenous cultural knowledge in way that are culturally sensitive and involve the indigenous custodians, leaders and communities.
Tomorrow -- the formal opening of the UN Meeting, with opening remarks from General Secretary Kofi Annan.
Three important WSIS blogs:
WSIS blog from Andy Carvin of Digital Divide Network