NetSquared Camps Update – December 2012

Jim Lynch's picture

In the past year, all around the world, intelligent, technologically savvy people met up to collaborate for social impact. In the NetSquared camps, nonprofits/NGOs, developers, designers and entrepreneurs were brought into a shared space by NetSquard local organizers so they could build projects and develop  collaborative relationships.  Find below summaries of the events that took place in six locations.


In Honolulu, a dedicated group of people used a novel approach to solve food insecurity among elders in Oahu.  They had a simple specific goal, increase recruitment and retention of meals on wheels drivers.  With the help of AARP Hawaii, instead of holding one large theatre style conference, small groups of people, sometimes in pairs, met together several times over two months to discuss ways in which they can utilize social media to met their goal. Among the strategies discussed was developing informational videos, improving the SEO of Meals on Wheels website, Facebook post cards as well as setting up social media training for college students to help spread the word.

In Central Africa, the camp brought together local NetSquared groups, civil society, diplomatic institutions, governments and the technology sector to discuss the social web and non governmental diplomacy.  There were inspiring and spirited discussions on the importance of information exchange, the challenges of language barriers as well as getting necessary funding.  The participants were also trained in using apps among them Ushahidi (crowd mapping – using web 2.0 to communicate) which is used to gather community alerts in a short time interval that can be used to track events.

In Paris, 30 passionate change makers from around Europe met up to discuss how to use technology to affect social change and solve problems in their local communities.  They identified their roles and constituents using “slash/slash paper hack” where each participant was invited to introduce the different hats they wear as innovators.

In Oceania, changemakers from two different countries (Australia and New Zealand) and four different cities (Adelaide, Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland) came together in a single online event using  Google+ Hangouts and a livestream on YouTube, allowing the speakers from each city to showcase their projects to a global audience.   Will in Auckland spoke about how uses gamification to encourage people to take action against extreme poverty.  Jon in Wellington, spoke how Loomio used ideas from the Occupy movements to allow people to organise themselves better in a democratic way to make better decisions.  Will from Melbourne spoke about his start-up, Clarity Engine, helps Gen-Y ers share their philanthropic activity with their friends.  Finally, in Adelaide, Evan of Our World Today explains how his organization uses the Internet to tell positive news stories that often get ignored by traditional media.  

In Toronto this past October, our organize, Tierney Smith, hosted a one-day unconference-style event called NetSquared Camp Toronto. With 101 participants and 16 sessions, it was a busy and very full day with lots of learning and networking. Since a video is worth a million word, have a look at what all went on:

The NetSquaredchapter of Guatemala was organized by Maria Zaghi with support fromCampus TechnologyandGuatemalaTecAssociationand sponsored bySAP. Maria organized a one-day event attended by over 40 people from all over Guatemala.

Here are the videos and social media links from the event (of course in Spanish):

Image: Maria Zaghi, Guatemala NetSquared Camp