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Doing & Learning: GlobalNet21 & Africa Changemakers Group

Co-hosted by GlobalNet21 and Impact Hub Westminster.

Two of our members, Guy Cowley and Margaret Thorli will share the visions and challenges of their practical projects in Africa, including what they've learned and the wisdom of hindsight.

Guy has a business background, which took him to work in Africa for many years. He is now supporting education-oriented charities working in Tanzania and Kenya, including one working with deaf children, and another with a strong ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) element. These are projects that he has been closely involved with locally in a practical way. He is also doing an MA in Online Education with the UK Open University (currently studying a module on Education for Development).

Margaret is a Sierra Leonine who grew up in London. Before the Civil War she used to visit Sierra Leone a lot and her eldest son grew up there and was among the last people that were evacuated. She is the founder and director of Hope and Restoration Ltd, trading as H&R Training Professionals. It runs workshops such as: Business Starts, Employability, Personal Development and Mentoring. Margaret is due back from Sierra Leone a week before our meeting, and will be sharing the latest on-the-ground realities.

We also want to draw on "the wisdom in the room" so we'll put some time aside for discussion.

If you're involved in a practical project that you'd like to share with the group during 2014 please let us know.

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    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks, Guy, I was sorry to miss the session but will check out the websites. What is your involvement with Trusts for African Schools?

      January 21, 2014

    • Guy C.

      I'm a Trustee of the charity and help with finances and IT issues.

      January 21, 2014

  • Michael Y.

    very interesting presentations, hope to see that we
    can end up taking it somewhere !

    January 15, 2014

  • Doug M.

    Thanks for an excellent meeting yesterday. Links for the two organisations I mentioned are:


    They are both international in outlook and I am keen to suppport social enterprise projects in Africa.

    January 15, 2014

  • David N.

    Sorry I cannot make it to London this time. Like to hear more about the Kenyan projects (I worked at the Kenyatta University AT Centre) and Sierra Leone (I consulted on setting up a Public Sector Academy there).

    1 · January 13, 2014

    • Pamela M.

      Maybe it will be easier for you to join us online. I'm starting to grow the group through face-to-face meetups, but hope we will increasingly spill over into online spaces as well.

      January 13, 2014

    • David N.

      MIT are developing a tool to have multiple Google hangout meetings at the same time, http://unhangout.medi...­

      January 15, 2014

  • hoyun

    It was so good to meet you guys.
    I am thinking what I can do with Africans. I am studying at the business school but, going to be change maker in the future. I hope so^__^. The only issue is that I don't know what I can do so well.
    I have a background regarding the operation, the strategy, and the finance management in the international NGO. Now, I will attend this GlobalNet 21 group more actively to identify and make clear what I really want to do after graduation.
    I would like to say it was so informative session and nice to meet you guys. But it will be either.
    See you soon.
    Take care....

    January 15, 2014

  • Hilary

    Very informative for learning more about how Africans think of aid.

    January 14, 2014

  • Pamela M.

    Peter has put up some interesting questions. If you have any questions (or answers) please feel free to add them here before the session. Tomorrow, after Guy and Margaret have told us about their projects, we plan to gather up questions and then break into groups to discuss them and try to "harvest the wisdom in the room".

    January 13, 2014

  • Prodeepta D.

    Sorry, I cannot make it as I am away in India till 22 Jan.

    January 8, 2014

    • Pamela M.

      Thanks for letting us know.

      January 13, 2014

  • M Noor Nabiul A.

    I've read the above instructions and understood the matter about the membership. I'm sorry to say that I do agree in principle that members should pay subscription but I am not able to pay. If you would like to stay my membership without with yor network. I try to pay when I'll be able to pay.

    Thank you so much for good dicision.

    M Noor

    January 13, 2014

    • Francis S.

      Dont worry. e never deny membership to those who cannot pay at the moment for whatever reason so please consider yourself a member and join in with any of our events.

      January 13, 2014

    • Pamela M.

      Thank you Francis and M Noor for discussing this openly. There are many expenses in running a group like this and they do need to be covered, but we don't want anyone to ever be left out who is genuinely finding it too hard to cover the membership fee. You can approach Francis privately about this.

      January 13, 2014

  • Lydia T.

    Sorry won't be able to attend as out of the country till mid-end Febr. However will keep following on internet your activities . All the best .

    1 · January 12, 2014

  • Pamela M.

    For everyone's benefit in the group I've written up some notes about who we are and how we came about - GlobalNet21 and Africa group - I'm looking forward to meeting members old and new on Tuesday. Newcomers - you are very welcome to the group. (Sorry - for problem with the link on previous, now deleted, version of this post.)

    January 11, 2014

  • Peter J.

    Can the team suggest how to give investors confidence in "war-torn" countries?

    I have a Somali friend, who recognises clearly the significant natural resources that Somalia have, such as minerals, fish, food, but struggles to get sufficient interest from low-tech, risk ready UK investors who can help start to rebuild the country through trade.

    Issues include, but are not limited to:

    1) Lack of civil infrastructure
    2) Lack of transport infrastructure
    3) Lack of low-tech or mobile solutions to help "make a start"
    4) Lack of risk management models to give investors confidence

    As evenings are difficult for me, I can really only do daytimes, I hope to join the Africa Change group, and would welcome someone getting back to me on this. Fresh ideas and preferably experience would be welcome in trying to help my friend move his ideas forward and make some of them more viable, and in the end real.

    Warm Regards to all, Peter.

    January 10, 2014

    • Peter J.

      And I should also add: 5) UKTI have no country office there, which would also give investors more confidence

      January 10, 2014

    • Pamela M.

      Hi Peter. Some great questions. By the way in GN21 and Africa group "our team" is anyone in the group who can offer a useful contribution to your questions - either face-to-face during the "Q&A/discussion­" part of the meetup or here, online, before or afterwards.

      January 10, 2014

  • Pamela M.

    "Doing and Learning" is the name of this session, and is also the ethos of the GN21 and Africa group. This is a group where people can share what they're doing (or hope to do) and we can all learn from each other and help people in what they are trying to do. This session we're focussing on what Guy and Margaret and doing - but when it comes to what they are learning and need to learn we hope to tap into "the wisdom in the room". Gradually I hope to help everyone with a project related to Africa showcase it so we can all learn from each other. If that interests you please let me know through the conversation on this page. Later in the year (possibly March) we'll have a Speakers Corner event like the GlobalNet21 one last year - to learn more about what people are doing.

    January 8, 2014

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