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FW: Exciting News from Appropriate IT

From: Usha V.
Sent on: Friday, January 9, 2009 10:32 AM
Hello Everyone:

Apologies for the long hiatus in meetup activities. As you can see from the email announcement below, our plates were more than full for the past couple of months.

ICT4D meetup will be back in action in February. More announcements and requests for participation soon...

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful new year.

- usha


Hello All,

Exciting news from Appropriate IT (AI): Our Innovation Lab has found a new home.

As many of you know, AI's Innovation Lab was planned as a technology research & development lab for the NGO sector, a Skunk Works of sorts. The lab would search for innovative, cross-functional, and cross-sectoral solutions to long-standing social issues. Once a successful solution has been identified, the lab will serve as an incubation center to commercialize and scale the solution to a global level.

It was a great idea, but in the year and half of our existence, we had little time to think or work on those dream projects, let alone turn it into a reality. We were too busy securing and delivering projects for our Consulting Lab which was our main source of revenue and meant to be the primary financier of the Innovation Lab. Thankfully, one of our long-standing clients and well-wisher offered us an alternative.

Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) is a partnership of 22 organizations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East dedicated to women's and girls' empowerment and leadership. WLP has offered the space and freedom for the Innovation Lab, where we will do all that we envisioned, but on a larger transnational scale and in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment. Of course, we said yes.

As a part of this, I move to WLP as their Director of Innovation & Technology. In this new position, AI's Innovation Lab will bloom and flourish. In fact, work has already begun on a pilot SMS (text message) based youth social action network in India and two other projects in the Middle East are in the pipeline.

We have a large canvas (22 countries, 17 languages, IT centers in 6 countries, an ICT curriculum in English, Arabic, and Persian) and a broad brush (just one example is a 13,000+ strong Facebook Cause created and managed in Lebanon). And we are striving to do justice to both the cause and the tools.

Please join us as partners, developers, implementers, well-wishers, or co-conspirators as we embark on another exhilarating journey.

Usha Venkatachallam
Director of Innovation & Technology, Women's Learning Partnership
[address removed] |[masked]

President & CEO, Appropriate IT
[address removed] |[masked]

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