0415 ICAP Agenda

From: peter miller <peterm@igc.org>

To: Malia Everette, Kami Griffiths, Charlie Welch, Paul Falchi, Julie Navejas, Bob Rollins, Rand Montoya, Susan Walters, Nicholas Mournian, Rita Walters

Cc: David Nemer, Nalda Vigezzi, Valerie Landau, Sam Kellogg, Jayne Cravens, Brian Beaton, “Susan O’Donnell”, Aimée González, Chester King, Victor Fowler, Alfredo Lopez, Jamie McClelland, Steve Ronan, Mel King, Al Willis, Karen Slater, Nancy Kohn, David Rosen

Subject: Fw: Re: Community Technology agenda matters for April 15 ICAP meeting

Date: Apr 6, 2016 8:16 PM

Folks, I’ve sent the attached communication to Kenia Serrano and Leima Martinez, ICAP President and North America Specialist, re our upcoming meeting there a week from Friday and want to share it with the whole delegation and others who have been involved and helpful in the development and support of this network of activities.  best, —-peter

—–Forwarded Message—–

From: peter miller <peterm@igc.org>

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 7:55 AM

To: Kenia Serrano, Leima Martinez

Cc: Malia Everette, Kami Griffiths, Charlie Welch, Nalda Vigezzi

Subject: Community Technology agenda matters for April 15 ICAP meeting

Kenia, Leima —

Our delegation/trip is upon us — very exciting. We’re scheduled to be at ICAP a week from this Friday, after having met with three ministries involved with technology policy and practices and three prominent technology program developers, as per our schedule arranged by Malia Everette (at http://altruvistas.com/ctn/). Especially since meeting you both at NNOC last November, I’m pleased to tell you that the various pieces contributing to a progressive US-Cuba community technology effort, as I am aware of them, are coming along well and are being developed with growing interest in the U.S.  I’m hoping you will personally be able to join us for the discussion or otherwise facilitate its development since any successful project will ultimately rest on the requests and interests that are made and developed in Cuba and from Cuba and you can play a key role in helping this happen.

Among the matters and topics are:

  • hardware and software donations;
  • volunteer support, both virtual and in-person;
  • a reinforcing schedule of additional delegations, trips, and conferences;
  • a widening of a network of community technology researchers, practitioners, and other contributors.

I am including below some details involving development and possibilities in each of these areas that I am sharing with the delegation and others who are noted and involved.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of the occasion I offer a link to my paper on “Che Guevara and ICT4D in Cuba” — at https://peterbmiller.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/0125cheict4dformatted.pdf.  I know you, Kenia, will especially appreciate this as it builds upon the research and writing on Che by Helen Jaffe, in whose main work you are acknowledged for your “concern, friendship, and support.”

Looking forward to our meeting, en solidaridad —

Peter Miller


* * * *

Progressive U.S.-Cuba Community Technology Project/Network Notes

Hardware/software donations — We have people in our delegation from TecsChange and TechSoupGlobal that deal specifically with programs involved in these areas, Charlie Welch and Paul Falchi. Charlie has been sending computers to Latin America and elsewhere across the globe for three decades and coordinates the July26.org Cuba solidarity group in Boston; Paul was also one of the founders of Sovintel, the first US-Russian telecommunications services company, a partnership between GTE and Soviet/Russian Ministry of Communications and co-founded iWorldServices which developed an open source based platform with mobile app communications services/VoIP.

We have good indications of network needs for the Media Room of the Cuban National Library and equipment for digitalizing patrimonial collections in the provincial libraries, and for similar rooms at the University of Havana and 4-5 other universities.  We appreciate and applaud the Cuban commitment to Open Source software solutions and look to tap into the applications development experience we have across a range of individuals and organizations.

Volunteer support — A number of us have ground floor experience in establishing and overseeing Community Technology Centers (CTCs)/telecentres as the generally-acknowledged basic approach for dealing with matters of digital inclusion, equity and access across the globe.  Kami Griffiths, the Executive Director of the Community Technology Network of the Bay Area, is, along with Malia, the prime organizer of this delegation. We have a dedicated and committed interest in sharing our experience, including the major role that volunteers play in developing these programs.  Consider the experience of one of our colleagues, Jayne Cravens, who has specialized in developing and supporting programs for virtual volunteers for decades and especially her blog entries around her recent trip to Cuba, what she saw (and what she didn’t see), at http://coyotecommunications.com/coyoteblog/tag/cuba/.

There is an opportunity at hand to catalyze both in-person volunteers based on outreach in meeting stated needs by those interested in visiting Cuba and doing so hand-in-hand with offering needed services that may be of use, just as there are opportunities for collaboration and support at a distance.

An overlapping, reinforcing schedule of additional delegations, trips, conferences — Before Jayne Cravens trip noted above, our Community Informatics (CI) colleague David Nemer, who studied CTCs in favelas / urban slums in Brazil, spent a good part of January traveling around Cuba. Later that month CI colleagues Susan O’Donnell and Brian Beaton from the University of New Brunswick gave invited presentations on “How indigenous communities across Canada are using digital technologies” at a conference at the University of Havana. The Open Technology Exchange is being organized on the U.S. side by Valerie Landau / landautravel.com in a program with Pedro Urra and Yudivian Almeida Cruz, both of whom we are scheduled to meet with. There is a movement afoot to help get Pedro Urra to the 2016 CI conference in Prato, Italy later this year (http://cirn.wikispaces.com) and/or develop some teleconferencing arrangements for meeting and exchanges while that takes place.  Regularly scheduled technology expos and gatherings in Cuba — www.informaticahabana.cu and www.felti.org —may offer some special opportunities for catalyzing community technology exchanges and projects as well. As individual and group travel and gatherings of various sorts increase and become easier and more frequent, hopefully we can develop an awareness of their scope and growth and an on-going dialogue and exchange that enriches them all.

A widening of the progressive US-Cuba community technology network — Many of the above developments are starting to be noted and discussed on a wide-variety of electronic lists for computer professionals, community informatics specialists, those involved with technology in the nonprofit/NGO and community sectors, libraries, in local networks, e-democracy projects, advocacy and organizing, community access access television, liberationtechnology, and Cuba solidarity work.  In important ways, it’s not even right to speak of a specific progressive US-Cuba community technology network, since the terrain is much broader, witness the bilingual Mexican/latino dimensions of Mayfirst.org and the sweep of afrocubaweb.com as well as our Canadian and international CI ties.

There are special reasons and a special excitement among those of us in the U.S., to be sure. Our delegation provides a good timely cadre, some of whom are noted above along with Rand Montoya, Julie Navejas-Hernandez, Bob Rollins, Rita Walters, Susan Walters, and Nicholas Mournian, people whose biographies and introductions reflect experience in:

  • system and database administration and fundraising in a variety NGO and community settings including the Wikimedia Foundation;
  • the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arms of technology companies and TechSoup, the largest NPO/NGO/library technology support organization in the U.S.;
  • educational technology (including strategic planning, connectivity, funding development, training, support) for underserved communities, currently with the US-African Children’s Fellowship;
  • the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education and the Los Angeles City Council, chairing the Committee that oversees the Library Department;
  • Community Relations for the California Emerging Technology Fund;
  • the original web effort, Socially Positive Software Applications Development, and support for a number of NPOs including one for web-based science activities for children.

We look forward with great enthusiasm to meeting with you.


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