by Balthas

How can digital, open manufacturing help to cover basic needs in crisis situations?

May 19, 2018 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia by Balthas

Bahar Kumar from Nepal Communitere speaking at the session “Crisis response makerspaces” / Copyright: Foto Jan Zappner/re:publica, Licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I report here about one of my favorite sessions at re:publica 2018, which was on „Crisis response makerspaces“. I finally had the opportunity to meet Susan Long, innovation adviser at Field Ready in Syria and Bahar Kumar, strategic adviser at Nepal Communitere. Both stressed the need to „be locally grounded“ and to build strong communities to unleash the power of makers under difficult circumstances. Here‘s the topic of the session: „A mid-wife in the mountains of Nepal, a surgeon under bombardment in Northern Syria – how can digital, distributed manufacturing support them to deliver basic needs and healthcare services they need?“ I highly recommend to check out the recording, which is online now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGoX7WdHLCE

Disclaimer: I was part of the team that supported the BMZ partnership with re:publica, including the topic „tech for good“, which featured this session.

Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

by Balthas

Made in my backyard – by and for the world. third day of re:publica is starting

May 4, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Asia by Balthas

 

Illustration of low cost prosthesis 1. Copyright, Author: Waag Society/Arne Kuilman 2012, licensed under a cc licence: Naamsvermelding 3.0 Nederland (CC BY 3.0 NL). Source: http://waag.org/en/project/low-cost-prosthesis

Illustration of low cost prosthesis 1. Copyright, Author: Waag Society/Arne Kuilman 2012, licensed under a cc licence: Naamsvermelding 3.0 Nederland (CC BY 3.0 NL). Source: http://waag.org/en/project/low-cost-prosthesis

Bas van Abel, head of the design lab at waag society, Netherlands had a great session where he spoke about empowering people and fixing our economy by moving to open peer-to-peer production communities. He gave examples of concrete work with miners in Congo, and prosthesis-makers in Indonesia.

Bas starts with a quote from Oscar Wild: “People know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.” He then gets to the argument, that social values are interlinked with economical values: Baas asks us to look at building a relational system, with the core needs of openness and transparency. “We need transparent products, where we know how they were made, and if they were made under fair conditions.”

This may mean to roll back some economic beliefs like division of labour and ‘the invisible hand of a self-regulating markets’. Baas gives the example of mineral extraction in Eastern Congo for cell phone raw materials. See e.g. the documentary ‘blood in the mobile‘.

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by Balthas

India, the (knowledge) commons and a plan for the future of democracy

April 25, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Asia by Balthas

copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

An example of a self-goverened commons: Wikipedia. Copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

It is rare these days to see high-level government thinkers talk about the commons. Here is one: Arun Maira of Indias Planning Commission makes the point that commons-based models are important tools to plan for the future of democracy worldwide.

Here is the summary: “The world is full of complex problems, but humanity’s main organizational tools — governments and markets — leave much to be desired. Arun Maira, a member of India’s Planning Commission and previously the chairman of Boston Consulting Group in India, points to a third way.”

Statue of Gandhij in  Baroda, now called Vadodara, India / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

Statue of Gandhij in Baroda, now called Vadodara, Ghandi, in my view, was one of the inventors of the “commons” for a common good.  / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

I like his focus on “Four L’s” — localization, lateralization, learning and listening, and of course his praise of Ostrom. My only criticism is, that the piece is not dwelling enough on the issue of “knowledge as a commons”, but that may be the next topic of the Indian planning commission …

And here’s the full piece.

____
Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

by Balthas

Regional Alumni Conference in Southeast Asia discusses Open Source for Healthcare, other topics

July 2, 2010 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

balthas_Hanoi_2010_300_220So this is me at InWEnt’s first regional Alumni Conference for Southeast Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the conference, I was acting as a moderator of a Workshop on “open source for healthcare” (Link now to latest version of page on the Internet Archive. Here’s a gist of the workshop as summarized back then: Free and open source software (FOSS) offers tremendous advantages to the health sector of developing countries. The session “FOSS in healthcare” at InWEnt’s 1st Interdisciplinary Alumni Conference Southeast Asia in Hanoi in July 2010 discussed these advantages. The session also offered hands-on opportunities to test drive actual FOSS electronic health records and eHealth applications in Southeast Asia. It drew on experiences by the “International Open Source Network” (IOSN) in ASEAN as a main partner in the InWEnt programme “it@foss – Promoting Free and Open Source Software in Southeast Asia” (2005-2009). Based on this, the session explored opportunities for further network building and capacity building in ASEAN in the area of “FOSS in healthcare” to strenghten open health systems as part of a regional integration framework in Southeast Asia. For the outcomes of the session, see here in section “Outcomes of the Workgroup IX”.

by Balthas

Silang – the Philippines: Asia Source 3 Meeting Reinforces Asian Free and Open Source Software Movement

November 13, 2009 in Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Copyright of logo: with Asia Source 3 Organizers (IOSN Asean+3)

While most technology conferences happen as swanky, slick, and well-rehearsed events, the recently concluded Asia Source 3 took the opposite track and ran a camp that was spartan yet spontaneous. From November 7 to 12, 2009, Asia Source 3 gathered 150 representatives from Southeast Asia to discuss developments in open source. For those six days, the campers lived in a communal environment that married fun and relaxation with exchange of ideas. “We are honored to be part of this movement through our training and network program it@foss” said Balthas Seibold, Senior Project Manager of InWEnt. Asia Source 3 marked the official highlight of five years of regional FOSS support by InWEnt in Southeast Asia. InWEnt has trained and connected more than 1000 experts from Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines in more than 30 training courses under its it@foss program.

Check more about Asia Source III at http://www.asiasource3.net, meet Balthas at the online community of AS3, check the programme at the Camp Wiki, including an afternoon track session of Balthas Seibold on “From Open Source to Open Innovation / a brainstorming on open-everything”. Or learn more about InWEnt’s work in Asia.

by Balthas

Drive for change! Balthas Seibold opens FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam conferences in Hanoi

November 14, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

FOSS Bridge logoMore than 80 IT experts gathered on 14 November 2008 at “Drive for change”, a conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) held at Horison Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. Carried out as part of the FOSS-Bridge EU-Vietnam initiative, the event was organized by InWEnt of Germany, INRIA of France, and the Institute of Information and Technology of Vietnam.

2009-2010 / Balthas Seibold presents at the first FOSS Bridge "EU-Vietnam" onference in Hanoi, Vietnam / Photo: Mario Behling for FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam / CC-Licence, see source

2009-2010 / Balthas Seibold presents at the first FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” onference in Hanoi, Vietnam / Photo: Mario Behling for FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam / CC-Licence, see source at https://secure.flickr.com/photos/fossbridge/2013873411/

“FOSS is about connecting people and businesses through knowledge. We are therefore most pleased to see that more and more players in Vietnam cross the bridge towards free and open source software”, stated organizers Vu The Binh of IOIT and Balthas Seibold of InWEnt. The conference was the culminating point of the initiative FOSS-Bridge EU-Vietnam, which has been promoting Southeast Asian software industries and cooperation with Europe through innovative collaboration on FOSS and business development since 2006.

Overall, the programme has brought together more than 50 IT-companies from Vietnam and Europe for matchmaking and twinning, and about 100 FOSS companies and organizations are registered in the online network at www.foss-bridge.org. FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam has successfully prepared more than 20 Vietnamese IT-intermediaries and IT-SMEs to spread key knowledge on how to make business based on FOSS. More information: on the conference “Drive for change” / on FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam in general / on previous key events such as the “High-Level Workshop on Open Source Requirements” (April 2008) and the “Second matchmaking, training and twinning workshop for European and Vietnamese FOSS businesses” (June 2008) / article on website of European commission.

by Balthas

New compilation of training material on Open Source Business Models for Development online

August 4, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

The it@inwent team recently added a new section to their website. This sites provides an overview of InWEnt’s main capacity building programmes and trainings in the area of “FOSS Business Models and Sustainable Development” as well as its respective training materials. Co-Editor Balthas Seibold explains that “business models based on FOSS offer great potential for developing and transition countries as well, as the development and distribution of FOSS follows the principles of ownership, local value addition, empowerment and participation. Thereby, FOSS provides ample opportunities for the development of a local ICT economy, creation and transfer of ICT knowledge, legal use of software and access of poorer communities to ICTs.” The compilation is online at the it@inwent website. (Update: Link now goes to the site archived by the Internet Archive – last version of 2012).

by Balthas

Empowering Co-operatives in Southeast Asia through Information Technology

December 12, 2007 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

logo_it@coops2Staff of co-operatives from Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines who were trained as Information Technology (IT) Specialists by the “Information Technology for Southeast Asian Co-operatives (it@coops) Project” gathered together for the “Regional Forum on it@coops: Empowering Co-operatives through Information Technology” held November 19-21, 2007, Antipolo City, Philippines. The Project is implemented from 2004-2007 in co-ops affiliated to national co-op federations in the three countries that are members of AWCF.

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by Balthas

Over 40 IT-companies cross FOSS Bridge between Europe and Vietnam

November 19, 2007 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia by Balthas

FOSS Bridge logoHanoi: A total of 42 agreements of cooperation were reached between Vietnamese and European business partners at the end of the first matchmaking event of the project “FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam” for small and medium-sized IT enterprises in Hanoi, Vietnam. Satisfied by the success of the very first twinning event in the field of open source, the consortium is committed to bringing FOSS partners from Europe and Vietnam further together. Mr. Balthas Seibold, Senior Project Manager of InWEnt Capacity Building International, Germany comments: “I am amazed by the results of this workshop. Many companies actually signed multiple agreements, and large companies like Bull, MySQL, OTRS of Europe and CMC Soft, Vietsoftware of Vietnam are on board of FOSS Bridge.” Full press release / Programme and Presentations of the workshop (Update: Link is now to latest version of the site on the Internet Archive – dated December 2007).

by Balthas

EU-Vietnamese IT project launched at CeBIT 2007

March 15, 2007 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

FOSS Bridge logoOn the 15th of March, Balthas Seibold presented a new European-Vietnamese Project at the “CeBIT” in Hannover, the world’s largest IT trade fair. He officially launched the project on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) cooperation at the LinuxForum. Until 2009 the twinning project will train Vietnamese software enterprises and developers and initiate joint software development projects in FOSS with European IT companies. It thereby aims at an affordable and sustainable ICT model for developing countries and the strengthening of the local ICT service sector. Balthas Presentation is available as a stream from the LinuxMagazine , more information is in the press release and on the website www.foss-bridge.org (UPDATE: Link to last version on the INTERNET ARCHIVE).

by Balthas

Indonesian Minister supports training camp of BMZ/InWEnt/UNDP

January 31, 2007 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

asia source 2Over 140 IT professionals of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from more than 27 countries gathered at Sukabumi, Indonesia for a nine-day Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) conference and training camp called “ASIA SOURCE II” from 22 to 30 January 2007. The Indonesian Minister for Research and Technology, Mr. Kusmayanto Kadiman showed his support to the initiative by visiting the camp in West Java two times. He emphasized the social and economic benefits and impacts of FOSS to the NGO and SME sectors and introduced the participants to “Indonesia, Go Open Source” (IGOS), an initiative of the Indonesian government which promotes the adoption of FOSS. Read more about his points and about Balthas Seibold’s speech on the conference website. Balthas has been involved in Asia Source II as co-organizer and member of the advisory group – the event is part of the regoinal programm it@foss. Personal views on the training event can be found on the blog of Asia Source II, which has also a report on “Balthas The Illusionist”.

by Balthas

FOSS@Work in Manila, Philippines

November 15, 2006 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

logo_foss_at_workOver 50 participants from Southeast Asian countries explored the chances for economic and social development through Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) at the “first FOSS@Work International Conference-Workshop for Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) in the I.T. Industry”, held at the Heritage Hotel Manila, Philippines from November 12th to 15th, 2006. In his opening speech, Balthas Seibold of InWent Capacity Building International, Germany, stressed, that new business models, innovative local FOSS products and services offer exciting opportunities for SMEs and for countries in the region, but only if the human resource base is expanded through capacity-building and training. Other keynote speakers included the Commissioner Emmanuel Lallana from the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) of the Philippines, Guest speaker Rep. Teodoro Casino and Shahid Akhtar of UNDP APDIP. Read what others said about foss@work at the account of media reports and on the official conference website. The event was one of the first actions of the regional capacity building programme it@foss.

by Balthas

COSGov Vietnam – Building cooperation via open-source for eGovernance

October 1, 2005 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Open scosgov_330ource software can boost economy, battle pirated software in Vietnam, concludes International Conference COSGov.The event was organized by InWEnt’s ICT team and opened by Balthas Seibold on 28 September 2005.

Balthas Seibold answers questions of journalists at CosGOV

More than 300 IT-Experts, governmental representatives and entrepreneurs had gathered in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi from 28-30 September 2005 for “COSGov Vietnam – Building cooperation via open-source for eGovernance”. The EU/BMZ sponsored conference is the first ever event in Vietnam to extensively cover the topic of free and open-source software (FOSS) for e-governance. For more information on the conference, see the Conference website www.cosgov.org. The full text of the press release is online at the Press release on the InWEnt website (now on the Internet Archive).

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