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by Balthas

Dortmund: Balthas Seibold speaks at seminar on “Strengthening Innovation Systems in the Context of Development Cooperation”

October 8, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Innovation: What role for ICTs and for Open approaches? This has been a guiding question for a joint talk by gtz’s Thorsten Scherf and InWEnt’s Balthas Seibold at a symposium and seminar organized in Dortmund for gtz staff and other experts on innovation systems promotion. Balthas Seibold pointed out, how we might be moving from the Digital Divide to an Innovation Divide, how ICTs and „Open Innovation“ is linked to the example of Free and Open Source Software and what role the knowledge commons may play for innovation. For an overview of the seminar’s programm, see the Agenda, for details on the input, see the presentation slides.

by Balthas

Johannesburg: Balthas Seibold opens first regional course on Business and Open Source in South Africa

July 14, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

zen_ict_new_logoHow can Southern African IT-businesses make money with Free and Open Source Software? – this one of the questions discussed at the regional course on “Advanced African Business Models with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)“. The two-week event started on July 13 at University of Witwatersrand, (Wits) in Johannesburg and is the first in a series of training-of-trainer (ToT) events in Southern and East Africa related to the programme “ict@innovation – – Creating Business and Learning Opportunities with Free and Open Source Software in Africa”. More on the course is online at the ict@innovation website, more on the programme, FOSS and Balthas’ work in Africa is in the section InWEnt: Africa & Open Source.

by Balthas

From snowball to avalanche. Article on impact research published

March 1, 2009 in News on publications by Balthas

And yet another publication to promote on this page. It’s published at the international magazine “D+C Development and Cooperation / E+Z Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit 2009/01”, and it’s about impact measurement in development cooperation. In the article Balthas Seibold takes the ICT capacity-building project it@coops of InWEnt to illustrate that it makes sense to examine what works – and how as many people as possible can be reached. The article is online both in English and in German.

by Balthas

The global digital divide is an innovation and learning divide!

February 23, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source IT business by Balthas

This article examines some of the ethical challenges and solutions related to the digital divide with a focus on how capacity building is crucial to bridge the different divides. The article is part of the volume “Internetökonomie und Ethik” (= The Economy of the Internet and Ethics) published by the renowed German editing house “Duncker & Humblot” in Berlin. In the article, Balthas Seibold postulates that from an ethical perspective, access to internet is not optional in developing countries and that four layers of Internet (physical layer, logical layer, content layer, learning layer) need to be kept open in order to allow for innovation and global digital equality (“Gütergerechtigkeit”). The article is online in German here: Publikationsseite.

by Balthas

Open Everything Berlin! Taking part in a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’

December 6, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Open Everything is a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’. It gathers people using openness to create and improve software, education, media, philanthropy, architecture, neighbourhoods, workplaces and the society we live in: everything. It’s about thinking, doing and being open. Balthas Seibold took part in this global conversation at the 6th event taking place in Berlin. He spoke about “Open Development Cooperation through Capacity Building in Free and Open Source Software?”. The session discussed, how/if the principles of openness are resonating with some key principles of Development Cooperation in general and capacity-building support to initiatives in “Free and Open Source Software” in Asia in Africa in particular. More information: the presentation of Balthas Seibold / the Open Everything website / the Open Everything Berlin Wiki.

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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.

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Release of advanced e-learning courses on “Open Source & More IT for African Business”

September 1, 2008 in News on publications, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

InWEnt/it@ab releases a series of advanced e-learning courses on Information Technology (IT)- “Open Source & More IT for African Business” focussing on the needs of business related IT consultancy in Africa. The courses introduce relevant and adapted key concepts and applications such as E-Business Applications & Architecture / IT Security / Open Source IT (including lessons on Ubuntu Linux Installation, Multimedia, Web Server, Groupware, Network Printing) / Web Publishing / E-Learning as well as /Zope & the Collaborative Learning Environment CLE2. In the spirit of sharing and mutual capacity-building, this series of e-learning courses is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence. We are therefore looking forward to seeing further distribution, remixing and updating of the courses that make up “Open Source & more IT for African Business”. The editing team included Benjamin Coester, Petra Hagemann, Balthas Seibold, Christiane Weber, and Kerstin Nolte . Test your IT-knowledge! Check the courses online (Update: since 2011 hosted on GIZ’s E-Academy).

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Education for a free information society! Balthas Seibold on panel on “Free software & business models for IT companies”

August 17, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

SELF_logoHow can sustainable business models in Free Software grow local IT companies in Africa and worldwide? This was one of the main topics of an international panel discussion at the international conference “Free Knowledge Free Technology – Education for a free information society ” held in Barcelona, Spain from July 15 to July 17 2008. Balthas Seibold spoke about Sustainability in Development Cooperation and FOSS, emerging FOSS business models in Africa, Strategies for FOSS Market Segments as well as the future of FOSS Business Models in developing countries. During an intensive three day period, participants from the Philippines, Mexico, Tanzania, Germany, USA, and many other countries around the world, not excluding Spain itself, gathered around the Free Knowledge, Free Technology conference in Barcelona. The conference, organised by the SELF Project, focused on the production and sharing of free educational and training materials about the concept of Free Software. More information: Article on the conference / presentation of Balthas Seibold at the panel discussion on “Free software and business models for IT companies” / website of the conference SELF and the panel.

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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).

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Multi-year training programme on Open Source Software in Africa launched in Senegal

March 17, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

zen_ict_new_logoDakar – Balthas Seibold of InWent announced a new regional program called “ict@innovation” at the Pan-African Idlelo 3 Conference in Dakar on 17.03.2008. ict@innovation will focus on fostering small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the field of Free and Open Source Software through regional networking and strengthening of consulting capacities of ICT associations and training institutions in Southern and East Africa. Seibold stressed the potential of FOSS for the promotion of the private sector in Africa and an enabling environment for sustainable economic development, a focus of Germany’s cooperation through the BMZ. The theme of Idlelo 3 was “Making the Knowledge Economy Work for Africa”. Other speakers included Nnenna Nwakanma and Fatimata Seye-Sylla of FOSSFA, Ibrahima Niang (representative of Abou Salam Sall, UCAD’s Rector), Mohamed Tidiane Seck from ADIE, Bassirou Guissé, the Secretary General of the ministry of Infrastructure, Land Transportation and Telecoms for Senegal, Pierre Ouédraogo from OIF, and Lewis Rabkin, representing the South African Minister Geraldine Fraser Moleketi. More information is available in the official report / InWEnt’s press release (eng) / the presentation of Balthas Seibold (eng) and a / feature article on Idlelo3 (eng) , which appeared in the Linux Pro Magazine (eng).

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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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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).

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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

Which kind of e-learning technology for development cooperation?

February 14, 2007 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

This question led the discussions at a roundtable of the International LEARNTEC Forum on 13 February 2007 organized by the “German network of e-learning providers D-ELAN” and Learntec, a leading German trade fair for educational and information technology. Balthas Seibold was on the panel with Arndt Bubenzer, common sense, Beate Dippmar, GTZ, Christina Neuhoff, time4you GmbH and Thea Payome, CHECKpoint eLearning (moderator) on: “Open Source or proprietary software: Where is e-learning heading within in German Development Cooperation?”. More on the roundtable is online at the site of Learntec (partly in German) (UPDATE – Link is not to latest version of the site on Internet Archive).

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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”.