Monday, February 19, 2007
omidyar.net community member conference kicks off in Gulu, Uganda
Over 100 omidyar.net community members came together today in war-torn northern Uganda to for a historic conference titled: Globalizing Local Change Through Online Communities.
This is an extraordinary conference in many ways. How often do the attendees convene on the front lines of a struggle rather than in a air-conditioned windowless room that could be anywhere in the world?
Heres the top news story that came up when I Googled "Gulu". "Starting today, some 560,000 internally displaced persons who are currently living in camps, returning to their homes or resettling after years of displacement will be receiving aid worth US $3.2 million from the ICRC." (Red Cross)
Here's another story that comes up: Teen resumes her education after two years in captivity in northern Uganda. The Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have resumed talks in Juba, Southern Sudan, to end the 20-year insurgency that has left over 1 million displaced.
Here's the invitation that describes the event - much open space meeting time coordinated by long-time omidyar.net community leader Ted Ernst. "Open space" takes on a new meaning when the meeting takes place in a room with no walls. It will interesting to see how they pull it off.
Here's list of the people attending - most of them from Uganda and Kenya - including 45 from the local Gulu community.
Keep an eye on this discussion for the latest reports from the conference.
(Disclosure: Omidyar Nework, my employer, is the host of the omidyar.net online community and has provided some support for Life in Africa and this conference.)