Acevedo, Manuel has been involved in information and communication technology (ICT) for human development since 1994, when he joined UNDP in Cuba and helped set up the INFOMED national public health network. He was part of the Info XXI group at UNDP HQ in 1996-97, promoting the introduction of ICT in the operations and culture of the organization. In 2000 he set up a novel ‘e-Volunteering’ unit at the UN Volunteers agency, where initiatives like UNITeS (the United Nations Information Technology Service) or the UN Online Volunteering Service were launched and managed. He served on the task force establishing a ‘Private Sector Strategy’ for the agency, partly based on experiences with companies in those ICT4D initiatives. He participated in the UN ICT Task Force, serving as co-chair of the Capacity Building Committee. He represented the UN Volunteers programme during the preparatory phase of the 1st phase of the World Summit for the Information Society, preparing the report ‘Volunteering in the Information Society’. Since late 2003 he works as an independent consultant, and is working on a Ph.D., doing research on ICT mainstreaming in large development cooperation agencies, and studying the crossover between the ‘human development’ and ‘network society’ paradigms. He is introducing ICT4D into the curricula of some academic programmes about Development and Cooperation in his native Spain, and also promoting the integration of ICT into Spain´s international cooperation policies. He lives in Madrid.
Anderson, Jon W., is an anthropologist, has taught in Germany and Norway, and currently is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the Catholic University of America. He is co-director of the Arab Information Project with Michael C. Hudson at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, where he created the first course in North America on new media and information technologies in the Middle East. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, chair of the Electronic Publication Committee of the Middle East Studies Association and the Advisory Group on Electronic Communication of the American Anthropological Association, and founding editor of Working Papers on New Media: Information Technology in the Middle East. His research has ranged from tribal culture and Islamic cosmology to new media in Islamic cyberspace and information technology in Arab countries, where he has conducted research in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Recent publications include ‘Vers une theorie technopractique de ‘Internet dans le monde Arabe”; (Maghreb-Machrek, 2004), ‘New media, new publics: Reconfiguring the public sphere of Islam’; (Social Research, Fall 2003), ‘New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere’ (co-edited with Dale Eickelman, 1999; second edition 2003), ‘Arabizing the Internet (1998); The Internet in the Middle East’; (Middle East Executive Reports, December 1997); Globalizing Politics and Religion in the Muslim World’; (Journal of Electronic Publishing, September 1996).
Bendrath, Ralf, (37) is a political scientist, currently part of the Collaborative Research Center “Transformations of the State” at the University of Bremen conducting a case study on privacy regulation in the project “Regulation and Legitimacy on the Internet”. He has worked extensively on cyber-security, information warfare, international security policy, and peace research. Ralf Bendrath is also chief editor of worldsummit2005.org, the leading civil society website on the WSIS. In WSIS Civil Society, he is co-coordinator of the international “Privacy and Security” Working Group and active in several caucuses. He was a civil society member in the German government delegation to the WSIS Geneva summit in 2003. He is a founding member of the German advocacy group ‘Netzwerk Neue Medien’ and also active in European Digital Rights (EDRi). His research network “Forschungsgruppe Informationsgesellschaft und Sicherheitspolitik” (FOGIS) has organized the first public international conference on ‘Arms Control in Cyberspace’.
Benjamin, Solomon is an independent researcher operating from Bangalore, India. He received his doctorate from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Master’s degree in housing and settlement design from the Department of Architecture at MIT. Dr. Benjamin focuses on issues of urban governance, economy and poverty. Over the last two years, Benjamin has focused on the way Indian cities are being re-structured by big business in collaboration with international capital. The specific focus here, in the case of Bangalore, is on politics of land and city administration as influenced by this city’s IT elite. In particular he focused on the way e-governance has re-worked land titles to facilitate the entry of the corporate groups. At present he is working on the so-called urban reform agenda promoted by US-AID and the World Bank in particular. Benjamin was a keynote speaker at several Worldbank symposia, presenting his study on the influence of business on land politics in Bangalore. Benjamin was sector leader Economic and Livelihood Development for the design phase of the Kolkata (Calcutta) Urban Services Program (KUSP) funded by DFID. He has lectured extensively in universities in research institutes in the US and Europe, and has joined several international research projects. He has consulted to the UNDP, UN-Habitat, SDC and advised various national level policy groups and state governments. He is a visiting faculty at the National Law School in Bangalore. Benjamin’s publications include ‘Urban land transformation for pro-poor economies’ in ‘Differentiation in South Africa and Indian Cities’ in Geoforum (Pergamon Press) Volume 35, Issue 2 (March 2004), edited by S. Oldfield, 177-187, and (2000-2001) Democracy, Inclusive Governance, and poverty in Bangalore as part of a series ‘Urban Governance, Partnership, and Poverty’. IDD, School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham (2000-1).
Biekart, Kees, is a political scientist, holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the international Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. His research deals with civil society, democracy and the role of NGOs, with an emphasis on Latin America. He is also a fellow of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute, where he worked in the 1990s coordinating ‘activist research projects’ on and with the Central American peasant movement, the politics of European NGOs, and on new social movements. His publications include ‘The Politics of Civil Society Building: European Private Aid Agencies and Democratic Transitions in Central America’ (TNI/International Books 1999) and ‘Compassion and Calculation: The Business of Private Foreign Aid’, co-edited with David Sogge and John Saxby (TNI/Pluto 1996). He is currently living in Amsterdam and otherwise travelling in the global orbit.
Blommestein, Neeltje (1973, Netherlands). Neeltje is (co-)responsible for IICD’s Monitoring & Evaluation system and coordinating M&E activities in Burkina Faso, Mali, Zambia and Uganda. She used to coordinate the Global Teenager Project, a worldwide educational project. Educational background: Msc in Business Information Systems.
Burch, Sally is a British journalist, based in Ecuador since 1983. She is executive director of the Agencia Latinoamericana de Información (ALAI), a regional communications organization linked to social movements. During the first phase of the WSIS process, she acted as joint coordinator of the civil society working group on ‘content and themes’. In 1993-95, in the run-up to the 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995), she was coordinator of the global Women’s Networking Support Program of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She has published numerous articles on ICTs, social networking and democratization of communication, and is co-author of three books on these issues, (with Osvaldo León and Eduardo Tamayo), published by ALAI, which are available online: ‘Social Movements on the Net’, October 2001; ‘Se cayó el sistema: Enredos de la Sociedad de la Información’, July 2004; ‘Movimientos Sociales y Comunicación’, febrero 2005 (to be published shortly in an abbreviated English version).
Sally Burch talks about her WSIS experiences and how social movements are linking up in order to exchange experiences and concepts. Solidarity is no longer going in one direction, from North to South. The World Social Forum is creating a new platform where social movements, that previously only worked on one issue, can come together. Burch stresses the need for communication rights in a media landscape which is increasingly dominated by big players and converging technologies.
Busaniche, Beatriz , is a free software activist and a member of Fundación Vía Libre, Argentina. She has a Mass Communication Degree from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, and is currently following Sociology Studies at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has participated actively in the whole WSIS process from the Southern hemisphere. She is actively engaged in the Education, Academia and Research caucus (former civil society bureau member), and in the Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks (PCT) working group. Together with the Free Software Foundation Europe, Fundación Vía Libre followed the WGIG Process, by sending comments to IPR Executive Summary and Cibersecurity and Cibercrimen Issue Paper. She works on Free Software, Patents, copyrights and trademarks and Education. She attended events and gave speeches throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. Recent publications include: Free Software Foundation Europe and Fundacion Vía Libre: “Comments on IPR and Cybercrime and cybersecurity Issue Papers. “WGIG; with Diego Levis”Between words and actions – Civil Society and Education at WSIS”, ITID Journal (Information Technologies and International Development) MIT Press; ” – algunos duelos jurídicos por la distribución del conocimiento”, México DF, October, 2004, Heinrich Boell Foundation (in Spanish), and “Patentes de Software – ¿Por qué las pymes y organizaciones sociales deben decir NO?” (in Spanish).
The free software activist Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina), member of Fundacion Via Libre, talks about the free software community and its ethics, the need to shift from technical to political discussion of software and ICT, and the tendency to approach ICT as a new utopianism. She addresses civil society as a dangerous concept that shifts emphasis from citizens and the grassroots to self-selected organizations marked by their dependence on donors and the burden of having to ‘represent’. Busaniche places the development of free software into a broader political, even revolutionary perspective.
Butt, Danny works as a writer, consultant, and educator on culture and technology, based in Aotearoa New Zealand. His last few years were spent in the academic sector; including being founding Director of the Creative Industries Research Centre at the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in Hamilton, which he left to do more research and consultancy, including in cultural and political issues. Besides occasional organizational consultancy, Danny is the New Zealand member on the Panel of Authors for UNDP/IDRC/ORBICOM’s Digital Review of Asia Pacific. He is also chairing the Place, Ground and Practice Working Group for the Pacific Rim New Media Summit at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts 2006.
Carnu, Andreea Iuliana is a Romanian born new media artist and activist. Between 1991 and 2004 she lived in the USA where she obtained a BA in new media art and foreign languages(french, german and italian); she has recently moved to the Netherlands. She is a co-founder of Indymedia-Romania and has recently begun organizing Dorkbot Eindhoven. Her interests lie at the intersections between art, technology and theory.
Chaparro, Enrique A., (48, Buenos Aires) is an information security consultant and researcher, and a free software advocate. He has worked as a consultant for numerous private sector companies, governments throughout Latin America, and multilateral organizations as the United Nations Development Programme and the InterAmerican Development Bank. He is also a frequent speaker on free software and information security issues, and as such he has given talks for organizations and universities in Latin America, Europe and the U.S. His most recent field of research is the set of complex relationships between computer technology and society, with a special focus on the appropriation of knowledge and the artificial barriers to development posed by the aggressive “intellectual property” policies set forth by the U.S. and Western Europe. He is a member of Fundacion Via Libre, an Argentinian NGO focused on the sharing of knowledge, and on free software as its vehicle. He is also a member of IACR (the International Association of Cryptologic Research), IEEE CS Technical Committee on Security and Privacy, and the Argentinian representative before Technical Committee 11 (Security) of IFIP (International Federation of Information Processing). Since 2002, he has been a member of the FSF Free Software Award Committee. Mr. Chaparro holds a degree in Mathematics from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and M.S. and M.Phil. degrees from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Royal Holloway – University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.
For Enrique Chaparro (Buenos Aires), the buzzwords in the ICT for Development discourse (info-society, info-development) are simply substitutes for an older discourse. He focuses on free and open source software, but acknowledges that computers will neither end world poverty nor close the digital divide. A firm believer in free markets – ideally, everyone getting into the market has an equal position, without taxes or monopolies -, he does not expect such markets to exist anytime soon, even given the efforts and hard work by many civil society organizations in reigning in dominant market actors.
Cisler, Steve is a librarian by training who only began using computers when he was middle-aged (42). He had a one Macintosh public computer lab in his branch library in the San Francisco area in 1984. In 1985 he joined The Well, a computer conferencing system, and ran a forum on information and libraries for many years. In 1988 at Apple Computer library he started a grant program called ‘Apple Library of Tomorrow’. He made dozens of grants for innovative projects in the U.S. and Canadian museums and libraries. He supported the first copyright free online book about the Internet (Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Big Dummies Guide to the Internet”), and at the same time he became very interested in local community networks like the Free-Nets and early citizen-run community web sites. He worked on de-regulation of the radio frequencies and standards that became known as 802.11 or Wi-Fi. Over the past seven years he has consulted in Latin America, Thailand, Jordan, and Uganda on short-term ICT projects involving telecenters, school computer labs, and indigenous groups. Texts: EduAction: Product Placement in Learning Environments, Digital Divide:Metastasis of a Buzzword.
Through examples from his 8-month, 30,000 km offline travels, Steve Cisler (USA) reflects on whether or not there really is a need for the kinds of information technologies he used to promote as an Apple researcher and IT consultant. Reporting on his encounters, he raises a number of questions regarding ICT4D approaches, including the allocation of development resources, the emphasis on different kinds of literacy, the need to write grant applications that are ‘buzzword compliant’, and the total-cost-of-ownership model as an alternative and more comprehensive approach to project evaluation.
Claassen, Heimo (Journalist): Earlier German, now Belgian national, thus “European” of sorts; Sociologist by origin (Frankfurt/Main “School” for the theoretical, Lund/Sweden University for the empirical part), working as independent journalist from Brussels (for German language papers/media, some English language publications too) mostly on North/South relations, for some three decades by now; thus involved “from the beginnings” in the “digital divide” (and on the very practial side of it too – e.g., how to get out news from Mobutu’s Kinshasa or Apartheid South Africa.) More theoretical-analytical involvement with the upcoming “browser war” in the mid-90s (e.g., at the German IMD conference ’98. A number of current publications on “digital divide” issues, and editing of thematic issues of the German Entwicklungspolitik magazine (#11/2002, featuring Roberto Verzola e.a., and in the same journal, 3/11/2003 on the onset to the WSIS).
Dean, Jodi teaches political theory, feminist legal theory and ‘Public Spheres, Globalization and Democracy’ as an Associate Professor in the department of Political Science, Hobart-William Smith, Geneva, NY. Dean’s research and writing focuses on the contemporary space or possibility of politics. A current research project is ‘We are Geneva’, a community media project that draws from disadvantaged people’s familiarity with cell phones to involve them in collaborative journalism on the web. Jodi Dean is co-editor (together wit Jon Anderson and Geert Lovink) of ‘Reformatting Politics’, a collection of work from the SSRC internet and civil society project. Books include: Solidarity of Strangers (1996), Aliens in America (1998), Publicity’s Secret (2002). Dean has edited Feminism and the New Democracy (1997), Cultural Studies and Political Theory (2000), and with Paul A. Passavant, Empire’s New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri. Also see her weblog and her homepage.
Dinesh, T.B. leads a software product development team in Bangalore, India, for the past five years. He has been working on open source Web based Technologies with special emphasis on enabling and empowering the non-profit and citizen based organizations. Development of the Pantoto communities software and its application domains have gotten him excited about various activities and groups in social development sector. Janastu is an NGO that is setup to promote active involvement with projects in the social development sector. His work involves some traveling mostly in India in with regards to ICT applications and other issue based support for NGOs. Due to his experience of living in Bangalore, establishing and running a development team and deploying Web applications for Indian needs; and as a result of organizing discussions on IT and Society, he has been forced to notice the IT capabilities and challenges present in Bangalore and in India. Prior to his endeavors in Bangalore, Dinesh worked in The Silicon Valley, where a few friends envisioned and designed the Pantoto project. His earlier work was centered at CWI in Amsterdam as a research scientist, where he worked in the area of programming environment generation. Dinesh, received his PhD from University of Iowa, and B.Eng from India.
Eliasz, Toni is a rising young visionary advocate, and a speaker on international digital divide issues. He has gained a reputation as a mission driven social entrepreneur with the aim to understand the opportunities and risks of future technologies (especially Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs) and use this knowledge to contribute towards sustainable world and society. Toni is one of the key figures of a Global eRiding Network, a world-wide movement of non-profit technology consultants. Toni co-founded Ungana-Afrika, a regional ICT capacity building organization, that incubates and manages ICT support programs within Southern Africa’s development community. As an executive director of ngana-Afrika his main responsibility is the overall performance of the organisation with focus on the strategy, fund-raising, and partnerships development. Before Ungana-Afrika, Toni had six years career experience combining technology and business positions in software industry in Finland. He holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Sciences from University of Helsinki. During his free time, Toni is continuing his Ph.D. studies focusing on the Global Information Society.
Endt, Menno is an Amsterdam-based student/artist of Media and Culture, with a strong focus on social network theory. He was involved in the production of the issuecrawler-movie for an installation at the ZKM exhibition ‘making things public’ in Karlsruhe, Germany. For incommunicado 05, Menno researched the ICT4D situation in Iran and the involvement of the Iranian government in stimulating the use of ICT.
Esterhuysen, Anriette (South Africa) is the Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications, an international nongovernmental organization that focuses on the use of information and communication technologies by civil society for social justice and development. She was Executive Director of SANGONET, an electronic information and communications service provider for the development sector in South Africa from 1993 to 2000. She has a background in information and communications in the social justice and development sectors. Anriette is also a founder of WomenNet in South Africa and served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Information Society Initiative. She was a member of the Social Science Research Council’s Information Technology and International Cooperation Steering Committee and is currently a member of the UN ICT Task Force. She servers on the governing boards of Isis Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange, Ungana-Afrika in Pretoria, and the Society for International Development.
For Anriette Esterhuysen (South Africa) of the APC network, development critique tends to forget the practitioners, who are marginalised by theoretical discourses simply because they don’t hear and speak them. Naive critiques of private sector involvement in development fail to acknowledge that markets are necessarily part of the solution.
Fonseca, Felipe has been the co-founder of Projeto MetaFora, a collaborative incubator for social technology projects (currently inactive); and the MetaReciclagem movement that aims the transformation of communities through the re-appropriation of technology. Felipe is also one of the founders of CoLab. Felipe acts as a consultant to the Brazilian Ministry of Culture’s Pontos de Cultura (Cultural Points) project, that will create nearly 1.000 free-software-based media labs throughout the country. Felipe works with projects related to free knowledge and independent media since 2002. He has helped develop or plan projects such as Liganois, an interaction environment for the users of brazilian Telecenters; Conversê, the social website for the Pontos de Cultura project; MetaOng, a collaborative website about third sector and enterpreneurship; and Xemelê, an ongoing research on learning and community management systems. Felipe and MetaReciclagem became fellows to the Waag/Sarai platform in 2004, and developed research on MetaReciclagem (also see here).
Felipe Fonseca (Brasil), free software activist and consultant to the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, discusses the strategic use of free software by the Brazilian government, the tension between governmental FOSS adoption as a cost-cutting measure and the need for a broader debate about software development. Fonseca advocates a broader definition of digital inclusion beyond access, including the creative re-appropriation (rather than mere use) of these technologies and their possibilities.
Freire, Alexandre has a bachelors degree in Computer Science at the University of São Paulo, where he is currently finishing his master’s degree, working with agile development methodologies. He contributes to many free and open source software development communities, and tries to use FOSS whenever he works. Alexandre has worked for Brazil’s largest IT companies like Mandic (Brazil’s first BBS and Internet service provider), Americanas.com (latin-america’s biggest e-commerce portal), and has also coached a team of developers in an Italian-based multinational development house, AdMetam. After leaving show business he joined forces with a team of other hackers, activists, artists and anthropologists to create the Digital Culture department inside the Ministry of Culture. They are currently implementing the digital culture aspects of the Cultural Hotspots program, which aims to create, using exclusively FOSS technologies, a distributed network of cultural-related projects that will learn to digitalize, produce, remix and distribute, local cultural production.
Gjorgjinski, Ljupco is educated in political philosophy, international relations, economics and diplomacy. He has served as Governor on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, as well as worked for the President of the Republic of Macedonia as his External Advisor on the Information Society – only to cite each of his most distinguished positions among many others in Canada and Macedonia, respectfully. He now works as Executive Director of the “Kiro Gligorov Foundation”. His research focus is on Information Society governance, observed from the point of view of political philosophy and through the prism of art and cybernetics.
Griffioen, Daan born in the Hague (Netherlands), studies Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam. Daan is currently finishing his master’s, and is participating in the Incommunicado research group. After the conference, he recently started writing his thesis about global civil society organizations and the Internet. The research he did for this conference is about One World.net as a unique digital platform which effectively helps solving important development issues in a multipurposed way.
Gurstein, Michael is currently a visiting Professor in the School of Management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Principal with Michael Gurstein & Associates, Vancouver BC specializing in community-based technology applications. He is an Honorary Professor at Central Queensland University in Australia. A Canadian, he completed a B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and was a senior public servant in the Provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. From 1992-95 Dr. Gurstein was a Management Advisor with the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Among the projects with which Dr. Gurstein was directly engaged in the early 90s was an extensive analysis and evaluation of a major program in Community Radio among the Inuit and Cree aboriginal people of Northern Quebec funded by the Government of Canada. Dr. Michael Gurstein has pioneered in the development of the strategic and policy thinking concerning community ICT implementations and has advised and consulted widely in this area including with a number of UN agencies, and Departments and agencies of the Canadian, US, and Australian governments among others. His publications include “Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies” (Idea Group, 2000); and “Burying Coal: Research and Development in a Marginal Community” Collective Press, Vancouver.
ICT consultant Michael Gurstein (Canada) compares the use of civil society in developing and developed countries. He discusses its involvement in the WSIS process and advocates the need to strengthen citizen involvement rather than ‘civil society’. Furthermore, Gurstein suggests possible uses of the idea of digital orientalism in the digital divide debate.
Haaster, Kim van is an Amsterdam-based cultural anthropologist. She recently worked at the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam, as a production assistant for the conference ‘A Decade of Webdesign’ organized by the INC in collaboration with PZI Rotterdam and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. She has obtained her MSc in Cultural Anthropology of Non-Western Societies at the University of Amsterdam. For her Masters thesis, Kim researched the workings of intercultural contacts in tourism in contemporary Cuba. For incommunicado 05 Kim researched the ‘University of Informatics Sciences’ (UCI) in Cuba.
Kagai, Bildad, is the coordinator of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) as well as the CEO of Circuits and Packets Communications Limited, one of the leading Open Source Software companies in Kenya. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, 31 years ago, Bildad sobtained a degree at the University of Nairobi, in Building Economics and Management. Bildad started his career at the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNHABITAT) in 1997 after graduation as a database consultant. He consulted for GTZ (German Agency for Technical Cooperation) and the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) where he introduced Adaptive Technology to victims who got visually impaired following the 1998 terrorist twin bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Bildad started his business career in 2001 as the Business Development Manager of Circuits and Packets Communications Limited where he encountered open source software for the first time. In November 2002, a number of like minded open source enthusiasts met under the auspices of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and formed the Open Source Task force for Africa. Consequently on 21st February 2002, he helped launch the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) during the second preparatory meeting of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS PrepCom2) in Geneva, Switzerland. Since then, FOSSFA has been the leading light campaigning for Open Source and Free Software in Africa with tremendous success in various countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, and Namibia amongst others where Open Source initiatives have started to thrive. Bildad is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya as the CEO of Circuits and Packets Communications Limited which also hosts the FOSSFA Secretariat.
Karamagi, Ednah, is the general manager of BROSDI, the Busoga Rural Open Source & Development Initiative in Uganda. Until 2004, she worked as head of research, information and consultancy at Karabole Research and Resource Center, a local NGO in western Uganda. She is specialized in the use of both modern and traditional ICT for development methodologies, empowering participatory methods, community development, gender, knowledge sharing and information management. She is currently writing a book on knowledge sharing and information management tools for poverty reduction in rural communities.
Ednah Karamagi (Uganda) stresses the importance of including the rural population in development projects. Otherwise, the divide between the rural and the urban will simply increase. NGOs play an important role in Uganda, because they succeed in reaching out to local grassroots organisations. ICTs should be considered in terms of technologies rather than just machines, including the use of community radio in local languages, or using technologies for music, dance and drama.
Keenan, Thomas, teaches media theory, literature, and human rights at Bard College, where he is associate professor of Comparative Literature and directs the Human Rights Project. He is author of Fables of Responsibility (Stanford University Press 1997), and is finishing a book called Live Feed: Crisis, Intervention, Media, about new media and contemporary conflicts. With Andras Riedlmayer, he started International Justice Watch (JUSTWATCH-L), an Internet discussion list on war crimes and transitional justice. He has served on the boards of WITNESS and the Soros Documentary Fund.
Thomas Keenan (USA) points out that the human rights movement is very sensitive to the criticism. Critics therefore are often regarded as being in support of the wrong actors, and betraying its ideals. Keenan considers the notion of ‘global civil society’ to be a very tricky term, since its dynamic is strongly related to global media platforms (satellite tv, internet etc). There is a certain actuality to global civil society that needs to be criticized, acknowledging the danger that it is being enlisted as the front actor of a borderless market world. To understand and recognise what is left out, global civil society needs to reshape itself. And while market forces should certainly not be underestimated, it also does not make sense to think of markets only in antagonistic terms.
Keller, Paul heads the Public Research programme of Waag Society in Amsterdam. He has been one of the co-editors of the ‘Next 5 Minutes 4’ conference in Amsterdam in September 2003. For Waag Society he coordinates the Euro-Indian exchange programmes (Waag-Sarai Exchange Programme) and ‘Towards a Culture of Open Networks’ and leads the project DISC (Domain for Innovative Software and Content). He is Public Project lead for the Creative Commons in the Netherlands. He is also an active member of the European Noborder network.
Koskela, Seppo born in 52 in Finland, hitchhiking through Sahara and West-Africa 80 – 81, a proud member of the extended family Jammeh in The Gambia since then, political activist in 70s, media activist and video teacher and organizer in 80s and 90s, from now on (in 00s) working in a small scale research project called “Applied Linux Institute Project” in University of Helsinki, Department of Communication with my wife professor Sinikka Sassi.
Krogt, Stijn van der (Netherlands, 1966) is Team Leader of the Country Programme teams, and member of IICD’s Management Team. In addition, he is Programme Manager for IICD in Bolivia (and previously in Jamaica and Ghana). He is responsible for facilitating and guiding local project partners, and coordinates the overall programme activities.
Educational background: Ph.D. Economics / Development Economics.
Lovink, Geert, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and activist. In January 2004 he was appointed as associated professor/research professor at the University of Amsterdam and Hogeschool van Amsterdam, where he founded the Institute of Network Cultures. He received a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2003. He is a co-founder of the Amsterdam-based free community network ‘Digital City’ and the support campaign for independent media in South-East Europe Press Now. Since 2000 he has been a consultant/editor to the exchange program of Waag Society (Amsterdam) and the Sarai New Media Centre (Delhi). He is (co)organizer of conferences, festivals and (online) publications and the founder of numerous Internet projects such as Next Five Minutes, Tulipomania Dotcom, Nettime, Fibreculture, and FreeCooperation. He recently published Dark Fiber (2002), Uncanny Networks (2002) and My First Recession (2003). Most of his texts can be found online.
Maassen, Paul (1973) holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial engineering & management, with a specialization in non-western management and information management from the University of Twente (The Netherlands). After his graduation he started working for Dutch telecom incumbent KPN as a management trainee. In 2002 he switched back to his desired working habitat: non-profit development sector. He started with the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries. His field of expertise within Hivos is the role ICT can play for development. He represented Hivos as a member of the Dutch delegation to the WSIS, and will do so again in November of this year. As of 1 July 2005 he will take the position of programme manager ICT, Media & Knowledge Sharing.
Marres, Noortje is currently completing her Ph.D. thesis ‘No Issue, No Public: Democratic deficits after the displacement of politics’ at the philosophy department of the University of Amsterdam. In recent years, she has co-organized the workshop series The Social Life of Issues and she was one of the editors of the festival Next Five Minutes 4 which took place in Amsterdam in 2003. She recently contributed an article to the catalogue Making Things Public (MIT Press, 2005) on the debate between the philosopher John Dewey and the journalist Walter Lippmann about the fate of democracy in the technological society. Together with Richard Rogers, she wrote the piece “Subsuming the Ground. How local realities of the Ferghana Valley, the Narmada Dams, and the BTC pipeline are put to use on the Web” (available via SSRC).
McLaughlin, Lisa is an associate professor at Miami University-Ohio where she holds a joint appointment in Mass Communication and Women’s Studies. Her Ph.D. is in media studies. McLaughlin is editor of Feminist Media Studies, an international peer-reviewed journal published by Routledge. She is also the representative to the World Summit on the Information Society on behalf of the Union for Democratic Communications, an organization that brings together academics, activists, and practitioners whose work is critical of the communications establishment. During the first phase of the WSIS, she was a member of a sub-committee on civil society participation and the civil society content and themes group. McLaughlin has published a number of articles and chapters on feminism, media, and the public sphere, and, more recently, on feminism and the political economy of transnational public space. She teaches courses in international communications, global media governance, and feminist media theory and practice. Her current work focuses on ICTs and the corporatization of development as it has emerged under the auspices of the United Nations. At present, McLaughlin’s research concentrates specifically on Cisco Systems’ Networking Academy Programs and the corporation’s Gender Initiatives that have originated as public-private partnerships brokered through the UN.
Muthoni, Dorcas (Kenya), has a background in Computer Science. She is in private business where she is the director of the company Openworld Limited (www.openworld.co.ke). She also works at a non-profit organization called the Kenya Education Network, where she serves as the Technical Manager. She is involved in two projects. One is the LinuxChix Africa (www.africalinuxchix.org), an initiative that facilitates the active participation of African women in the FOSS movement across this region. The second project dubbed ITDAWN is a development project that is working towards a Linux distribution for Kenyan schools.
Muthoni Dorcas (Kenya) is the co-founder of LinuxChix Africa, an initiative that facilitates the active participation of African women in the FOSS (free and open source software) movement across this region. She considers free software an affordable way for people to develop software for local markets. Refusing to talk about Africa as ‘poor’, Dorcas rather thinks of it as a continent under-utilizing its manifold resources.
Mwaniki, Antony is the Business Manager & Chief Executive for OneWorld International Kenya, a company set up by OneWorld International to provide SMS driven information services. The company received an award for excellence during an exhibition for private sector companies held in Nairobi in February 2005 and was a finalist for the Halfkin Prize. Antony is a Civil Engineering graduate of the Nairobi University and has Masters of Science Degree in Construction Management from the University of Leeds and a Masters in Management from the London Business School. At the London Business School Antony majored in entrepreneurship and managing change. Prior to joining the London Business School in the year 2002, Antony worked as a project manager on various building and infrastructural projects for 8 years with one of Kenya’s oldest consultancy firms in the area of Construction, reaching the position of partner at the firm before he left in 2002 to go to the London Business School. He joined OneWorld International in his current capacity in January 2004.
Naughton, Tracey has professional experience that spans crystal sets to the latest innovations in information and communication technology. Her foundation interest is in technology, specifically the content it carries, as a means of fostering democratic participation, communication and development. She has been a media producer and policy advocate for seventeen years, twelve of which have been based in Africa. In the late 1980’s in Australia, the regulatory environment for participatory media was opened and Tracey led the national team that advocated for the establishment of new, local media services. As a result, a single frequency was allocated to community television across Australia, in 1992. Concurrently she was President of a Community Newspaper and program presenter on a Melbourne wide radio station. In recognition of her contribution to media democratisation, she received a Professional Development Award in 1991 from the Australia Council for the Arts and undertook a twelve-month field research project on community media in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. In 1993 Tracey moved to South Africa to take up an AusAID Contract as Advisor to the nascent community radio sector there, subsequently contributing to a large network of community based radio projects, and the national co-ordinating network. She then adopted Johannesburg as a base and has since consulted in twenty African countries and others in Asia in the area of community based ICT initiatives, including community radio. She is currently engaged in the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society which is credited as the first UN multi-stakeholder process that is realising the approach to global governance described in the Millennium Development Goals. Tracey Chairs the WSIS Media Caucus and the Civil Society Bureau.
Tracey Naughton (South Africa) comes up with a few humbling accounts of the fundamental obstacles to (info) developments. She argues to go back to the seventies, a time in which work for and with the poor could be done in a direct and non-bureaucratic manner. According to her we need a more human-centrered globalization, one in which people are in the centre of development concerns and work is done on the ground by people who have a holistic combination of skills.
Nederveen Pieterse, Jan, professor of sociology at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializes in transnational sociology with research interests in globalization, development studies and intercultural studies. He taught in the Netherlands, Ghana and as visiting professor in Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and lectured in many countries. He is associate editor of Futures, European Journal of Social Theory, Ethnicities, Third Text, and Culture & Society and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. Recent publications include: Globalization or Empire? (Routledge, 2004); Global Mélange: Globalization and culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); Development Theory: Deconstructions/ Reconstructions (Sage, 2001); Globalization and Social Movements (co-edited, Palgrave, 2001); Global Futures: Shaping Globalization (edited, Zed, 2000); and about 200 articles and chapters.
Long-time analyst of development regimes, Jan Nederveen Pieterse (USA) summarizes Incommunicado 05 as ‘civil society meets development’, since commercial parties and governments were not represented at the conference. The current vortex of change, in which corporations try to maintain information monopolies, calls for a new political rendez-vous in which emerging information economies can challenge these monopolies in areas like intellectual property rights. Digital orientalism is a concept of our times: Western content and representations are deeply wired into all levels of information technology. According to Nederveen Pieterse, the world of development studies has been one of great fashions and plain humbug, but also very profound criticism, great hopes, struggle, and negotiations.
Niederer, Sabine (1977), works as a producer and researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. Sabine graduated in 2003 as an art historian (MA) at Utrecht University, with a masters thesis on manipulated photography (from Dada-2000). In 2003, she worked as producer of the international games conference Level Up. From 2001-2004 she worked as curator of Hoogt4, the platform of film-related arts at Filmtheatre ‘t Hoogt in Utrecht. Until recently she taught (media) theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Sabine is one of the editors of the bimonthly film and video program ‘Cinematiek’, and writes music video reviews for the Dutch broadcasting company NPS at www.cinema.nl.
Nwakanma, Nnenna, holds a triple Bachelors degree (in the Social Sciences, History and Religion) and a Masters degree in International Law and Relations. She has worked within international development organizations and institutions in Africa as an Information, Documentation and Relations Officer: The Home Health Education Service, The Helen Keller Foundation (HKI) and The African Development Bank (AFD). Nnenna is the co-founder of different pan-African organizations: The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), The Africa Network of Information Society Actors (ANISA), and the Africa Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS). One of the major Civil Society Actors in the World Summit on the Information Society, she represents the African Civil Society on the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF)), and advises on the Africa Information Society Initiative (AISI). She is also the co-author of Our Side of the Divide and Silenced: Censorship and Control of the Internet. At present she works as a consultant to governments, civil society organizations, business entities and international development organizations on various domains of her expertise in African Development: Human Rights, Conflict Management, Gender Mainstreaming and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Op de Coul, Maartje has been new media evaluation manager for OneWorld International since November 2002. As such she conducts worldwide audience and partner surveys and develops and coordinates evaluation activities for a variety of OneWorld projects. For one of them, the Open Knowledge Network, she has developed a methodology and oversees its implementation in several African countries. In the past 2 years she has also conducted 20 ICT for development case studies in South Asia, Southern Africa and Central America and developed a general framework for evaluation for the OneWorld network. Furthermore she contributes to the development, testing and publication of a toolbox for evaluating information products and services. Before she joined OneWorld Maartje worked as an ‘ICT for development’ programme officer with Hivos (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries) from 1997-2002. She was responsible for co-writing, implementing and monitoring the Hivos ICT policy, the programme management of ICT projects and awareness and capacity building on ‘ICT for development’ issues both nationally and internationally. Maartje graduated (with honours) in History (of International Relations and Latin America) from Utrecht University, Netherlands, 1997. Recent publications: What can computers do for the poor?, June 2004 on openDemocracy.net, and ICT for development Case Studies on Southern Africa, South Asia, Central America (Synthesis report) Dec. 2003.
Oueadraogo, Sylvestre (Burkina Faso) is lecturer in economy at the University of Ouagadougou. He is an ICT4D expert, coordinator of Local Information and Exchange Networking and President of Yam Pukri. Sylvestre is the author of “Computer and the Djembe, between dreams and Realities”, Harmattan, 2003. His passion, however, lies in applied sciences, especially in the application of science for the benefit of the projects in the countries in the process of development. After his doctorate in 1996, he started again to work in the associative field, but this time by creating an association which is called YAM PUKRI, which in local language MOORE means Open your mind. This association has as principal objectives training, popularization and the advise in new technologies (computer and Internet). To date, six centers of formation were create and we add up more than 3000 people trained since 1998. YAM PUKRI association is a pioneer in the field of ICT’s association in Burkina Faso. He has partnership with several organizations in the world and more mainly Terre des Hommes, Genève in the area the training of the young people to new technologies. In 2002, YAM PUKRI concluded an agreement from partnership with IICD and within this framework, they have created a Local Information and Exchange Network (LIEN).
Sylvestre Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) works at an NGO called Yam Pukri, meaning ‘open your mind’. Whereas Western countries tend to think that everyone should have a computer, Ouedraogo stresses the fact that it is more important to learn how to use the computer as a tool for information gathering and communication means.
Plaetevoet, René is the coordinator of the European Platform for Migrant Workers Rights and the co-founder of december18.net the online network for the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants. An international group of volunteers maintains the portal site and supports the online campaigns which the organisation has set up in favour of the universal ratification of the UN Migrant Workers Convention. From 1999 to 2004, René was international coordinator with oneworld.net, the leading civil society portal site on human rights and sustainable development.
Pullens, Roy (1976), researcher Incommunicado 05. Research titled ‘Migration Management: Export of the IOM Model for EU Security’. From artschool student to disillusioned artist. From disappointed student media studies to motivated trouble maker in possession of cute boyfriend with huge sideburns.
Raqs Media Collective. Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta are members of the Raqs Media Collective and co-initiators (with Ravi Sundaram and Ravi Vasudevan) of the Sarai Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Delhi. At Sarai, Jeebesh Bagchi coordinates the Cybermohalla project, Monica Narula is coordinator of the Media Lab and Shuddhabrata Sengupta is co ordinator Research Network. All three work at the Sarai Media Lab and are editors of the Sarai Reader series. Their work (as Raqs) includes the installations -“A Measure of Anacoustic Reason”, “Lost New Shoes”, “The Impostor in the Waiting Room”, “The Wherehouse”, “5 Pieces of Evidence”, “Co-Ordinates of Everyday Life – 28.28N/77.15E::2001/2002” , “Location(n)” , “A/S/L” and the “Temporary Autonomous Sarai” (in Collaboration with Atelier Bow Wow, Tokyo), “OPUS” a web based system designed for the sharing of creativity, and print projects for ‘Utopia Station’, ‘Soda’, ‘Data Browser’ and the Sarai Readers. Raqs has exhibited at the 51st and 50th Venice Biennales, Documenta 11 (Kassel), at the Taipei and Liverpool Biennales, Palais de Beaux Arts (Brussels), Emocao Artifical (Sao Paulo), Generali Foundation Gallery (Vienna), Ars Electronica (Linz), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Roomade Office for Contemporary Art (Brussels) and at the Bose Pacia Gallery, New York.
Monica Narula (Delhi) talks about the ‘listening project’ she did with Raqs Media Collective. Sometimes you have to listen beyond the words, and an event like Incommunicado 05 means being attentive to one another. At Sarai, Narula works with the broadsheet collective, with which she publishes a broadsheet, a poster/factsheet/newspaper. Narula recognises that the contemporary vision of the world is thoroughly mapped, difficult to break down, and while the north-south metaphor has been useful, it will limit our view if we cling to it.
Shuddhabrata Sengupta (India) calls on those promoting ICT development to ‘develop a thought of our own obsolescence’, just as today’s gadgets will be obsolete tomorrow, our self-image as those who already represent a technological future that has yet to arrive elsewhere is mistaken. He also stresses the need to approach collective efforts in a more factual way, beyond the romantic idea of cross-cultural collaboration as an end in itself, and instead focus on the aims, ethics, and protocols of collaboration. The idea of development arrived in the info-technological context long after it transformed agriculture and industrial technology transfer, yet it tends to be used in a linear, rather uncritical way. Instead, Sengupta suggests focusing on the conditions of potentiality in all spaces, beyond simplistic local/global distinctions and the assumptions about needs and communal authenticity that accompany them.
Rebernak, Jerneja was born in Slovenia in 1981 and has lived in Italy since 1989. She has graduated in Communication science at the University of Ljubljana in 2004. Currently she is enrolled in the Research Master in Media Studies at the University in Amsterdam. She is an activist from the group Dost je! and was coordinator of the project Vox Pupuli, a group focused on the elaboration of posters on the enlargement process of NATO. She participated at conferences in the Czech Republic “Media and Xenophobia” organized by Eyfa and helped as a volunteer in the “Tuning into diversity” organized by Miramedia, the Netherlands (2004). Her current interests and topic of research are Communication Rights in the WSIS process and the state of civil society in Tunisia.
Riphagen, Margreet (1977), producer at Waag Society, graduated in 2000 at Integrated Communication Management at the Hogeschool of Utrecht. After graduating, Margreet worked three years at an advertising agency in Utrecht, as an account manager. In June 2003 she started working at Waag Society as a producer. The projects she has been working on are Pilotus (pilotus.com) and the Storytable (storytable.com). In 2005 she produced the Creative Capital Conference in Amsterdam, together with The Netherlands Knowlegdeland. Apart from her job at Waag Society, Margreet also does voluntary work. From 2000 until 2003 she was magazine manager at Expreszo (gay youth magazine) and at the moment she works as a volunteer for FemFusion (lesbian platform) where she is training to be a fundraiser.
Rogers, Richard, is University Lecturer in New Media at the University of Amsterdam, recurrent Visiting Professor in the Philosophy and Social Study of Science at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Govcom.org Foundation (Amsterdam). Previously, Rogers worked as Senior Advisor to Infodrome, the Dutch Governmental Information Society initiative. He also has worked as a Researcher and Tutor in Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art (London), as Research Fellow in Design and Media at the Jan van Eyck Academy (Maastricht), and as a Researcher in Technology Assessment at the Science Center Berlin (WZB) and in Strategic Computing in the Public Sector at the JFK School, Harvard University. He earned his PhD and MSc in Science Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and his B.A. in Government and German at Cornell University. Over the past five years, Rogers and the Govcom.org Foundation have received grants from the Dutch Government (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science), the Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation. Rogers is author of Technological Landscapes (Royal College of Art, London, 1999), editor of Preferred Placement: Knowledge Politics on the Web (Jan van Eyck Press, 2000), and author of Information Politics on the Web (MIT Press, 2004). See here for maps, also see Info-Id, Issue Network, and Issue Crawler.
Richard Rogers (The Netherlands) focuses on the implications of global civil society’s ‘issue drift’. As global civil society moves from issue to issue, from place to place and from forum to forum, the question is: do they remember to keep up with what is happening on the ground? Rogers and his colleagues at the Govcom.org Foundation strive to answer such questions through web and news analysis. Analytical software tools such as the Issue Crawler and the Issue Scraper are based on the assumption that the web can be mapped to show where an issue is currently ‘located’. Rogers also addresses the rise of ‘rights talk’, including the development of new communication rights, cultural rights and internet rights, and reflects on the circumstances under which issues should (not) be turned into rights.
Rossiter, Ned, is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media) at the Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. Ned is co-editor of Politics of a Digital Present: An Inventory of Australian Net Culture, Criticism and Theory (Melbourne: Fibreculture Publications, 2001) and Refashioning Pop Music in Asia: Cosmopolitan Flows, Political Tempos and Aesthetic Industries (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004). He is also a co-facilitator of fibreculture, a network of critical Internet research and culture in Australasia. Research interests: Digital media cultures; information economies; network societies; social movements & ICTs; media theory; political philosophy. Current research projects: organized Networks as New Institutional Forms; Political Economy of the Internet and Civil Society; Creative Industries, Information Economies and the Precarious Condition of Labour; Latin American-Asia New Media Initiatives Group.
The Australian digital media theorist Ned Rossiter (Northern Ireland-based) comments on the rise of China and the consequences of geopolitical shifts for the future study of media. He regards the rise of civil society as a consequence of the void left by neo-liberalism, and addresses the limits of transferring central tenets of representative democracy – accountability, representativeness, transparency – to non-state actors. Furthermore, Rossiter elaborates on the crisis of civil society and the emergence of new forms of institutional articulation like the organized network. He recognises a danger in assuming that all of us in fact continue to live in the same world, especially in the context of ICT debates that revive simplistic North/South divides.
Rustema, Reinder (1972) is a writer and lecturer, teaching at the University of Amsterdam and the Arts & Technology school in Breda. He travels between both his homes in Amsterdam and Paris. He actively contributes to many usenet newsgroup and other internet fora. His wide area of expertise ranges from such diverse fields as digital culture, politics and the public domain. He wrote an MA thesis on The Rise and Fall of the Digital City In Amsterdam. In 2005 he launched the website petities.nl where Dutch citizens can sign or initiate a petition. He is self-employed through RRR Media, a company he started five years ago. Rustema has been on the Internet Society board since 2003.
Rutten, Kris studied Comparative Sciences of Culture and Development Studies. During his education he was a trainee for the Digitaal Platform IAK/IBK (http://www.digitaalplatform.be) where he did research on themes such as Patents, Communities, Gender and Network Literacy. Afterwards he collaborated in concrete projects for the non-profit organization Constant (http://www.constantvzw.com) and the Digitaal Platform IAK/IBK. For both organizations he does editing work on a regular basis. Recently he started working as junior faculty member at Ghent University (http://www.ugent.be), more specific for the Department of Education within a team which focuses on culture, education and media.
Rutten, Matthijs is a third year student Integrated Communication Management at the Hogeschool of Utrecht. The main subject of his Communication Studies is European Public Affairs. After his graduation he is planning to obtain his master in political science at the University of Amsterdam. He currently works as a communication and research intern at the Institute of Network Cultures for the international work conference and public event ‘ICT for Development’. These events are organized by the INC, in cooperation with Waag Society, De Balie in Amsterdam and the Delhi-based media centre Sarai. The international character of the coming work conference and public event corresponds with his international orientation; before and during his study he spent several months in South America, South East Asia and the Middle East.
Sarker, Partha Pratim works as an International Consultant to ‘ICT for Development’ issues and co-founded a citizen’s network – Bytes for All – which is one of the oldest and most popular ICT4D network in South Asia. Partha has worked to rebuild bytes for all as a public domain that is community driven and brought out different on-line portal issues on ICT for public health, disaster mitigation, mass education, rural connectivity, non-English computing, E-governance etc. He also runs a popular discussion channel – Bytes for All Readers Forum – which is being integrated to the network. An ITU fellow, Partha also works as an Asian correspondent to Government Technology International Magazine in USA and has consulted with different other groups including IDRC, APC, UNESCO Regional Office in New Delhi, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) etc. His articles are published at Asia Pacific Internet Handbook, Southern Review Journal, GKP Publication on ICT for Poverty Reduction, UNESCO publications on Profiles and Experiences etc.
Schneider, Florian is a filmmaker, writer, and developer in the fields of new media, networking and open source technologies. In his work he focuses on crossovers between mainstream and independent media, art and activism, theory and technology. As a filmmaker he directed several award-winning documentaries and made theme-evenings for the german-french tv station Arte on the topics of migration and new global movements. He is one of the initiators of the KEIN MENSCH IST ILLEGAL campaign at documentaX and subsequent projects. He founded, designed and supported countless online-projects, such as the European internet platform D-A-S-H and the online-network KEIN.ORG. He is the director of the new media festivals MAKEWORLD (2001), NEURO (2004) and one of the co-organizers of the upcoming FADAIAT2 event in Tarifa/Tangiers, in June 2005. His publications include contributions in Der Spiegel and other renowned magazines and newspapers. From 2001, he has published Makeworlds paper 1-4, a newspaper magazine for theory, art and activism.
Schout, Loe (1952) has a background in journalism and communications. As Head of Communications and Marketing, he played a pionering role in the online dissemination strategy of Hivos, one of the first Dutch development agencies to have utilized the internet. He is currently head of the ICT & Knowledge Sharing desk being responsible for the implementation of Hivos’ ICT support programme in developing countries. As of 1 July 2005 Loe Schout will lead the new Culture, ICT and Media bureau. Schout published articles on internet, networking, civil society building and development in various magazines.
Sedee, Anne, has a background in political studies as well as IT. Current work: manager IT Milieudefensie (Dutch section Friends of the Earth), ICT consultant Niza, program committee What the Hack, board XminY and Worldcom.org.
Sigillito, Magela, from Uruguay, is the head of the Internet operations of ITeM (Instituto del Tercer Mundo – Third World Institute) a non profit research and advocacy organization. She is the coordinator of the Choike website (www.choike.org), a leading portal on Southern civil societies. Choike is active in the World Summit for the Information Society, producing research papers with a Southern perspective and manages www.whiteband.org the website of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). Ms. Sigillito was the manager of Chasque, the first Internet provider for the public at large in Uruguay, until December 2004 when that operation was transferred from ITeM to a private firm. She is a member of the boards of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and of IFIwatchnet. Ms. Sigillito holds a degree in Librarian and Information Sciences from the National University of Costa Rica and has worked on ITs for development since the early eighties.
Sorj, Bernardo is Director of the Edelstein Center for Social Research and Professor of Sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was visiting professor in several universities in Europe, United States and Latin America and more recently he was awarded the Chaire Sérgio Buarque de Holanda from the Maison des Sciences de L’Homme and the Chaire Simón Bolívar, Institut des Hautes Études de L’Amerique Latine, Paris. He is the author of 17 books and more than a hundred articles published in several languages related to the international system, contemporary social theory and Latin American development. The title of his most recent books are email@example.com-Confronting Inequality in the Informatin Society (Unesco), and in Portuguese and Spanish Unexpected Democracy – Citizenship, Human Rights and Social Inequality-. And Internet and Poverty.
Bernardo Sorj, who is researching telecentres in Brazil, argues to develop an integrated view on the use of Internet in the slums. Digital inclusion is not an aim in itself. It only makes sense in a broader context of social and political If you can’t read of type it is cynical to talk about universal access. These days, civil society is facing a crisis of maturity. Global civil society is a nice utopia but doesn’t exist. Instead we should talk about national civil society. Resources are in the North and not in the South. We should to make global agendas, this time with good intensions. Brazil is not Afghanistan is not Cote d’Ivor. There is not one solution for all countries.
Starink, Gerben is a Amsterdam-based student/artist of Media and Culture, currenntly starting his masters about open-source software. The main subject of his studies is Open Source. For incommunicado 05, Gerben researched the situation of postcolonial discourse in ICT.
Stoop-Alcala, Fatima, researcher and blogger for the Incommunicado conference, hails from the Philippines where she graduated with a double-degree in Humanities and Education, minor in Political Science. She also took up a master’s course in Development Studies. In 1993 she began teaching politics, communication, gender and art appreciation in De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines both in the city of Manila. Fatima also headed rural communication development programs for NGO’s and later delved into copywriting and concept development for several ad agencies. A roleplaying game-junkie, she met her Dutch husband in one of the virtual worlds where she lived. She’s now back to being a student, this time taking up Interactive Media in the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Fatima is specializing in Interactive Communication.
Sundaram, Ravi is a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and among the initiators of the Sarai programme on media and urban culture. His work deals with the intersection of the city and contemporary electronic cultures, issues of legality and non legality, and new conflicts around property and the electronic commodity. Sundaram has spoken and presented on these issues in India and around the world; his essays have been translated into many languages. In Sarai, he works with the research project Publics and Practices in the History of the Present (PPHP), which examines the emerging inter-media junctions in Indian cities. He has co-edited the critically acclaimed series: the Sarai Readers: The Public Domain (2001), The Cities of Everyday Life (2002), Shaping Technologies (2003), and the new Crisis Media (2004). Among the recent conferences recently he co-organized was Contested Commons/Trespassing Publics: A Conference on Inequalities, Conflicts and Intellectual Property. In Spring 2005 he is a visiting Fellow at Princeton University.
For Ravi Sundaram (India), the central dynamic of ‘development’ is an informal network economy on the margins (or even outside of) of modern property regimes. His research focuses on ordinary people constructing decentralized technological infrastructures through extra-market, non-legal forms of organising access to media. Even though in countries like India, many users of electronic media exist outside the dominant property regime, development organisations continue to employ a simplistic schema of civil society, state, and market actors and a morally-charged language of representation that is out of synch with the dynamic of informal network economies, relating to it only in the negative terms of piracy and a violation of property rights, of its formalization, and of the mediation of the conflicts between informality and a new regime of property rights.
Tarman, Glen, is the coordinator of the Trade Justice Movement , the UK coalition of over 70 NGOs, trade unions and other organisations campaigning for fundamental changes to the unjust rules and institutions that govern international trade. He is also a member of the coordination team of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY , a one-year only, 400+ organisation alliance from UK civil society that has come together to demand political action on trade justice, debt and aid through massive public mobilisation throughout 2005 including the G8 Summit. Glen is the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY coordination lead on new media strategy (as well as trade). MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY is the UK national platform of the Global Call for Action against Poverty . Glen was formerly publicity manager at OneWorld where he had responsibility for media relations, online marketing, promotion and public relations for the online development and human rights network. Previously Glen coordinated the UK activist networks for the World Development Movement and VSO as well as working in a number of media and communications roles in global issue campaigning, development education and NGO profile-raising. Glen has written widely on all forms new media campaigning as well as undertaking various consultancy work, training, and public speaking on digital activism and the role of the internet for action on global causes.
Velden, Maja van der, is a Research Fellow, Department of Information and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway, working on a multi-year project entitled “Local Knowledges in Global Communications”. Since the late 1980s, Maja has been involved in ICT for development, human rights and social justice issues as an activist, journalist, and researcher. Her present research investigates the impact of ICT on human knowledge and focuses on cognitive justice as the basis of an ethical framework for ICT design and policy. Her most recent article, “Programming for Cognitive Justice”, discusses the Development Gateway and the Open Knowledge Network, arguing for socio-technical designs that assume the diversity of knowledge. Originally from The Netherlands, Maja has lived for extended periods in Tanzania, Palestine, Canada, and presently lives in Oslo, Norway. Her articles can be found at her site or her research blog.
Verzola, Roberto is an engineer by training, and a long-time social activist. He introduced many Philippine and Asian NGOs to computers and the Internet, as Chair of People’s Access and Interdoc in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Robert Verzola (Philippines) notes that the utility of personal technical skills depends on context; working in rural projects, he concluded that farmers have more important skills in relation to local needs. Verzola has been trying to find a way to apply his technical knowledge to rural projects, yet many places have no electricity. Going there with a laptop is like going to help the poor from inside a limousine. Alternative uses of technologies – building on technologies already integrated into everyday lives – can be very effective, such as VCDs (commonly used as karaoke machine), and mobile phones (mainly used to contact overseas working family members).