Headscratchers

One the one hand there’s all this big data and HPC in the cloud while on the other hand there’s all this money in the air, yet LinkedIn still considers management in distributed organizations A NONSTANDARD SKILL.

Gallup’s Chairman, Jim Clifton says there’s a Coming Jobs War global in scope and apparently San Francisco thinks there’s a War for Talent, as does Nashville, but nobody seems to get that their major impediment is put data in the cloud and then insisting folks drive to cubeville to access it. #ROWE

Mike Haywood: Here’s some recent articles relating to the European crisis, extracted from my Banking Crisis Digest

Mike comments at Yammer.com/ATCA:

Why Europe’s Banks Trail in Deleveraging Process http://online.wsj.com/article/…
Spain in the spotlight as troika returns to Greece http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/mar/26/…
lrish Property Prices fall by 17.8% in the year to February http://www.housefund.co.uk/2012/03/27/…
Banks buy bonds with ECB cash, lend less to firms http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/…
ECB Cash Isn’t Reaching Private Sector http://online.wsj.com/article/…
Portugal may need a plan B http://online.wsj.com/article/…
Pimco expects ‘second Greece’ in Portugal http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9151804/…
European crisis is not over, Bernanke says http://www.marketwatch.com/story/…
Euro Crisis: Plight of the Netherlands, Staggering Unemployment in Spain and Greece http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33662.html
This burden of bank debt is simply not sustainable for Ireland http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/…
Eurozone crisis live: Greek credit default swaps ‘pay out $2.5bn’ – 19 March 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/mar/19/…
Greece is heading for hell, thanks to the EU’s botched handling of the crisis http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/19/…
Could Portugal follow Greece? http://www.moneyweek.com/news-and-charts/economics/europe/…
Spain may be euro zone’s next source of contagion http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/21/…
Growing Antitax Movement Shows Irish Stoicism Wearing Thin http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/europe/…
No Spanish siesta for the eurozone http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/…
Spain’s public debt soars to record high http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/…
Euro zone may raise bailout fund capacity to 581 billion pounds – officials http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/16/…
Storm clouds gather over debt-laden eurozone as output nosedives http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2119166/…
Investors take fright, grab profit on Italian debt http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/…
Italy PM Monti says worried about contagion from Spain http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/24/…
Jean-Claude Trichet: radical central bank action should not disguise crisis http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9165016/…
Spain starts to feel the heat http://blogs.wsj.com/eurocrisis/2012/03/23/…
Europe according to Hayek http://online.wsj.com/article/…
Portugal Town Halls Face Default Amid $12 Billion Debt http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-23/…
German Bond Prices Decline, Unsettling Confidence in a Safe Haven http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/business/…

UbuntuNet Alliance Call for Articles for NUANCE its monthly e-newsletter

Key content is news from, about, or of interest to National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa. We request and invite you to submit an item before the 20th of each month capturing:

  • News and developments from your NREN and news items of interest to NRENs
  • Content networks: how researchers and academics are using the REN infrastructure to enhance effectiveness and efficiency their work and to promote national and international collaboration
  • Hot tips about something you have done successfully (organisational or technical)
  • A photo that tells a story
  • Looking into the future, especially with regards to fibre infrastructure

Submissions should be sent to info@ubuntunet.net

You might want to do some research here http://www.internet2.edu/presentations/jt2012winter/

Ben White: VC4Africa takes a look at the progress made in 2011

I think it is fair to say that 2011 was a good year for the VC4Africa community. What originally started as a Linkedin group has now grown into a thriving and productive network. This year we closed the old website and started a new chapter on VC4Africa.biz.

We now have more than 4.300 members who have opened personal profile pages on the new site and over 200 entrepreneurs stepped forward to crunch their venture online ( http://bit.ly/9Yzi7T ). There are promising businesses making progress in over 30 African countries and we have seen members in Cameroon, South Africa, the United States, Kenya, Nigeria, the Netherlands and Somaliland establish partnerships, investments and joint ventures. Increasingly, VC4Africa featured entrepreneurs are being picked up by global media channels like Forbes and BBC World. We have opened a new thread where members are starting to share their successes as their continued progress remains our bottom line – as a community and organization ( http://bit.ly/sWTglN ).

In the past months we have launched a number of new programs and resources VC4A entrepreneurs can tap into for support. For example, entrepreneurs are now calling in on Free Feedback Fridays ( http://bit.ly/s9Xd9j ). These are sessions hosted by business experts and are useful for working through challenges faced in the business development process. We also hosted several Business Modeling Workshops and worked with entrepreneurs to practice and film their elevator pitches ( http://bit.ly/tsItJ9 ). More recently, we launched the ( http://bit.ly/rHbJa9 ) VC4Africa Mentorship Program that connects members for peer-to-peer coaching with some early successes already on the books. We also gave a facelift to the venture profiles and entrepreneurs can now post their video pitches online, one of the reasons ventures like ( http://bit.ly/s2cyCG ) Njorku are top ranked all time. In the year ahead we will be doing even more to support our entrepreneurs as they champion their ventures.

Our team is constantly working to introduce new tools and services that further improve the VC4A networking experience. To foster more effective network building we launched our own ‘dating widget’ that matches members on the basis of complimentary skill sets and forwards recommended connections. How do you tap into a global network spread across 159 countries? This past year saw the release of ( http://bit.ly/w4VuI2 ) Questions & Answers as a tool for crowdsourcing knowledge from across the member base. There are now 68 open threads and 128 responses. We also launched dedicated groups that allow members to come together around a specific country or theme. Some notable groups we look forward to growing in 2012 include ( http://bit.ly/tMHdEC ) Green Entrepreneurship, ( http://bit.ly/vsF8up ) the Social Entrepreneur, ( http://bit.ly/rHbJa9 ) VC4Africa Mentors and ( http://bit.ly/vTS0vG ) VC4A Woman Entrepreneurs.

Far and away, one of the greatest projects we launched this past year was VC4A Badges. Building great companies and an effective network of contacts is a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. With great looking badges we look to recognize your milestones and contributions along the way. See an overview of all of the badges and keep your eye out for new ones :) ( http://bit.ly/us5lZs )

Editor: Got me my nifty VC4Africa Officer Badge Rightcheer; woohoo!:

VC4Africa Officer Badger

VC4Africa Officer Badger

We will continue to listen to your feedback and build the tools that enrich your time spent with VC4A ( http://bit.ly/sbph8f ).

These developments aside, VC4Africa had a great year because we have such great members. People who believe in the continent’s potential and want to see its best entrepreneurs succeed. It is remarkable to see more than 30 VC4Africa meetups organized by members from around the world. We already have great events online for 2012 starting with Accra, Oslo and London.

Certainly Africa is a great business opportunity and we all agree the time to make it happen is NOW.

The best part about all of this? We’re just getting started :)

Research on the future of ICT development in Africa

Folks:

Help me funnel ideas to Martin. Thanks! – Ed

Dear Ed,

I am writing to you because I am conducting some research on future developments in ICT to assist development in Africa, in particular mobile and internet. I’m aware of the HIMSS Medical Banking Project and World Bank Task Force  and some of my research may be of interest to you.

This project is to inform Comic Relief’s grant-giving, who are a grant-giving charity based in England that raised a £100 million or so last year through their telethons. I’m looking for any ideas, projects, contacts  or resources you may have on this. The most restrictive parts of the brief, which makes it interesting,  are technologies must be future, have direct impact and have some component of ICT in them, but I try to be flexible. Amongst other things, I’m looking at:

•        Cutting costs of ICT devices to include more people

•        Increasing the numbers of people connected through subsidising mesh networks (eg. Solar panel equipped mesh devices), WIMAX and 3G

•        Converting information from one medium to another (eg. SMS to Facebook or translated voice calls from local to commercial language)

•        Citizen journalism

•        Voice recognition

•        Crowd sourced information on complex events

•        ICT that enables other technologies (eg. Add-on sensors for mobiles eg. Ultrasound wands, 3D printing in remote areas)

•        Machine to machine communications (eg. Micro-grids for solar and other power sources with dyanamic pricing linked to m-banking)

Assuming this is of interest, I’d like to talk further about this sometime this week. I can send through a slide deck that may be of interest as well.

Best,

Martin Underwood

Future Media & Technology

Comic Relief

1st Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP

tel: +44 (0)207 820 2298

email: m.underwood@comicrelief.com website: http://www.comicrelief.com/

LIVE WEBCAST on Mapping of Data in the Horn of Africa. Oct. 11, 12:30 – 2:00 PM Washington DC time

Citizen Engagement, Aid Coordination, and Transparency: An Experience from Mapping of Data in the Horn of Africa

When: Tuesday, October 11, 2011, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Washington D.C. time

Live Webcast at: http://streaming7.worldbank.org/vvflash/extlive1

Comments or questions: please use Twitter (#mapdataafrica)

Drought, conflict, and rising food prices have created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa in decades. As areas of famine have grown over the past few months, data about the impact and response are sobering: food prices have increased nearly 200 percent, 750,000 people estimated to be at risk of starvation, and 2.4 billion U.S. dollars are needed to provide relief. There is a great need to understand, disaggregate and communicate this type data to increase citizen engagement and bolster a strong, coordinated international response. Sharing data about the famine’s impact and response can increase citizen engagement, improve coordination among organizations, and increase transparency of those involved in the relief effort.

This seminar, organized by World Bank, will present the recent work of Development Seed in the Horn of Africa. Development Seed is a firm which offers services to government, international development agencies, and the private sector to creatively use data for visualization and mapping in order to help those organizations to explain complex issues and improve their decision-making.

Chair: Johannes Sebastian Kiess, Operations Officer, World Bank Institute

Speakers:
Eric Gunderson, President, Development Seed
Dave Cole, Project Lead, Development Seed

Discussants:
Alexandre Marc, Lead Social Development Specialist, World Bank
Joshua Goldstein, Consultant, ICT Sector Unit, World Bank