Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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The Power of One

January 28th, 2004 · No Comments

Tomas Krag looks at ICT projects and asks “What is it that makes a successful grassroots school connectivity project happen in Indonesia, and in Namibia, but not in the Phillipines and Angola?” and answers: “A large part of the answer is a specific individual, geek, hacker, leader, creator.”

What are these potential barriers? It seems logical that a person could be out there with the energy and skills to make something happen, but without the personal circumstances to allow him/her to deciate themself to a project. Equally obvious barriers could include legal and policy problems, and finally there may be people out there who would take the initative if only they knew such a thing were possible.

Is it too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that there are people out there in every country in the world who could and would intiate and drive their own grassroots project of only they were nudged in the right direction?

Peronsally I am a big fan of Amercian Author Paul Auster, and his novels, that basically all revolve around the immense role of chance in our lives. The little chance meeting that makies a complete change in our careers, or the tiny little decisions that means we meet the love of our life. I want to play with this chance. I want to experiment with identifying potential grassroots hackers with the power, will and desire to make a difference and see if I cant trigger a few projects in that way.

If we succeed we may help starting some amazing projects that can do incredible stuff with little or no funding. If we fail well still only have spent a few hundred thousand dollars, which is such a pathetic fraction of the total money spent on infrastructure in the developing world, that it seems to me it will be money well spent on a valuable lesson.

It is always a few who change the world.

Tags: Deeshaa (Rural Development)

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