[Grassroots-l] [support-gang] Change the World (FAST!)

Niklaus Giger niklaus at laptop.org
Mon Feb 9 17:23:37 EST 2009

Hi Samuel

On Monday 09 February 2009 20.30:13 Holger Levsen wrote:
> Hi Samuel,
> On Montag, 9. Februar 2009, Samuel Klein wrote:
> > If OLPC Germany knows of a good project that you support and
> > want to get started, I hope this will not keep you from talking to
> > people to get it off the ground.
> It makes the perception very different and very difficult. If it seems like
> I can only get laptops via knowing the right people (which I'm not 100%
> sure I do..), which seems like an obscure way of doing business, many
> education departmants will just go to a serious dealer. Being only able to
> choose between 100 or 1000 units was bad enough (when we had schools
> interested in getting 50 or 60), but now I have to explain, "yes, those
> programms dont exist anymore, but maybe we can still get some despite of
> this" which doesnt really sound serious.
> Sorry, but this is how OLPC looks in old europe.
> (And you have to keep in mind that without proper keyboards (aka german
> ones in this case) noone is really considering more than one or two
> classroom sets. Together with the above, it's gotten quite frustrating.)
We have in Switzerland one pilot project, where Martin Hofmann, one of our 
volunteers, worked over a year to get an approval from his university. Here in 
Switzerland there is no central bureaucracy, you have to convince 26 cantonal 
departements and over 3000 village authorities that OLPC offers a better way 
to educate our children. You need good pilot schools, scientific evaluation 
and a few years to do it right. And we swiss people try to do it right the 
first time as not to waste to much material, time and costs. And in any case 
it takes at least 18 years for a baby to be become an educated citizen. Where 
is the hurry?

He needed (would still appreciate it) 30 XOs for one primary school class, 
calculated everything using prices from G1G1. 

Decision got reported from December 08 to January 7th 2009 because the 
(Windows) admin wanted more details about support. Bad impression caused as 
G1G1 cancelled with almost no advance notice.

As G1G1 was cancelled decision was delayed till February 3rd. OLPC Switzerland 
said, okay order 100 XOs and we will try to find money for the 25'900 US$ - 
(30 x 399 US$) by private funding and/or starting another pilot. I promised 
Martin that we will find a way to get his 30 XO. Then I had to announce him 
the very bad notice that G100 cancelled with no advance notice.

I am no more willing to risk my personal reputation for a project like OLPC 
foundation it these kind of decisions is made without consulting the 
community, e.g. way did you not post on a few mailing list (grassroots, etc) 
saying that you consider stopping "Change the world" and whether it is okay if 
last orders can still be place till end of March?

OLPC Foundation should just not be surprised if the OLPC community/grassroots 
is turning to other HW alternatives (netbook, classmates, www.gdium.com), 
which may be technically inferior but good enough for a lot or our purposes. 
Or we will just give the children a Sugar USB stick (as a Windows program 
and/or booting any linux distro with Sugar). This one they can take from home 
to school and back and will be their access to the rich world of free 
educational content and activities.



> regards,
> 	Holger

Niklaus Giger
Member of OLPC Support Gang

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