[Health] [realness] Keeping the ball rolling...

George Hunt georgejhunt at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 10:16:28 EDT 2010

My early participation in anything related with OLPC was as a meetup
coordinator for the Manhattan area. We had perhaps 50 or so people pass
through that organization in a 2 year period. Our group floundered, in my
opinion, because of my shortcomings as a leader, and because we couldn't
identify next step volunteering (capacity building) opportunities locally or

I support the idea of a clearing house, volunteer coordination, pipeline
nurturing, small deployment masterminding initiative. But I agree with
Christine, initiatives taken by many, tend to be nurtured by none.

I'm tempted to just focus my attention for the moment on the bright spots as
I see them:

   - Adam nurturing 200+ volunteers
   - Bernie using his skills in Uruguay to respond to the needs of customers
   on the ground
   - Claudia shaking up educational models with whirlwind visits to
   - Daniel Drake in afganistan
   - Mike Lee and the Learning club in DC
   - Caryl Bigenhoe in Argentina
   - Luke Faralone and the DC repair enterprise
   - Chistine and her Columbus Girls school
   - All of the developers, all over the world, contributing to SugarLabs
   (only visible to me via Bernie's talk at Maho)

My hope  is for one mastermind, or a very small group of dedicated
visionaries, and an organization under and surrounding them.  I wonder if
SugarLabs could enlarge its mission to include deployment support.  It seems
to me that the feedback loop is an essential part of software development.

The contributions of Daniel, Bernie, Claudia on the ground in the developing
world are what we need more of. Their skills were visible, developed, tested
over years within the OLPC community.  There are probably other volunteers
who could operate in similar fashion, perhaps at a somewhat lower level.  We
need to develop ladders, pathways, forums where potential volunteers can
become known, develop expertise, make contribution. In a way, we need a
human resources department for volunteers. (or is it a newly concieved,
missioned, permanent, OLPCcorp).

Certainly, Adam, and his support-gang, and those lurking on the devel-list
are prime candidates for climbers of the ladders and filling the pipelines.
And Adam probably has the best chance of evaluating skill level/competence
of potential volunteers he's had contact with. I think we need a full time
person working along side Adam, with the charter of growing a volunteer
program. If 7 organizations are considering donating a half day a week,
perhaps they would consider contributing a half day salary to OLPC, or
sending their person 1 month a year to work with Adam.

But Mike Lee also hold a critical piece of the puzzle.  Through leadership,
hard work, and skill he has developed a 200 person OLPC "Learning Club". We
need volunteers to learn what he knows, and start doing more of it. Then we
need a growth path so all of the enthusiasm, and desire to contribute, can
be channeled towards objectives held by teachers/students in the developing

I don't know anything about SugarLabs, their funding, or flexibility with
regard to mission. But I believe that a vibrant volunteer program is
strategic. It isn't enough to have reliable, low cost hardware, innovative
engaging software, if the real world physical, technical, emotional
constraints are not addressed directly and energetically.

On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 5:47 AM, Beth Santos <beth at waveplace.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> So as you all know, a request has been made to transfer the
> health at waveplace.org list to health at lists.laptop.org. This sounds like a
> great idea- unfortunately I can't subscribe you all so you'll need to
> subscribe yourselves!
> For those of you who are not familiar with OLPC mailing lists, visit
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health to subscribe. I know we're all
> busy but it'd definitely be good to keep the dialogue moving so that we can
> divide sections this week and work on them on our own time.
> If you have questions, please let me know. Otherwise, see you at
> health at lists.laptop.org!
> Beth
> ---
> *Beth Santos*
> Outreach Coordinator
> Waveplace Foundation
> Tel: +1 610 797 3100 x 44
> Fax: +1 610 797 3199
> Cell: +1 603 661 1273
> http://www.waveplace.org
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