[OLPC-Philippines] Vision, Mission, and harnessing the power of volunteers...

Ryan Letada rletada at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 02:04:21 EST 2009

Hello Everyone,

Hmm. Where to begin?

Essentially, this goes back to the question of what our purpose and mission
are as an organization. With Jerome's important points regarding sugar, and
despite the instability of OLPC and G1G1 program,  I think we have to
continuously look at the bigger picture – which is using technological
innovation to improve access to quality education for Filipino youth. The
current discussion regarding organizational focus is certainly an important
one, especially in regards to scalability and sustainability. Regardless of
whether we use Sugar on a Stick or XO laptop, or even both, we need to focus
on increasing access to education through whatever means.

Depending on the capacity of our team, we can focus on both sugar and XO
development in the meantime. Despite my lack of technological knowledge, I
still see the benefits of deploying XOs. For examples, we can deliver
education to indigenous communities, and rural communities that do not
necessarily have stable electricity or reliable infrastructures [which is a
major percentage of the population]. Sugar on a Stick, on the other hand, is
cost effective and can be deployed in urbanized areas, Netopias and internet
cafes. Developers can begin to focus on creating content, but how do we
deliver these contents? I do not see why we cant focus on both. I guess this
is how we differentiate ourselves from other OLPC grassroots movements. We
can employ numerous strategies in answering the "education access" question.

Second, I feel that it is important for us to begin to build our capacity by
developing an efficient and effective  volunteer model. For the past months,
our conversations have centered on content delivery and development.
However, there are other numerous important matters that we need to address
-funding capability and development, partnership development, education and
curriculum development. For the past few months, numerous interested parties
and individuals with different specializations have approached our group. I
think that we can appropriately harness their potential contributions in
parallel to the development of content.

Third, I was given the task of scouting for some possible schools for an
information sessions. I have approached a couple of schools and educations
groups regarding our intentions, however, I am somewhat hesitant
to finalize anythign them. We have a vision, but we do not have a clear
mission yet. Our who, what, where and why have yet to be clarified, even
within our group. Once we answer these questions, we can then provide some
sort of value proposition to potential benefactors of our vision. I just
fear we may be jumping the gun, without actually having a solid foundation.
So…. Would you guys still like me to schedule a meeting with these schools?

Phew. These are definitely tough questions and I hope I didn't overwhelm
anyone or set us back. As my mentor would say *"you have a sexy idea, but it
the not-so-sexy work that you have to focus on."*

* *

Cheers guys, and thanks for reading this long-winded email,

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