GWT, OSCON and OLPC Australia

Last week I spent 3 packed days at the Global Women and Technology meeting in Drammen, Norway. We had about 22 women from 16 countries talking about projects, strategies and ways to collaborate globally on helping women in technology. The scope for this is quite broad, it includes getting women into ICT careers and the like, but also for assisting women to use technology in innovative ways to assist themselves, their work/businesses and their communities. In many countries for various reasons women don’t have the same access to education nor technology, and as such are at a significant disadvantage. By increasing the general digital literacy we increase the opportunities for education and work.

An interesting example of a real digital divide for an entire country was Uganda where the pay US$90 per month for a 64k link! So we are discussing hosting services in-country and developing a big LAN with web stuff replicated externally for backup and international access, and SMS gateways to blogs amongst other ideas. It was a really intensive interesting 3 days and I gave a presentation about technologies that could help and had an excellent reception. More to come on this soon!

This week, OSCON! I’m really excited as this is my first time at OSCON. I’ll be speaking about both women in FOSS and the research research project Jeff and I completed about the FOSS industry and community in Australia. Both talks are on Wednesday, so come along!

Then finally, before I head home to Australia (and Jeff!) I’ll be spending a week in Niue helping with the world’s first OLPC 100% saturation of one laptop, per child 🙂 Details about the Pacific trials are all on the OLPC wiki here. It is a really exciting project and I’m proud to be helping make it happen. I’ll be kicking off and announcing some OLPC Australia projects over the coming months, some public and some not, so join the OLPC Australia mailing list in order to be kept up to date.

The people already on that mailing list will say “but nothing is happening on that list”, I’m happy to say I’m about to start doing a monthly newsletter with project updates. There is also some great community development action planned to start in the coming month, so again, join the list!