October 2005

Portrait

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telecentre.org is a new collaborative initiative involving telecentres, networks, innovators, social investors and others with a stake in the telecentre community. It is built on the belief that locally driven technology initiatives can empower individuals and strengthen communities.

Based at Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), telecentre.org will invest in activities that directly benefit grassroots telecentres and that bolster the telecentre movement globally. A special emphasis will be placed on the creation and strengthening of networks that help people in the telecentre movement to gather, share information and support each other.

An initial social investment to support the creation of telecentre.org has been provided by IDRC, the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

This month's 'portrait' section provides a profile of the telecentre.org program. It includes information from the telecentre.org web site, an overview of the online strategy behind the program and an interview with telecentre.org managing director Mark Surman.

From the telecentre.org website…
Telecentres, telecottages, village knowledge centres, CTCs, telehuts, community multimedia centres: whatever they're called, wherever they are, people gather in them to share technology, use the Internet, learn new skills, tackle local social issues, face common challenges, and empower their communities. They are part of a vibrant worldwide movement.

telecentre.org exists to build bridges within this movement, connecting people working in telecentres around the world. We're about sharing knowledge and learning together. We're about reinforcing a global movement by finding ways that people, communities and networks can connect over common issues. We're about telecentres getting stronger and better, together.

The telecentre.org program is built on the belief that networks are the key to strengthening telecentres

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