Friday, October 13, 2006

Gates Project 6: Better Tech R & D for NGO's

Today I had a really great talk with Zack Exley, a stratgist at OMP and president and co-founder of the New Organizing Institute. We talked for a good hour, mostly about what Zack sees as a need for better tech R&D for NGO's. There are only a few kids on the block doing this kind of work, chief among them CivicSpace and Democracy in Action. Both are making great efforts on a small budget (they are non-profits themselves). Nevertheless, Zack proposes that a new force is needed to work directly with NGO's as they begin to make their online presence felt. He is convinced that great innovations in online organizing tools can only be made in cooperation with specific organizations in relation to specific campaigns. He also reminded me of the importance of talking to practioners, not only theorists and to always ask for real-world examples of how a technology is working.

categories: internet activism_, gates project_, the "developing world"_

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