TED Conferences introduces TED Fellows Program

Fifty World-Changing Individuals to be Selected Annually for New, Prestigious Fellowship Program; 20 move to Senior Fellows Three-Year Program

Organizers of the TED Conference today announced the introduction of the TED Fellows program, a new international program designed to foster the spread of great ideas. Initially 50 individuals, selected for the world-changing potential of their work, will be invited to participate in the TED community each year. At the end of the year, 20 of these 50 will be selected to be TED Senior Fellows, participating in an extended three-year program will bring them to six consecutive conferences, along with additional benefits. The principal goal of the program is to empower the Fellows to effectively communicate their work to the TED community and to the world.

The TED Fellows program will focus on attracting applicants living or working in five parts of the globe: the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East, with consideration given to applicants from the rest of the world. TED will seek remarkable thinkers and doers that have shown unusual accomplishment, exceptional courage, moral imagination and the potential to increase positive change in their respective fields. The program focuses on innovators in technology, entertainment, design, science, film, art, music, entrepreneurship and the NGO community, among other pursuits.

The program was inspired by the TEDAfrica 2007 conference in Arusha, Tanzania, in which 100 fellows participated in a first-of-its kind gathering that catalyzed a new generation of doers — all entrepreneurial, fluent in technology and vested in creating change on the continent. The Arusha fellows brought with them new perspectives, enormous energy, enthusiasm and, through their ovation-generating talks, catalyzed the launch of many initiatives with other attendees. Propelled by their energy, TED decided to develop the TED Fellows program.

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Unlocking the Potential of Mobile Technology for Social Impact

Mobile Active 2008 South African NGO NetworkThe Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) and MobileActive.org will host the MobileActive08 Summit from 13-15 October 2008 at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg. The theme of the event is “Unlocking the Potential of Mobile Technology for Social Impact”.

With more than 350 confirmed participants from over 40 countries, this will be the largest international event to date focusing on this topic and one of the most important ICT4D events to be hosted in Africa in 2008.

Speaking at the end of September 2008 at the United Nations in New York during a high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Hamadoun TourĂ©, announced that worldwide mobile cellular subscribers are likely to reach the 4 billion mark before the end of this year. “The fact that 4 billion subscribers have been registered worldwide indicates that it is technically feasible to connect the world to the benefits of ICT and that it is a viable business opportunity”, he stated. “Clearly, ICTs have the potential to act as catalysts to achieve the 2015 targets of the MDGs.”

However, even with ubiquity of access, the challenge to development practitioners and technology experts is how best to adapt and translate growth and innovation in mobile technology in support of specific development challenges. As a result, there is an urgent need to share lessons learned to date and explore the most effective use of this technology.

At MobileActive08, participants will explore how mobile phones are used to advance development work in different parts of the world, assess the current state of knowledge in the use and effectiveness of mobile technology to advance social action, and investigate trends, needs and investment opportunities. Specific attention will be given to the role of mobile technology in health, human rights, economic development, research, advocacy, citizen journalism and democratic participation.

According to David Barnard, Executive Director of SANGONeT, “During the first day and a half of the event more than 60 speakers will share their experiences through a variety of workshops and skill-share sessions, rotating mini-talks, SIMlabs and SIMplaces. The second part of MobileActive08 will be conducted in an ‘open space’ format where participants will delve more deeply into the topics discussed during the first part of the event.”

Some of the key mobile experts that will make presentations at the event include Brian Richardson of Wizzit, Jonathan Donner of Microsoft, Peter Benjamin of Cell-Life, Russell Southwood of Balancing Act and Erik Hersman of Ushahidi.

Go to the MobileActive website for the detailed information about the programme and speakers.

Delegates will include NGO and development practitioners, mobile technologists, researchers studying the use of mobile phones, government officials, and representatives from the international donor community and telecommunications industry.

The MobileActive08 Summit is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Microsoft, Department of Communications, Vodacom, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, HIVOS, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Ford Foundation and Torque IT.

SANGONeT’s new corporate identity and the new SANGONeT NGO Portal, NGO Pulse, will also be launched during the event.

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For additional comments and media accreditation, please contact:

David Barnard, Executive Director
Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT)
Tel: (011) 403-4935 or Cell: 082 870-8968
E-mail: dbarnard@sangonet.org.za

“Linking civil society through ICTs”