One of the many great things that I really enjoyed during my 4-month stay in the United States last year were the regular meetups of the OLPC Learning Club DC and Technology Salon. Especially being a novice when it comes to ICT4D (short for Information and Communication Technology for Development) it was extremely interesting to be able to listen and talk to people who have been working on various projects and efforts in the field for quite some time.
Coming back to Austria I quickly started to miss these kinds of gatherings. With OLPC Austria we’ve been mostly focused on day-to-day activities, especially with regard to our small Austrian OLPC / Sugar pilot. So while we’ve had discussions about ICT in education, brain-storming sessions on future activities, etc. there was relatively little time to think about the for development side of things.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when I read that ICT4D.at, a small and relatively new Austrian NGO whose goal is to contribute to the larger and global ICT4D movement, is planning on setting up regular meetings for folks who are interested in ICT4D here in Vienna.
The first meeting took place on Saturday evening and while only a handful of people were there I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see people with different backgrounds and coming from different walks of life who are all interested in the same topic. Plus even in this day and age it’s just so much better to meet people face-to-face compared to just communicating via e-mail, Skype or whatever.
Anyway, I’m seriously excited about this opportunity and really looking forward to the next meetings!