Results of the Open Aid Data Hackday

17-10-2011 – Filed under activismICT4Dhackdayopen-datavizualization

Around 150 participants joined the Open Aid Data Conference in Berlin. The event was full with discussions and exchange on how open data can be used to achieve more transparency in the developing aid sector. The first day was split into two workshops – an ‘Aidinfo Data Training’ and ‘Hackday,’…

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Automated vs. manual mapping - consequences for crowdsourcing

16-12-2010 – Filed under activismtechnologydigital-recognitionmappingmaptivismopenstreetmaps

Digital cartography has made map making a lot easier. But If a map contains a lot of data or specific data, it can become a complex or costly adventure. Despite the efforts around open data, still the majority of data is not publicly available, and if so only for high…

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Polyglott Net: Activisme cartographique - Cartógrafos alternativos

01-10-2010 – Filed under activismlanguagemaptivism

The polyglot Internet is potentially possible, but often limited by its language barriers. A tiny percentage of the Internet content is translated. While famous US American blogs are read worldwide, Chinese, German, French or Indonesian blogs are often not noticed outside of their countries. There is an interesting presentation from…

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Context is king - new inspiring ideas on Maptivism

26-08-2010 – Filed under activismmappingmaptivismtransparency

If you sit in front a long list of information, it is often difficult to make quickly sense of it. If you look at a map of the same data, you might get a picture of it rather quickly. 1,470,000 US gallons of oil were leaking from an oil pipe…

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Presentation: A journey to the world of Maptivism

17-05-2010 – Filed under activismmappingmaptivismvisualization

A while ago I was asked, by Markus Beckedahl, to present something on maptivism at the re-publica conference.  And even though I am still exploring this new field, I tried to give an overview of the fascinating world of maptivism. Here is a video of my presentation (33 min.), which…

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Frankfurt gestalten: Open data for transparency and engagement in local politics

04-03-2010 – Filed under activismcitizen-actionedemocracyfrankfurtopen-datatransparencysocial-innovation

What are politician’s decisions about your neighborhood? What does usually happen in my street and what could be done better? In Frankfurt, Germany, there is now a website called (Create Frankfurt), which makes local political decision more transparent and offers a new space for citizen to participate. is…

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Cairo, Johannesburg, Mumbai - 24 hrs Google Buzz and location-based information pops up everywhere

10-02-2010 – Filed under activismICT4Dinformation-flowlocation-based-servicemappingsocial-network

In this blog post, I will dive into the latest buzz: Google Buzz. Google Buzz is a huge jump in location-based services as it happens all around the world at once. I have browsed through the map of Google Buzz’ mobile phone version, where statuses can be combined with your…

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SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

06-02-2010 – Filed under activismfuturemobile

The new opportunity to have activism through mobile phones is fascinating. I  have already often written about it. A while ago Sokari Enkine asked me to write a chapter for a recent published book funded by Hivos. I wrote about future trends and software developments, and then blogged about some…

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5 inspiring examples for worldwide Maptivism

15-01-2010 – Filed under activismmappingmaptivismopen-datatransparency

“But the maps provided something that the narrative and statistics lacked […] We could articulate the case in words. […] But when you’d put up the maps, they’d stop listening to you and look at them [as if to] say, ‘Is this really possible?’” Reed Colfax in an interview by…

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From global to local: Mobile, mapping and action

23-11-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dmappingmobilemonitoringvisualization

Location, mobile phones and the Internet, combined together, are becoming an attractive amalgam for new opportunities. There is a fascinating trend to see the convergence of mobile technologies connected to the Internet and the rising importance of location. This is not just another hype, but could really be interesting for…

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The Internet of Things: Open intelligence through citizen action

02-10-2009 – Filed under activismICT4DcrowdsourcingenvironmentInternet-of-ThingsRFIDSupply-chaintransparency

The Internet of Things is a rather old story within the web. But through simple, low-cost technology such as RFID chips (Radio Frequency Identification Tags) volunteers worldwide gain another potentially powerful monitoring instrument. Such crowdsourcing efforts can unseal environmental damage, give valuable data to advocacy organizations and development projects. Internet…

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Maptivism: Maps for activism, transparency and engagement

14-09-2009 – Filed under activismawarenessmappingmashupopenstreetmapstransparencyweb2fordevgeo-data

It is estimated as much as 80% of data contains geo-referenced information. So, a lot of information can be displayed through maps. Digital maps allow easy ways to present large amounts of data and reduce complexity. Activists have found creative ways to use maps, but also development organizations have to…

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Social networks for a good cause – growth, culture and impact

20-07-2009 – Filed under activismcausecollaborationdevelopment-2.0social-changesocial-networkweb2fordev

Imagine if people were using social network sites such as Facebook not only for leisure, but to contribute to a good cause.  If engagement would go beyond Slacktivism to be part of a cause, and millions of people were contributing to a common for worldwide development work. Why doesn’t it…

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Mobile Activism in Africa

11-05-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricacitizen-mediaelectionsmediamobilenetworkzimbabwe

Why and how does the mobile phone play a role in activism in Africa? What makes it be different from other forms of activism? And what are the potentials and challenges behind it? I tried answering these questions two weeks ago at the Medien Jour Fix,  an interesting German network…

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9 Examples of innovative tools for the mobile phone

05-03-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dapplicationconsumer-rightsenvironnmentmobilemobilewebsocial-change

One of the major shift is not the growth of mobile phones, but its transformations to a multi-purpose tool and its ubiquitous nature. Being it a calculator, a translator or a broadcasting, sensing or analyzing medium – the mobile phone will affect much more daily life than personal computers did….

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Future trends of mobile activism

15-12-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricakenyamobileparticipationsmssocial-networksoftware

The simplest and most powerful form of mobile activism in the future will probably still be ordinary communication. However, in all fields of activism such as advocacy, awareness, research and protest, the mobile phone can be a strategic tool for communication, collaboration, coordination and collective action. In this regard we…

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Africa, Asia, Europe: Web enthusiasts for social innovation

08-10-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dbarcampsocial-change

The other day I watched some videos from the Web2.0 Expo in New York. I have to say I liked most presentations, but at the same time I was bored that it is all too often about business and just another start up. Therefore, I was surprised to hear Tim…

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Wisdom of crowd: Bottom up measuring of development results

19-05-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Ddevelopmentkenyamobileopennessorganizationweb2fordevwisdom-of-crowd

Some days ago, I had a talk with a colleague from another development organization about web2fordev. We were asking whether web2.0 can really make a difference in development work? We both agreed it can, but we were unsure whether the organizational culture has to change first or the external pressure…

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6 innovative grassroot mashups for transparency

05-05-2008 – Filed under activismICT4De-democracygrassrootsmashupunited-nations

Some weeks ago I wrote a post about a new initiative by UNHCR, which promotes the use geodata mashups to provide information about refugee camps all around the world. Today, I saw another initiative by the World Bank called “Our work around the world.” Again, it is a nice…

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Mobile everything: 3 new dimensions of citizen engagement

28-04-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dcitizen-journalismmobilesocial-networktwitter

Blogs have started a little revolution – nowadays everyone with Internet access can publish content on the web. Citizens can articulate their perspective and exchange it within a network of blogs. The mobile phone, with its improved access to the web, gives new means for citizen engagement because one can…

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Collaboration for change: Reflections on the Social Innovation Camp

16-04-2008 – Filed under activismcommunicationICT4Dcollaborationcreativitynonprofitsicamp08social-entrepreneursocial-networksocial-innovation

A bit late I write my feedback from the Social Innovation Camp (sicamp08), which luckily had the chance to join. I first heard about it from Dan McQuillan, who is one of the initiators and also has a great blog. It was a fascinating weekend with a real kind of…

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Impressions from Re-publica and Social Innovation Camp

14-04-2008 – Filed under activismcommunicationconferencee-democracyopen-sourceparticipationpoliticsprivacyrepublicasicamp08social-innovation

The German vs. the British websphere Well, a week after attending both, the Social Innovation Camp (sicamp08) and re-publica, I finally post my reflections on these events. It was great to visit these two events, listen to numerous interesting presentations at re-publica, and grasp the contagious spirit of social innovation…

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NGO2.0 -- the end of the organization? (1)

19-03-2008 – Filed under activismcivil-societycollaborationnetworkorganizationparticipation

Michael Gilbert wrote an article called “The End of the Organization?” in which he wonders how civil society organizations, such as NGOs, can continue working the way they do? Whether the organization as we know it survives or not, it is by studying the changing patterns of communication that we…

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How Can Nonprofits Use Twitter? Should They Even Bother?

14-01-2008 – Filed under activismcommunicationcivil-societyhuman-rightsmobileNet2ThinkTanknonprofittwitter

This blog post is a contribution to the Net2ThinkTank from the netsquared community. It is great community of people discussing about non-profits and technology. I can highly recommend their podcasts. When I got from Britt Bravo an email to join the discussion about above topic I was more than happy…

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Kenyan bloggers need your support

14-01-2008 – Filed under activismafricademocracyelectionskenyamedia

Most of you probably have been following the news about Kenya lately. I was there only two months ago and had the opportunity to meet some interesting bloggers. Television was fully covering and broadcasting about the election’s campaigns at that time. When the elections took place on the 27 December,…

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Online privacy in Germany is over

02-01-2008 – Filed under activismpoliticsprivacy

This blog post veers a little bit from my usual topics, but in my opinion it is still quite important. Since January 1st, Germany has had a new online surveillance law. The result is an unfortunate wide scale intervention in the privacy of German citizens. Once again, it is another…

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Social software for social change

24-12-2007 – Filed under activismcampaigningcivil-societye-democracyparticipationpolitics

Charles Leadbeater, well known for his book We Think, has released an interesting paper called “Social Software for Social Change.” The paper presents rich examples about civic action through the web and its impact on democracy. With the advice from Dan Mcquillan, Leadbeater greatly links different forms of activism and…

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Blog action day: E-waste, the downside of the growing web

15-10-2007 – Filed under activismafricacampaigningcomputerenvironment

Today is blog action day and this year’s topic is environment. Thousands of bloggers will devote their writing skills to create more awareness to our threaten environment. I decided to write about e-waste (electronic waste). As Internet grows everyday, so does the demand for electronic equipment that preserves and extends…

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Innovative online activism mashup

09-09-2007 – Filed under activismbloggingnetwork

Ethan Zuckerman presents a great example of on-line activism; this time on the President of Tunisia. It is a video made by Astrubal about the Tunisian presidential airplane. Although the President has been only out of the country three times in the last years, the airplane has been sighted all…

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Local blogs for politics, media and activism

22-08-2007 – Filed under activismblogginge-democracymedianetworkpolitics

I found two very interesting articles recently which describe how politics, activism and media are influenced by the web. Joe Garofoli from the San Fransisco Chronicle wrote the article “Local blogs are key to future of politics,” reporting from the Yearly Kos convention. He describes how local politics are already…

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Does Twitter make sense?

19-08-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationafricamobilesharing

To begin with, I have to say, I am not a Twitter user. I have signed up for an account but have not used it at all. I, personally, prefer tools such as Skype. But still, I am willing to be convinced that it does bring an advantage for personal…

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Weekly links: Advocacy2.0, development2.0, knowledge worker2.0 and office2.0

18-08-2007 – Filed under activismlinksdevelopment

Advocacy2.0: Network-centric advocacy A nice presentation about new potentials for activism over the web. GlobalGiving Decision Markets GlobalGiving is a platform to initiate projects and find partners for them. In August, they started a kind of stock-market experiment to speculate about which project has the greatest chance of succeeding on…

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E-democracy: participation next? (2) Germany

13-08-2007 – Filed under activismlinkscivil-societye-democracyparticipationpoliticsunconference

Overview First of all, I would like to thank Jan Amos and and Rolf Lührs for their comments. Yes, I agree that in Germany some initiatives around e-democracy have been taken (e.g. e-petition in the German parliament), however, in comparison to German’s vibrant political life, its web is politically inactive….

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E-democracy: participation next? (1)

30-07-2007 – Filed under activismknowledge-managementcivil-societye-democracyparticipationpolitics

The concept of e-democracy dates from the early days of Internet. To my understanding, it embraces everything that connects political processes and the web. Back in the 90s high promises were linked to the web and its implications for democracy and participation. One early example is the Electronic Town Hall,…

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Social webs in Africa

14-07-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationICT4Dafricabloggingconnectivitymobilesocial-network

Today I was interviewed by the German radio station “Deutschland Radio Kultur.” The interview is now available as a podcast at The interview’s main topic was Social Webs in Africa, stressing general issues about connectivity in Africa and social web such as the blogosphere. Thanks to Sokari Ekine I…

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An overview on Egyptian bloggers and activism

17-06-2007 – Filed under activismICT4Dbloggingcivil-societynetworkpolitics

In the arab region activists use sophisticated and creative blogs and tools to network nationally and internationally and to tackle issues such as human rights, freedom of speech and democracy. Especially in Egypt, where the blogosphere is very vibrant, in contrary to European political bloggers. On Egybloggers more than 320…

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Coming soon