User:SvenAERTS

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Welcome

Thank you for your reading my profile:

Contact me

  • skype: svenaerts
  • email: SvenAERTS at laptop dot org
  • phone: + 32 2 7 876 7 21
  • irc ... during my time at OLPC Europe I was on most of the olpc channels, announcing all other collaborators worldwide that OLPC Europe had logged in and ready for action.
  • OLPC Belgium

(Some of) My experiences with OLPC, what I'm doing now and why

OLPC is an open hardware and open software project. As with any other open software project, say Linux or Open-Office, it is impossible making money by selling e.g. Linux or Open Office because everybody knows it's open source and free downloadable. So, in order to AND support such a project AND make a living is an equilibrium that's not alway easy to find and must be approached with a lot of common and very realistic sense. Especially on ICT projects because very quickly you find yourself competing with very brilliant people from all over the planet, including countries that might be lower wage countries, etc.

I'm a keen user of ICT, but I'm not a programmer, and I don't have a whole MIT behind me. So I'm working from a pretty weak position versus others. I managed to get hired by OLPC Europe for the combination of my knowledge about the project but most of all because of my knowledge on how to bring additional resources and money to the table via the generation of CO2e certificates by OLPC deployments via the Clean Development Mechanism under the CO2e certificate Emission Trading System as defined by the http://UNFCCC.int.

That was a specific job nobody else could do as good as me, so I got hired, but it only took 2 months.

I assumed that the educational landscape - teachers, especially ICT teachers, and for sure the university level, specialists on the use of ICT in education in cabinets of the Ministries of Education, etc. - would get involved in the OLPC XO-XS educational initiative, develop capacity, fill-out grant forms to get OLPC-Schools / -labo's where people could come and see, touch, work with the XO-XServers, get a feel, meet the OLPC Community leaders, learn about the project, etc. After all, teachers can work from a structured, organized setting with a salary every month. So I thought, let's certainly not get into that lane because I'll be run over as I'm not backed by a school/university of paid job. I'm an independent entrepreneur. So I left.

To my growing disbelieve I kept on hearing more and more about teachers setting up iPad labs / test-projects, smart-board is now the big thing (2012-2013), Microsoft here and Microsoft there, the dangers of wifi and overuse of computers by kids, etc. and absolutely NOTHING about OLPC XO-XS, nothing. Not even in 2009-10-11 when Uruguay and Peru did their full deployment and all kids 5 till 15 had received an XO-XS. Meanwhile our son was born, became 3 years, entered kinder garden. So I poked around a bit what was the ICT strategy in schools, in his school, if they'd heard of OLPC and the XO-XS, what was happening in Uruguay and Peru? Nobody ever heard of it. WHAT?! People in the educational landscape had not even heard of the largest educational initiative ever undertaken my humanity? OLPC XO-XS deployments are supported by the UN, Unesco, the secretary general Ban KI-MOON and Kofi ANAN ... there's plenty of pics of them out there with XO's in their hand. What happened?

Now of all places where I could be living, we live in Brussels. And I am there because Brussels is also the Capital of the Largest Emission Trading System on the planet, and I take part is quite some events here organized by the European Commission and that sort. The OLPC-EU Brussels office was full time lobbying and working - had worked their way into just about ALL the embassies here in Brussels and got appointments with the Presidents/Ministers of Education/Ministers of Economy/Prime Ministers whenever their job brought them to Brussels. Even me, I showed the XO's from the office at some of the EU events. So how on earth could it be that OLPC is not taking of here in Europe or even at other places or so slow? That the test-deployments have such a hard time spinning out in region wide deployments. But here in Europe, hardly anybody seems to take the OLPC initiative any further to at least make sure there's test-sites in every major region in Europe or country. And than these iPad "class rooms", they really give me the creeps. It's so completely what OLPC and the XO-XS are not about. To me these iPads are just good to learn our youth techniques to evaluate if they want to get on board with a hype or not, what criteria to use to make up your mind. Don't get me wrong, I think iPads are great, but at 750€, they are not the e-tool you want to put in the hands of kids / youngsters. I think the OLPC XO-XS is the preferred choice.

So I started analyzing what went wrong. Tried to take up contact with as many EU OLPC contacts as possible. And I found out that everybody who knows or gets to know OLPC thinks it's great - but for poor countries and poor kids, and their kids deserve something better, like a real laptop. People make that assumption because mostly they see pics of black-brown/poor kids holding these XO's. But the XO-XServer combination, is THE etool, the BEST e-tool out there and you want for your kid and school: a strong box, that can be easily updated, repaired with a normal screw-driver and all the same screws, open hard and software, made to be updated, puts itself automatically in a network with the other kids-XO-laptops, and with its video-call capability probably good for a large portion of their communication needs. There is no way you can get a better price/quality if tens of thousands are being ordered month after month after month for several years. It's a real money saver. And it pays for itself because they generate CO2e certificates and secondly from increased tax revenues because a better informed society - better educated society is able to generate more additional value more efficiently and quicker, so tax-revenues increase and that's important if you're the minister of education/prime minister/minister of economy because you have to defend the investment.

So, since nobody else is explaining this, I've taken it upon me to take the OLPC XO-XS in the core of my activities as an independent entrepreneur and Leadership Developer of the Low Carbon / Green Economy with its carbon-money / CO2e currency.

My core business leads me to set-up multi-disciplinary, international, gender and age balanced teams to think up and develop sustainable projects that generate these CO2e certificates. For this I've set-up with the diaspora here in Brussels:

  1. http://www.AfricaCO2e.org
  2. http://www.DiasporaCO2e.tk,
  3. a http://www.LeadershipInstitute.tk and the
  4. http://www.AfricanWomanLeadershipInstitute.tk

Our teams regularly get in touch with high ranked individuals in developing countries and pitch the OLPC - XO-XS as part of a Waste-to-Building materials demonstration project where we build Sustainable Schools using waste material. They have sets of 4 pager documents with lots of pics and relevant data on them.

If you're interested to team-up, send me an email with your http://www.linkedin.com profile, what you want to do and what you need for achieving that.

Types / Categories of Questions on OLPC

i'm also trying to help in bringing structure in the questions people throw at you, especially sceptic ones, that can take you off guard. I've participated in such an initiative in the climate change debate. We found out there's a LOT of questions, but not an endless/infinite number of questions. In all there's about a 100 questions or so, and then questions seem to come back or fall back into variations on the same theme. So I've started to rank them into groups and categories to help speed up the learning curve for people that want to talk about the olpc educational initiative or who want to know about OLPC. Here's the kick-off page http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Types_/_Categories_of_Questions

If you're interested to team-up, send me an email with your http://www.linkedin.com profile, what you want to do and what you need for achieving that.

I've been co-writing on this wiki since april 2006.

(a response from a concerned reader)
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your efforts, but listing questions like this will do more harm than good.
You have been rigorous in collecting questions, categorising them, and expanding on the responses, and so forth ... but the questions and responses reinforce the beliefs of those who object to a deployment.
One of the common myths in OLPC advocacy is that the objections to deployment can be rationally addressed, and that people can agree if only they share their facts, such as on a Wiki.
This myth is reassuring, and comfortable, but misdirects action into fact assembly and checking. What actually happens is that on receipt of the facts phrased as objections, the objectors will have their objections reinforced.
I think your approach on Types_/_Categories_of_Questions is misguided. You should instead:
  • do a frequency analysis,
can't we have more tools like a discussion forum tool I assume with thumbs-up thumbs-down and "me too" buttons? I assume that would be the way to enable frequency of how often a question/response is been looked at/asked/answer read? I assume we can't see how often a page e.g. with a question/answer is been looked at now? If for sure is harder for people to leave an appreciation then if they'd have these buttons they just have to press. Your thoughts?--SvenAERTS 11:57, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
At this time OLPC cannot devote resources to add more tools, sorry. Frequency analysis should be possible if you have a list of the questions actually asked. I speculate that you haven't been given this information, except in review of media reports by opposition groups. --Quozl 22:02, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
  • and reduce the number of questions to something more like 20, discarding the questions that are so infrequent as to be immaterial, and assemble them in one page (using Wiki transclusion),
That's why I've put in the use of categories of questions. I need help of the olpc community for furthering this effort. --SvenAERTS 11:57, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Good luck with getting help, as far as I can tell you're engaged in a monologue, you should engage the remaining OLPC community directly rather than expecting them to get involved in the Wiki. Try e-mail, and consider the upcoming summit in San Franscisco. --Quozl 22:02, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Thx for the advise. I am using email to reach out. E.g. if I find an email address on the page of regions/countries that are relevant, I email people. I've also checked the olpc map to find out who's close to me ... I've had to extend to the whole of Western Europe to find some people. I've emailed those. I've had about 4 people that emailed back. I'm subscribed to the most relevant olpc mailing lists. Every month I believe they sent out an automatic reminder with emails eventually. Not much happening there either. I have more luck using contacts I make here in Brussels at/via the European institutions. I hope to find there people from organizations that have enough structure an experience to apply for funds for an olpc related project. Check out who's going - next week - Equatorial Guinea, talking about a.o. OLPC to the new gvt. I just try to document what I'm doing here and I follow the suggestion of being "bold" :)
  • avoid phrasing the questions in a way that reinforces belief, as part of the familiarity backfire effect,
I'm reading the book/research results and recommendations. I'll do as I find time for it. --SvenAERTS 11:57, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
  • avoid repeating responses, and bloating the responses with more text, both of which are known to cause the overkill backfire effect,
I'm reading the book/research results and recommendations. I'll do as I find time for it. --SvenAERTS 11:57, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
  • read the Debunking Handbook to understand how to properly respond to questions from objectors, and read the relevant research on communication, a collection of which can be found in the bibliography of the Debunking Handbook.
I look forward to seeing your appreciation of the problem. --Quozl 01:11, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Thx Quozl for the reply and the link to the book. Debunking is something I've been working on since quite some time. It's nice to see there's professionals that have published a free book on the topic so we can improve ourselves. It's been a and it is a rocky ride and I'm sure it will smoothen the riding from now on. I hope I'm doing well responding here, or should I have copy/pasted the title on your discussion page and placed the reply there? I've never been able to find a place where it's explained who this use of the discussion pages actually works. --SvenAERTS 21:34, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Why I am involved

I've had the priveledge during my Youth to get involved in an International Youth Organisation called http://www.yeenet.eu - Youth Environment Europe, it made me a better person and I want to give back all I learned there to nowadays youth, to coach them the best I can, to share, built upon what previous youth generation have built and to take part in mankind's ultimate event: the creation of World Peace... and nothing less... and I think it is great to be part of this One Laptop Per Child, Universal Primary Education initiative in which the United Nations is a Partner, and knowing that I'll be able to tell my children and their children and their children and their children that their grand-dad was part of that exciting and inspiring generation, back in the old days of around the 2nd Millennium, transforming and leading humanity back into a sustainable society finally. And I hope to inspire others to be part of the movement. :)

  • Everything I've learned there, I've most of it turned into Leadership Development Workshops: a.o. http://yeeseniors.tk/
  • Till the age of 35, I was an official EU Youth Trainer (one of 200 recognized by the EU, as per EU Salto Youth Trainers Database)
  • so far there was 1 seminar and trainingscourse that won a reward by the European Comission and the Directorate General of Education and Culture, and we had a workshop in Turkey in june 2006 where 25 youth leaders from 15 countries gathered on the topic: IT for Youth Initiatives, which resulted in the creation of a Virtual Office for all Youth Initatives in the world - hosted on the servers of a Polish University - and the YouthandtheOLPCinitiative.
  • you can meet me regularly in http://www.fosdem.org :)

I live in Belgium-Brussels

    • Louizalaan, av. Louise
    • B-1000 Brussel - BELGIUM
    • Skype: SvenAERTS

Brussels is considered to be the Capital of Europe and Capital of the Largest CO2e-Emission Trading Scheme on the Planet ... so I'm often at EU-meetings and conferences both in my own name and in name of customers I represent.

Countries supported by the Belgian Ministry for Development Aid

The 18 partner countries:

Algeria - Benin - Bolivia - Burundi - DR Congo - Ecuador - Mali - Morocco - Mozambique - Niger - Palestinian Territory - Peru - Rwanda - Senegal - South Africa - Tanzania - Uganda - Vietnam

as per: http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/development_cooperation/countries/partner_countries/

Non Partner countries: http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/development_cooperation/countries/non_partner_countries/

CV

  • Leadership Developer for the Low Carbon Green Economy - "Kyoto Protocol" Consultant and CO2e-Reducing Project Promotor
  • Engineer Environmental Technologies
  • - Post Graduate in International Relations & World Peace Deployment
  • - Grad. as Car Mechanic in Hybrid/EV/Hydromix Vehicles
  • - Grad. as Social Fiscal & Savings Advisor-Private Financial Planner
  • - Free Wifi Internet+Virtual Offices in Open Source Software
  • - EU Youth Trainer (one of 200 recognized by the EU, as per EU Salto Youth Trainers Database)

I've been working for

More: http://be.linkedin.com/in/svenaerts

  • Email: SvenAERTS228 at gmail dot com
  • CHAT : iVisit: aertssven.5797 - ICQ: 113835655 - YahooID: aertssven -
  • SKYPE: SvenAERTS - AIM: aertssven1

Have a nice day...

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