E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

General Interest

Should Access to Information Technology Be a Human Right?

As you may have seen / read already all over the place Habitat Jam is now closed already and ready to move on to the next stage, which is engaging further into the different conversations that have been taking place over the course of the 72 hours that it last. I have been able to participate on some of those different discussions and also to share a thought or two of my own in a couple of the forums and I can honestly say that if it was flagged as the event of the year it didn’t fall short of the expectations, for sure. Thousands and thousands of visits and further comments have populated the event throughout and it is now time to let it sink, digest it and pick things further from there on to the next level.

There have been lots of discussions that I thoroughly enjoyed following up on but there has been one in particular that grabbed my attention from moment one and that was the one on Should Access to Information Technology Be a Human Right? What a fantastic discussion, folks! I am sure you will be reading it eventually but I just wanted to let you know my two cents worth of comments as I feel it is worth while mentioning elsewhere and engage into further conversations.

While I have followed the thread I kept on thinking that if that same Jam article would have been shared a few years back, like five years or so, we would all be agreeing with that particular statement where we would consider access to IT as a right for a few and nothing else. However, things have changed a lot since that particular time. We now have got the possibility that having access to IT is becoming more and more inexpensive and as such it takes no effort to get up and running and have access to different online resources, which in most cases would be available for free but still with the quality we would be asking for to engage further with it. Yes, folks, that Web 2.0 we have all been dreaming about (And weblogged about for quite some time, too !) and which is making the Internet much more resourceful and interesting to participate in the actual conversations than ever before.

And it looks like we may have done that already, because if before we didn’t take for granted having access to IT as a right, we certainly are taking it for granted now. And that is what Web 2.0 does to you. Accessibility to the information with a very inexpensive method has now become the common rule and although it has been mentioned how even then most people may still not have the possibility of having access to those some online resources it would be a wonderful opportunity for local governments, specially, to start fostering the creation of different IT Centres with the right level of equipment and which would allow those with the least possibilities to have access to the Information Highway to then make it happen and eventually help them become self sufficient. Those locally sponsored centres could very well be the ones that would help shape our short-, medium- and long-term future by allowing the highest number of people possible have access to the right information at the right time and with the right context. Because, after all …

Knowledge Is Power

Technorati Tags : Habitat+Jam, IBM, WorldJam

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Habit Jam Is about to Get Started – Are You Ready ?

Well, here we are, folks. Just a bit under one hour one of the biggest online shows starts: The Habitat Jam. And the main key question is that although few people have been weblogging about the event itself would you still be there to help make a difference ? I know that we are all busy with both our work and personal lives but it wouldn’t harm, I would think, to spend a few minutes every day, during the course of the event, sharing your thoughts and your ideas on ways to improve the cities we live in. Not just for now but for the near (And long term) future.

Thus if you have got a few minutes or if you think you have that brilliant idea you would want to share with the whole world, by all means, go and share it with everyone ! After all you would be contributing to the well being of our homes, our communities and, most importantly, ourselves. It is just up to us, folks.

Let’s make it happen ! See you then !

Technorati Tags : Habitat+Jam, IBM, WorldJam

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Habitat Jam and the Future of Our Cities

Where will you be from December the 1st till 3rd ? Got any plans that would make a difference in the world we live in today and perhaps in the near future ? No? No plans? Then you may want to stay tuned and register to join Habitat Jam. The United Nations-Habitat (UN-Habitat) is currently preparing (With the help and support from IBM) one of those online events that not only would it be unique on its own but that it would also have a significant impact in the way we live in this world in the next few years to come.

Indeed, for the first time ever the world will stop and think what it can do to make a significant impact by hosting one of those worldjam events that I am sure would not leave people unaffected, all the other way around. There have been some folks who have been weblogging already about the online event itself (Amongst them Nancy White in Habitat Jam :: Another Online Event to Watch and Nick Aster in Habitat Jam Offers Online Discussion of Urban Issues Dec 1-3) and I am sure there will be more. But here is your chance to get to know a bit more what Habitat Jam is all about:

Imagine tens of thousands of people around the world just like you connecting in real time over the internet to discuss and debate some of the most urgent and controversial issues that face a rapidly urbanizing planet. Imagine world-class thinkers leading the discussions. Imagine the results that could be achieved by this unprecedented global conversation and collaboration. This is Habitat JAM.

The Habitat JAM is about adding your voice into the global conversation about the future of our cities. It’s about having your say on important issues that affect you. It’s about building new global networks of people who wouldn’t have connected before. It’s about working together across the globe to agree on solutions.

As part of the preparations for the third session of the World Urban Forum, the Government of Canada in partnership with UN-HABITAT is sponsoring this 72-hour internet event. From December 1-3, 2005, the Habitat JAM will gather your input and add it to thousands of others to turn ideas into actions for the Vancouver World Urban Forum agenda and influence the Forum’s content.

As you have been able to read above this is going to be one of those online events worth while not only listening in but also participating to whatever the extent. As you will be able to read from the About Habitat Jam web link there actually will be six different forums in place:

And everyone is more than welcome to participate not only by reading the different discussions but also by engaging into the different suggestions and great ideas that I am sure will float around all over the place. I know I could go on talking some more about what an event such as this one would eventually mean to us all but I think that would be enough for the time being. However, I do want to point out a number of different resources where you could get some more information details on the event just to get yourself ready to participate in it:

So what are you waiting for ? Go and register now and get ready for the online event of events. The one that will change the way we are, the way we live, in short, the one that will change the world as we know it ! And best part of all this is that we get to define those changes with our ideas. Now it is no longer the time to complain about this and that. Now it is just the time to take action and continue to have a much more positive impact in the world we live in. It is up to us to do so. Thus where are you going to be from December 1st till the 3rd ? Got any plans ?

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Back Online

As you probably have noticed already, yesterday I was not able to post any content in my weblog as I have mentioned I would do; weblog on a more or less regular basis, once or twice a day. And the main reason for that to happen was the fact that both my phone and ADSL lines went down yesterday morning, first thing in the morning, and they didn’t come up again till earlier on today in the afternoon. Yes, indeed, nearly two working days without any connection with the outside world !

So you can imagine how upset I felt about the whole thing, right ? Well, I certainly am very upset still but I will not keep you long with the details. I am sure that you would have your own experiences with your local Internet providers, thus I am just going to mention that customer service is no longer what it used to be, at least, not the one I got exposed to for about four years some time ago. Things have changed so much now that it looks like people just care about making the numbers at the end of the month and cash out without any questions asked. Forget about the customers, folks. There are far too many out there and why bother with them, right ?

In the mean time, here I am, trying to catch up now with two working days while my normal working week goes by. Who is going to pay me back that money? Who is going to pay me back that time now ? Who is going to call me back to apologise for a disruption for which I wasn’t told anything about for nearly 36 hours? Sigh. Yes, I know too many questions and hardly any answer. Either way, I am just too upset at the moment to continue writing about this, so you will have to excuse me for a little while till I am done with the catching up.

But don’t worry, folks, because I already have got a whole bunch of stuff to talk about and certainly tomorrow it will be another day. A day where I will be back online from the beginning of my day and therefore things would be different. Much different !

It is good to be back online, though. That is for sure.

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Who Am I ?

Ok, folks, now that elsua is almost done (I just need to put together a Blogroll for the Links section and that would be it) I think it is now time that I let you know a little bit about myself, what I do for work, what some of my passions and hobbies are and so forth. And instead of doing it over here in this particular weblog post I would like to invite you to visit the About page I created where you can read a little bit about myself, my work, my interests and what I get to do on my spare time, apart from writing in weblogs.

As you will see there, I have been working for IBM Netherlands for the last 8.5 years now and along with the main themes I will be weblogging about here in elsua you can also expect from myself to weblog about some of the stuff that is going around in the company that I work for, as long with some interesting links to other IBM webloggers that I follow on a daily basis. Thus stay tuned for some more to come ! And now just head over to the About section, read on and let’s get on further with it ! Let’s get busy !

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