Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Press release - Web2forDev 2007 conference

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speaking at this meeting
Kwami Ahiabenu,II



IBM, Oxfam and UNESCO listed among 40 presenters and speakers

Southern grass-root organisations and northern development actors represented at first Web2forDev Conference 2007


The first conference on the use of Web 2.0 for rural development and natural resource management promises to be an exciting event: no less than 40 speakers have been selected from organisations with various backgrounds from both North and South. Among the listed speakers are representatives from well-known organisations like IBM, Oxfam and UNESCO, but also Southern grass-root organisations who lead the way when it comes to the use of modern technology for development.

The Web2forDev Conference which will take place from 25-27 September in Rome, will address three topics, the use and impact of: shared virtual spaces for remote collaboration and knowledge sharing, the use of appropriate technologies for online publishing, and online information retrieval and access. Following on a request for proposals, 130 proposals on Web 2.0 topics were sent in out of which the selection has been made.

Jon Corbett, chairperson of the selection panel for the Web2forDev Conference notes that 'Although the call for proposals is closed more than two months ago, people are still sending us proposals for presentations. Apparently there is a high level of interest in using Web 2.0 technologies, not only in the North, but also in the South. Almost all proposals have a strong Southern focus, with a number of notable exceptions from Indigenous groups from Australia and Canada'.

When asking him about the most exciting topics to look forward to, he finds it hard to pick up only a single example. 'There is such a diverse spectrum of interesting talks being presented from throughout the world that it is hard to identify just one or two. We have selected quite a number of very exciting presentations. They range from talking about the innovative use of blogs and social video sites for language revitalization by Indigenous communities in Canada through to the deployment of Agricultural Marketing Information Systems being developed to assist farmers in improving and selling their crops in Ghana.'

According to Jon Corbett not only are the topics exciting, but also the way the conference programme is built. Jon Corbett: 'This is a truly interactive conference. Instead of offering presentation after presentation, we will create open spaces and incubator sessions at the Conference, these will allow speakers and participants to build their own agenda and meet to discuss relevant topics and issues. This innovative conference approach encapsulates the overall aim of the conference - to provide a forum to allow experts, users, interested people and development practitioners from both Southern and Northern countries to interact in an informal, though structured, and lively way on issues and technologies which suit their own needs, interests and experiences.'


Note for the press

The Web2ForDev Conference takes place in Rome from 25-27 September. On Monday 24 September pre-conference seminars will take place introducing web 2.0 tools. During the Conference daily multimedia digests will be produced and put online to follow the outcomes of everyday presentations and discussions. For more information on the Web2forDev Conference, please visit  


For questions regarding the Conference, please contact:

Sarah Bel

Communication Officer - CTA  +31 317 467 143






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