Bruce Baikie to Speak at United Nations Conference

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 4, 2014 in the categories: Events

    United NationsInveneo’s Executive Director Bruce Baikie is scheduled to speak at the upcoming XIV Infopoverty World Conference, which will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Taking place on April 10th – 11th, 2014, the conference will examine how ICT and digital innovations can help achieve and sustain the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

    Mr. Baikie will participate on the Services and Applications for Disadvantaged People and Communities panel that will be held on Friday, April 11th, from 9:30am to 11:30am. His speech will focus on Inveneo’s work around the world and how building local capacity is vitally important in all ICT projects.

    Our Executive Director will be joined by fellow panel participants Rev. Neelley Hicks, the Assistant Director of United Methodist Communications, and Wayan Vota, former Inveneo staff member and now Senior Mobile Advisor for FHI360.

    If you would like to participate in the conference please click here. For updates be sure to follow Bruce Baikie or Inveneo on Twitter.

    DadaabNet Project Report

    1. Posted by Inveneo on April 2, 2014 in the categories: Publications

      DadaabProjectReportThe refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya saw a population spike from 300,000 to over 500,000 after famine, drought, and civil war resulted in a humanitarian crisis. In order to serve Dadaab refugees, Inveneo and partners NetHope and USAID identified opportunities to bring better, more reliable Internet and interagency communications to the many humanitarian agencies working in Dadaab.

      NetHope recently published a March 2014 DadaabNet Project Report to offer an extended list of the project’s results. Read the report here or find out more about Inveneo’s work within the project here.

      The Dadaab Connect project was funded by Inveneo’s Broadband for Good Program, Cisco, Microsoft, NetHope, Craig Newmark, the Orr Family Foundation, UNHCR, and USAID’s Global Broadband Innovations Program.

      Inveneo Transforms Teaching Through Tablets in Rural Haiti

      1. Posted by Inveneo on April 1, 2014 in the categories: Education, News, Projects
        Teachers in training

        Teachers in training

        In March 2014 Inveneo launched a new project for primary school teachers in Haiti. The TTT (Transforming Teaching through Tablets) project is designed to improve teaching and learning in primary schools by providing teachers in rural Haiti with training and access to digital educational resources. Educators from two primary schools in the area of Petit-Goâve already received Nexus 7 tablets loaded with educational content and tools for professional development. In addition, they are participating in training on how to use the new technology tools to access information, acquire knowledge and collaborate with peers. The training and mentoring provided to teachers are intended to improve their confidence and capacity to deliver quality education in the classroom. Besides the initial on-site training, teachers will be participating in weekly online sessions via their tablets for several months where they will be learning about teaching, about classroom activities to foster 21st century learning and about ICT in the classroom.

        An information session on professionnal development

        An information session on professionnal development

        The program was designed with the needs of Haitian primary school teachers in mind. Many teachers in rural Haiti have not received any or very little teacher training and have no access to resources like libraries or the Internet. We made sure the program would be relevant to the teachers’ needs and interests. They need technology, access to resources that support their work, training and ongoing coaching to become independent learners. The Haiti team (composed of PM Michelet Guerrier, Rico Mondesir, and Ronald Benjamin) is supported by Inveneo Education Solutions Director Sybille Fleischmann and San Francisco-based engineers. The team has been responsible for selecting schools, preparing administrators, identifying content, training development, setup of tablets and finally training delivery.

        We are currently working with 21 teachers, 13 from College Harry Brakeman and eight from Ecole Methodiste de Hyacinthe, a small community located about one hour drive from the city of Petit-Goâve along a bumpy dirt road. There is no Internet connectivity in Hyacinthe available today. The teachers are willing to travel all the way to Petit-Goâve to find Internet access. Connectivity might finally reach their community later this year. The enthusiasm, motivation and interest for learning about technology and improving their teaching skills shows that these teachers are gaining an awareness of new challenges in the teaching profession and want to be ready to prepare their students with competencies for the 21st century. We see this as an important step to improving the quality of education.

        Guirlène René showing how to enlarge content on the screen

        Guirlène René showing how to enlarge content on the screen

        The teachers were not sure how tablets could help them expand their knowledge and skills until they had the tablets in their hands and started exploring them. They were excited to learn about the tools and what they could do with them. Access to hundreds of books in French and Haitian Kreyol through Library for All, curricula of the Ministry of Education, offline apps and Internet access for research, communication, and collaboration have been described by the school director from Hyacinthe, Thony Domique, as closing the gap between city teachers and rural teachers.

        In this program, we are working with preschool and fundamental education teachers. This includes Kindergarden and 1st to 6th grade. In the Haitian system, a teacher at the fundamental level teaches all subjects to a class. So what we have is a mix of teachers teaching different levels and age groups with classes of 35 to 50 students. The teachers will use their tablets to access information both offline and online, prepare lessons, create activities for the classroom, and share content with their students using a projector.

        Rico demonstrating how to lauch apps

        Rico demonstrating how to lauch apps

        Wilson Monice, Director at College Brakeman said, “The first impact these tablets will have is on teacher and school image”. All parents want their children to have a quality education, and access to quality education passes through the training of teachers to develop new teaching and ICT competencies to enhance students’ learning. Consequently, schools with these teachers will be described as good schools and will be respected in the community.

        A teacher with a tablet has access to lots of resources for professional development, references to sample lesson plans, learning activities for students, and content that will help teachers prepare the lessons. An expected outcome will be on the improvement of students’ performance.

        A better education to the children in the community will contribute to making a change in the life of the community at different levels. The community should start to feel less marginalized as the people get more informed, educated and can participate in making decisions for themselves. We believe education supported by technology can help make this happen and bring hope to the community as a whole.

        Progress continues in the Teacher Training classes

        Progress continues in the Teacher Training classes

        Working as the Project Manager has been such an honor. Being an educator myself, I have been lucky to be able to share and learn from all of these wonderful teachers’ experiences. And the surprise, so far, has been the level of commitment we have seen in these teachers who have so many years of  experience. Many of them have been in the teaching profession for more than 30 years, and they agree they need new skills to do what they like doing the most. We hope to inspire them to continue improving their teaching capacity to serve the children in these communities who need quality education most.

        Thanks to our partners who made it possible to launch this ambitious program. Thanks to Google for providing Nexus 7 tablets for the teachers, and thanks to the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and United Methodist Church of Resurrection for their financial support and assistance with in-country coordination.

        Written by Michelet Guerrier, Project Manager for Inveneo Haiti Education

        Update from The Philippines: Continued Connectivity and Progress

        1. Posted by Inveneo on March 27, 2014 in the categories: News, Projects
          Extensive damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan

          Extensive damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan

          When Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, people lost their lives, their homes, and were without access to clean water or food. Inveneo responded within days, sending a team to jump-start assessment and launch communications relief efforts. Since the typhoon, Inveneo has been on the ground in Leyte and Samar (islands in the Visayas region of the Southern Philippines) supporting emergency communications for major NGOs providing lifesaving aid.

          Aid workers gather together to coordinate relief efforts. Inveneo worked with over 20 major NGOs in the past few months.

          Aid workers gather together to coordinate relief efforts. Inveneo worked with over 20 major NGOs in the past few months.

          In November, a week after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Visayas, our assessment team provided disaster communications assistance to our partners United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOM/UMCOR teams were previously operating without any form of emergency communications in areas where cellular networks were non-functional.

          In December, and with support from our partner UMCOM, we loaded up rugged tablets with a suite of disaster response applications to give field staff at 20+ major NGOs including Oxfam, Plan International, and Save the Children access to up-to-date crisis maps and to help coordinate their relief efforts. Inveneo also provided training on use of the tablets.

          Inveneo engineer provides satphone training to senior UMCOR staffInnovate ICT’s tower team in the Inveneo / Petzl tower safety workshop in January 2014
          Innovate ICT owner Jayson Orebia installs wireless equipment at World Vision International.

           

           

           

           

           

           

          (L to R) Inveneo engineer provides satphone training to senior UMCOR staff; Innovate ICT’s tower team in the Inveneo / Petzl tower safety workshop in January 2014; Innovate ICT owner Jayson Orebia installs wireless equipment at World Vision International.

          In January and February, progress continued as two of our engineers spent a month on the ground. We focused our work in three areas:

          Supporting the UN Emergency Telecom Cluster (ETC), providing direct engineering support to the active ETC network in Tacloban City.  The ETC network provides emergency connectivity to the NGO community in Tacloban until local providers can restore services.  Inveneo engineers deployed a new relay site to fill in a dead zone in the ETC network, connecting the offices of  5+ additional NGOs.  This relay site provides them with critical connectivity when they had no other options.  These NGOs, including Save the Children, ACF, and Solidarite and working across diverse issues including food security, water and sanitation, shelter, and children’s issues are now better able to coordinate their operations through the use of email, skype, and other Internet services.

          Inveneo trained "Innovate ICT" Systems Tech worker is gearing up to climb a tower

          Inveneo trained “Innovate ICT” Systems Tech worker is gearing up to climb a tower

          Providing local area network (LAN) networking assistance NGOs: ETC network support ends at delivery of hotspot connectivity to NGO offices.  Inveneo engineers provided LAN networking assistance to several NGOs.  World Vision International (WVI) operates a large office with 100+ staff far outside Tacloban City and beyond the range of the ETC network.  Inveneo engineers worked with WVI IT staff to upgrade their local wireless network, implementing a system to make it much easier for WVI to manage their limited VSAT bandwidth effectively.  Inveneo engineers provided similar services to Plan International in Borongan.
          Ubiquiti NanoBridge M5-22 provides connectivity to Save the Children's headquarters in Tacloban

          Ubiquiti NanoBridge M5-22 provides connectivity to Save the Children’s headquarters in Tacloban, Philippines

          Supporting local IT entrepreneurs with rebuilding efforts:  A core component of Inveneo’s work has always been tight collaboration with local IT entrepreneurs.  Through our efforts to procure wireless equipment locally, Inveneo made contact with a man named Jayson Orebia who operates Innovate ICT in Tacloban City.  Prior to Typhoon Haiyan, Innovate provided wireless network services to schools and NGOs spread across an impressive area throughout Leyte and Samar.  Jayson’s network was devastated by the typhoon.  Inveneo ran Jayson’s team through an intensive  “wireless ISP bootcamp” during our time on the ground offering hands-on training in tower safety, network deployment, and network design.  It is our hope that this training will help Innovate ICT build back connectivity in the region more robustly, efficiently, and safely.  Inveneo also connected Innovate ICT to many prospective clients in the International NGO community.  Jayson has already successfully connected at least three of these clients to his own network, providing them the connectivity they so urgently need to support their programs, and giving him some recurring revenue on which to base his rebuilding.  Jayson has been very happy with the results, saying, “This training will greatly help our efforts to rebuild our network.”

           

           

          (L to R)  Inveneo engineer configures equipment providing a critical redundant backhaul link to the Tacloban City ETC network; The Inveneo-installed relay site in western Tacloban City serving 5+ NGOs who have no other connectivity options; Inveneo engineer climbs a tower to install wireless equipment to bring SOS Children’s Villages online.

          Inveneo is committed to local sustainability in all of its projects and trains local technicians to ensure that projects will continue long after the Inveneo team leaves. If you would like to help Inveneo continue its work, please visit http://inveneo.org/donate

           

          A WiFi Connection for a Leading Bishop in the Philippines

          1. Posted by Inveneo on March 13, 2014 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects

            Sam Perales with UMCom’s April, United Methodist Bishop Pete Torio, his wife Joyce, and the rest of Bishop’s team.

            Inveneo’s Senior Field Engineer Sam Perales has travelled to more than 10 countries to work on ICT projects, but his latest project was particularly special because of the collaboration between United Methodist Communications (UMCom) and local community members.

            Last month Sam was in the Philippines in support of Inveneo’s typhoon relief efforts. He was asked by UMCom to add on a trip to the Baguio city region to design and implement an Internet link for the United Methodist Bishop leading the northern region. The typhoon did not impact the north, but it was still not an easy trek. Mountains and difficult terrain made the journey slow. After six hours of travel, Sam was able to meet up with Bishop Pete Torio and his wife, Joyce.

            Sam joined the UMCom team which consisted of Nhots Celzo, a Filipino who is currently working for the UMC in IT, marketing, and website management, and April Gonzaga-Mercado, UMCom field staff who is very involved with the relief efforts from Typhoon Haiyan.

            Sam and the team members joined Bishop and Mrs. Torio for dinner to understand the technical requirements and learn a little about how Torio uses the Internet. He described very long hours spent working in his office because it was the only place to get an Internet connection. He would even spend the night there because he had no connection at home (5km away).

            Installation at the Bishop’s house was part of the process to build a WiFi connection.

            It was clear that Torio was a man dedicated to his work and to serving his community, and that extending an Internet connection to his home would allow him to better reach his people and conduct church business without having to sleep overnight at the office. Needless to say, the Bishop and his wife were very excited at the possibility of getting a broadband connection that would allow him to be more efficient and to work from home when needed. Sam and the rest of the team were set to start the next day.

            Morning came and the team began by getting a radio installed on the roof of the UMC 6-story office building. The only way to access this roof was through a small window on the top floor which quickly proved to be a feat in acrobatic moves. Once the team was through the little window and on to the roof, the installation went rather smoothly and quickly. Soon they were off to the other side of the link – the Bishop’s residence.

            The project’s main challenge was hard to miss – a 4-story building directly in the way between the Bishop’s office and home. Determined as ever, Sam knew there had to be a way the team could literally “get around” this issue.

            The team traveled to several nearby buildings to see if they could get a signal from the neighbors’ balconies. What was previously an Inveneo/UMCom project now quickly turned into a community activity. Residents in several buildings were more than happy to open their doors and let these strangers (and all their equipment including the Inveneo Cable-Free Survey Pole) in. Sam remarked that walking around the community was the one of the most enjoyable parts of the project.

            At last the UMCom and Inveneo teams were able to relay a signal by attaching the receiver to a long pole and placing it on the Bishop’s roof on his house. Within the same day they were able to do a full installation that included configuring a radio, cabling, setting up the modem, and installing the software.

            Sam and the rest of the team successfully installed the 5km Internet connection. Currently the Bishop is the only one in his neighborhood that has Internet at his house, and this opens the door for network sharing that he and his wife are very happy to offer their neighbors. In the future though, and as other neighbors get their own WiFi connections, this won’t restrict the bandwidth of the Bishop’s Internet.

            Getting online to serve the community.

            Just the very next day, the Bishop had Internet access at his house because of the combined talents of the UMCom and Inveneo teammates. This will help him spend more time at home with his family, allow him to connect and serve local congregations better and communicate globally as his position requires. In addition, the Bishop and his family can offer their neighbors access to broadband Internet that’s fast and reliable.

            By the end of the project, Sam was very pleased to see the increased capacity of the local UMCom workers. He knew of their previous skill sets, but this challenge of finding a signal and setting up a WiFi connection in mountainous terrain will help both Nhots and April in future projects. Sam considers UMCom to be a valued partner to the Inveneo team saying “It was a feel good project.” He felt the team worked very well together on this challenging installation.

            The partnership between UMCom and the ICT engineering non-profit Inveneo has been one of continued growth. Collaboration is key in an ICT project like this, and with the combined efforts of UMCom and Inveneo, the enduring partnership is easy to see.

            Written by Jana Melpolder, Inveneo Staff

            Chief Technology Officer

            1. Posted by Inveneo on February 14, 2014 in the categories: Jobs

              Inveneo is searching for a Chief Technology Officer to lead its engineering team and guide the technical vision of the organization. Inveneo is a unique organization, and this position requires a diverse set of skills not always found in one individual. A successful candidate must be an expert in at least two of the following areas, with significant experience and interest in the remaining areas.

              • Leadership / teambuilding: The CTO is responsible for leading two separate groups requiring different approaches. First, the Inveneo engineering team is a small team of engineers with mature technical skill. The CTO provides mentorship and guidance to this team and is responsible for matching Inveneo’s technical resourcing needs with the right individuals to set the team up for success. Second, the CTO is also often in the position of forming and guiding new teams of Inveneo Certified IT Partner (ICIP) engineers. These engineers vary in skill level, and the patience to work with less experienced engineers to grow their skill over time is essential.
              • Deep IT / ICT in Education experience: Inveneo is in the midst of a strategic shift to deepen and sharpen our focus on education. A candidate coming to this position from a background in technology administration and management would have the unique opportunity to take this knowledge and adapt it to the difficult environments in which Inveneo works to guide the development of Inveneo’s large-scale future education technology solutions.
              • Networking knowledge: Inveneo plans to maintain a rich networking technical capacity focused on delivering high quality network solutions targeted at education environments from small to large. Skills in enterprise bandwidth management, design and configuration of large enterprise / campus wireless networks, and network management of distributed network components are essential. Specific experience with Mikrotik and Ubiquiti platforms is preferred.
              • Training and training development: The CTO is often responsible for providing high level guidance on the structure of trainings to be delivered to Inveneo’s partners and clients, and in some cases for the creation and delivery of these trainings. Experience designing and delivering trainings preferred.
              • Field operations management: Keeping large deployments of technical solutions on track in rugged and challenging environments isn’t just about technology, it’s about creative and flexible operational management. The CTO travels to the field frequently on Inveneo’s largest deployments, ensuring they get off to a smooth start and putting processes in place to ensure they continue successfully. This skill area includes everything from large scale management of field team schedules to equipment management and tying gear on the roof of a land cruiser. Flexibility and ability to travel to the field required.

              To apply for this challenging and rewarding position, please send a resume and cover letter specifically addressing these skill areas and outlining your interest in the role to eng-jobs@inveneo.org.

              Support Inveneo’s Response to Typhoon Haiyan

              1. Posted by Aaron on December 10, 2013 in the categories: News

                Inveneo’s recent assessment of areas affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan has given us a first-hand view of the scope of the damage and the vital role communications are playing right now. We’re launching a large response effort to provide organizations with rugged tablets set up with coordination tools and to extend connectivity to organizations throughout affected areas. Click here to donate today.

                Deploying Tablets to Responders

                After a full week in the affected areas we’ve seen what responders are asking for and the critical role technology is playing in planning routes and operational movement. As a result, we’re loading up several hundred rugged tablets we received as a donation from Google with a suite disaster response applications to give organizations access to up-to-date crisis maps and to help coordinate their efforts. Our goal is to get these devices into the hands of responders and perform trainings on how to use them in the field. Our minimum cost to deploy is $30k, which will cover 100 tablets, travel and equipment training for approximately 30 organizations. Additional donations will be used to extend our field operations. We’ve seen how invaluable this technology is and we’re moving quickly to deploy it where it’s needed.

                tablets-1Left: Nhots Celzo of UMCOM uses an Android device to coordinate communications relief efforts. Right: One of the Nexus 7 tablets we’ll be deploying, showing up-to-date maps of Tacloban.

                tablets-2United Methodists Committee on Relief staff use tablets and other mobile devices to keep up-to-date with community-generated information like CrisisSignal and OsmAnd Maps.

                Extending Internet Connectivity

                Along with rugged tablets, Inveneo teams are deploying to extend connectivity from current access points to areas without Internet access. The same type of wireless equipment we successfully deployed during our Haiti earthquake response can rapidly extend the reach of infrastructure in the Philippines, allowing recovery workers to coordinate and respond more effectively.

                Today we need your help. Donate and Support Our Response.

                Our team is gearing up to return to the Philippines, and we need your support. The tablets and connectivity we’re deploying act as multipliers for organizations on the ground, increasing coordination and amplifying response efforts across the board. Click here to donate, and make an impact on the typhoon response today.

                Thank you for your support, today and on all of our projects over the past eight years.

                The Inveneo Team

                Inveneo Launches Palau Advanced Wireless Pilot

                1. Posted by Aaron on November 19, 2013 in the categories: News

                  In October 2013, Inveneo CTO Andris Bjornson and Senior Field Engineer Sam Perales traveled to Palau to conduct advanced wireless training and a pilot installation in collaboration with the PNCC (the local telecom) and the Palauan Ministry of Education. The pilot project was funded by the Pacific Telecommunications Council with the goal of giving a local telecom a better understanding of how to use low cost wifi based point to point broadband networking, using a school as a demonstration.

                  The project took a total of two weeks to complete, during which Bjornson and Perales instructed local engineers on proper survey techniques, tower safety, equipment configuration and maintenance. By the end of the project the PNCC staff were familiar with equipment and installation, and the Ngarchelong School was able connected to the Internet via a newly-established high-speed broadband link.

                  palau_01
                  The first step was to familiarize local engineers with digital survey equipment. Bjornson walks PNCC CTO Brenda (far right) and PNCC engineers Prince (middle right) and Jessie through a survey using Inveneo’s android-based mobile data collection tool.

                  palau_02

                  PNCC engineers use Inveneo’s mobile data collection survey (based on formhub and ODK collect) to conduct surveys at Palau schools.

                  palau_03

                  PNCC engineers try on Petzl tower safety equipment in Inveneo’s tower safety workshop.

                  palau_04

                  Bjornson works with the Ministry of Education engineering group on network diagramming and planning.

                  palau_05

                  Ministry of Education engineers Edwel (left) and Thomas work to configure Ubiquiti M900 equipment during the training program.

                  palau_06

                  Perales assembles equipment with Jessie from PNCC at a PNCC site in Ngaraard.

                  palau_07

                  On one end of the wireless link, a PNCC engineer uses a bucket truck to simulate the possibility of building a tall pole mount at the Ngaraard School.

                  palau_08

                  This newly installed Ubiquiti Nanobridge links Ngarchelong school to PNCC’s Ngarchelong tower, and from there back to the Palau Ministry of Education Headquarters on PNCC infrastructure. Six other schools are already linked to this infrastructure via PNCC DSL. Ngarchelong is the seventh.

                  palau_09

                  Perales, Ministry of Education engineer Edwell and Ngarchelong school IT specialist Ibed pose for a picture under new equipment installed at Ngarchelong School’s computer lab. At top left is a new, Ministry-administered Mikrotik router, and at top right is a newly installed PNCC Hotspot.

                  palau_10

                  Engineers from the Palau Ministry of Education, PNCC, and Inveneo pause for a photo on the roof of the MoE headquarters while performing a network survey

                  palau_11

                  New connectivity means new equipment possibilities. Here students at Ngaraard School experiment with iPad tablets.

                  palau_12

                  The principal of the Ngarchelong school poses with students under the newly installed Ubiquiti NanoBridge.

                  Inveneo Launches Response to Super Typhoon Haiyan

                  1. Posted by Aaron on November 15, 2013 in the categories: News

                    typhoon_haiyan_rtr_img

                    Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines November 10, 2013. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)

                    In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally Yolanda), Inveneo is sending a team to assess the damages and aid in recovery efforts. The initial assessment team includes CTO Andris Bjornson and Senior Systems Architect Clark Ritchie. Executive Director Bruce Baikie recently returned from the Philippines after an ICT-related assessment north of Manila, working with partner UMCOM to create their typhoon response plan. Baikie has led Inveneo’s rapid response and the assessment team left the US the morning of November 15th.

                    “Our initial priority is to get our assessment team on the ground,” said Baikie. “In responses situations like this plans can change quickly; we’re already working with partners on the ground to determine where our team will be most effective.”

                    Deploying ICT in disaster response situations is nothing new for Inveneo. In 2010 our team responded to the Haitian earthquake, building a network that today covers roughly 30% of the country and is used by two major telecoms. Restoring robust communications infrastructure quickly is valuable to residents of affected areas as well as aid organizations coordinating their response efforts.

                    “Our main focus after a natural disaster is restoring communications to responders,” said Aaron Mason, Inveneo’s Sr. Communications Manager. “Our team is working to make sure that organizations on the ground have the communications tools they need to effectively coordinate their response.”

                    Inveneo is currently soliciting donations to help assess and rebuild communications infrastructure in areas affected by Super Typhoon Hiayan. For more information or to support our efforts visit http://inveneo.org/donate

                    Inveneo Enhancing Educational Offerings and Spinning Off a Broadband Startup

                    1. Posted by Aaron on September 12, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized

                      Model-classroom-teaching-using-ICT-in-Malawi_5493178855_o

                      Delivering sustainable computing and wireless connectivity is at the heart of Inveneo’s mission. Our belief is that technology can fundamentally transform the way a community engages with the world and pursues economic opportunities. Our commitment to this belief has brought us through designing and manufacturing sustainable hardware, serving rural organizations and building partnerships with local ICT entrepreneurs. The results have spanned from placing solar powered computer labs in thousands of schools to deploying large-scale broadband networks for healthcare, economic development and relief.

                      Earlier this year we revisited our strategy and began to make a few significant changes. We moved away from building and selling our own equipment to focused on identifying and sharing the best equipment and software solutions for education and connectivity. Now, nine months later, we’re using what we’ve learned to make a few more changes to our model, intensifying our focus on technology and connectivity for education and spinning part of our broadband connectivity team off into an independent venture.

                      Sharpening our Focus on Education

                      Education is going through a technological revolution on a global scale. With equipment costs plummeting, low-power device options multiplying, and with content and online education availability increasing rapidly, the potential for vibrant, sustainable models for technology in underserved schools is finally emerging.

                      At Inveneo we believe that this shift in the development landscape makes education the single most important place for our technology and expertise to focus. With recent large-scale education projects in Haiti, Tanzania, Uganda, and smaller projects in many more countries, we’re focusing on how to scale rollouts of computing and tablets to maximize sustainability and development impact with education partner experts. Our education technology solutions encompass all of the things we do best – low power computing, power systems, robust networks, management software and very importantly local partners to design, deploy and support the systems. We’re making education top priority moving forward. Our local partnerships are fundamental to Inveneo’s vision and approach, and we look forward to continuing our work with you, our partners, on implementation, support and maintenance, and business development.

                      Spinning Off Broadband

                      Another key decision is to spin out a new entity focused on accelerating access to broadband in emerging markets. Almost two years ago Inveneo launched our Broadband for Good (BB4G) initiative to determine how to drive critically needed broadband access by deploying cutting-edge broadband technology and new partner delivery models in developing countries. The BB4G initiative allowed Inveneo to explore the needs of countries, carriers and governments around the world and to deliver high quality, cost effective network models with local partners. This includes our Haiti network used by two major telecoms and covering a quarter of the country, as well as networks serving three education programs across the West Bank of Palestine and connecting islands and schools in the South Pacific. However one thing we’ve learned is that broadband, in a not-for-profit setting, is best suited for project-specific implementations. Inveneo will continue to deliver broadband projects for education.

                      However, the more we understood the vast need for broadband in the countries where we work, the more we realized that deploying project-based broadband networks, while highly impactful, would not deliver broadband at the same speed as a for-profit model.

                      Introducing Volo

                      Inveneo is proud to introduce Volo, Inveneo’s first spin-off, which will center its efforts on broadband services for emerging markets.

                      Volo’s goal is to deliver broadband in emerging markets around the world. Using our experiences during BB4G, the new Volo team will be working to provide connectivity using cutting-edge technology and a network of partners. Mark Summer and Kristin Peterson will head the new Volo team, however they will continue to serve on the Inveneo board and support our efforts.

                      What this Means for Inveneo and You

                      Refocusing our efforts and modifying our team will of course have an impact on Inveneo, as we are an exceptionally close-knit organization. There have been a few additional staffing changes, including the announcement of Bruce Baikie as Inveneo’s new Executive Director.

                      We want to make sure that you understand that while we’re excited to make our internal changes, these changes will not affect our current projects. We’re excited to have the opportunity to use technology to serve the communities we work in, and we aim to continue this as we push forward. We believe that this new focus will help us grow even faster, allowing us to help even more communities around the world.

                      We hope that as part of the Inveneo family you’re as excited as we are about these changes. Thank you for all the support you’ve given us over the past eight years, and we look forward to eight more!

                      Yours,

                      The Inveneo Team

                      For questions please contact either our partner manager FJ Cava at fj@inveneo.org or executive director Bruce Baikie at bruce@inveneo.org.