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Thank You Solar Library Champions!

  1. Posted by Inveneo on February 16, 2016 in the categories: Projects
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We’re extremely grateful for all of our Generosity campaign supporters!  As of February 16, 2016, nearly 60 people had donated approximately $14,200 to our campaign.  We’re excited to begin assembling the Solar Libraries this month to send to Haiti.

In particular, we’d like to give a big shout out to our three Solar Library Champion supporters!

  • Ann Cude
  • Alexandra Grill-Childers
  • Sharon Penley

Thank you to our Solar Library Champions and to all of our donors for your help and support!

Picture for Siemens Project Campaign

Inveneo’s Solar Powered Digital Library Generosity (by Indiegogo) Campaign!

  1. Posted by Inveneo on November 23, 2015 in the categories: News
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Inveneo is proud to announce the launch of its Generosity (by Indiegogo) campaign, which aims to raise $50,000 to deliver Solar Powered Digital Libraries to 15 remote, rural schools in Haiti.  We are grateful to craigslist’s Craig Newmark for his generous contribution of $10,000!  

The Problem

Throughout the developing world, millions of schoolchildren lack (or only have limited access to) books and basic learning resources, much less computers or the Internet.  Transporting volumes of books or computers to schools can be expensive and logistically daunting.  Digital libraries – tablets or computers (PCs) loaded with thousands of e-books and other educational resources – have begun to enhance learning opportunities in the developing world.  However, many existing digital library solutions require Internet or power.

The Solution

Inveneo’s Solar Powered Digital Library (Solar Library) is ruggedly designed for schools lacking educational resources, Internet, and power.  It includes thousands of e-books, lectures, and other educational resources (e.g. Wikipedia) that can be accessed completely off-the grid.

Call to Action

Donate Today!  Please join our campaign by donating today!  We are extremely grateful for any level of support you can provide.  Thank you!

What's in a Solar Library

Join Inveneo's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!

  1. Posted by sguser on October 8, 2014 in the categories: Events
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Invitation

YOU’RE INVITED

Inveneo is celebrating 10 years of delivering the tools of technology – sustainable computing and broadband – to those who need it most in the developing world.

Throughout the past 10 years Inveneo’s incredible team has transformed the lives of over 3.2 million people in 31 countries! Thank you for being a part of the team. Whether you worked with us as a partner or staff member, your efforts have helped ensure that those in need have better education, healthcare, economic opportunities and faster emergency relief.

Celebrate with us!
October 23rd, 2014
5:30pm

Please RSVP by October 17th by replying to this email
or by sending an email to Jana, Inveneo’s Media Manager.

Mission Social, 5th Floor
972 Mission Street
San Francisco

Join Inveneo’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!

  1. Posted by Inveneo on October 8, 2014 in the categories: Events
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Invitation

YOU’RE INVITED

Inveneo is celebrating 10 years of delivering the tools of technology – sustainable computing and broadband – to those who need it most in the developing world.

Throughout the past 10 years Inveneo’s incredible team has transformed the lives of over 3.2 million people in 31 countries! Thank you for being a part of the team. Whether you worked with us as a partner or staff member, your efforts have helped ensure that those in need have better education, healthcare, economic opportunities and faster emergency relief.

Celebrate with us!
October 23rd, 2014
5:30pm

Please RSVP by October 17th by replying to this email
or by sending an email to Jana, Inveneo’s Media Manager.

Mission Social, 5th Floor
972 Mission Street
San Francisco

Tour Our Unique Coworking Space: mission*social

  1. Posted by Inveneo on May 20, 2014 in the categories: Events
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missionsocial

Looking to rent out office space for your growing start-up? Our uniquely shared coworking space, mission*social, welcomes small businesses, social enterprises, and creative entrepreneurs. Feel free to stop by our office at 972 Mission Street in San Francisco to take a tour. Or call (415) 901-1969 ext. 1230 for more information.

What Sets mission*social Apart From the Rest?

mission*social features an open loft layout that houses over a dozen non-profits and small businesses. It comes complete with hardwood floors, full access to video conference rooms, high-speed Internet, a freight elevator, pool table, and a full kitchen, along with the bevy of other amenities no coworking space should be without.

We’re currently renting out space starting at just $5.00 per square foot. Call us today for an appointment to learn more! (415) 901-1969 ext. 1230

Inveneo Enhancing Educational Offerings and Spinning Off a Broadband Startup

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

Digital Literacy Brings Hope to Women in Rural Haiti

  1. Posted by Michelet Guerrier on March 19, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized
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nancy_speaking
Nancy Jean-Pierre speaking on the last day of her training on how much she’s learned.

The Haitian town of Dessalines sits in the middle of the country’s northern Artibonite Department. Spread out over 460 square kilometers the rural countryside around Dessalines is home to just over 12,000 people, as well as two of the 25 schools participating in a digital literacy program funded by the Intel Foundation. Launched by Inveneo and NetHope, Digital Literacy for Haiti Rebuilding (DLHR) offers basic computer training in Haitian communities like Dessalines and provides schools with the resources to continue the courses once the program ends. To date more than 500 people have taken part in the training, nearly 60 percent of whom have been women.

Nancy Jean-Pierre is one of these women. 20 years old, single and without children, Nancy was among the 27 attendees at the program’s first course given earlier this month at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 2012 the school received a solar-powered computer lab as part of Inveneo’s Haiti Connected Schools program and is one of the many sites that DLHR uses as community training centers.

Having not yet passed the state exams, Nancy’s still considered an 11th grade student.

“After I failed the baccalaureate last year,” Nancy said, “I felt ashamed and hopeless. I did not want to go back to school. I wanted to learn something to be my profession. I went to a computer course for several months but did not learn much because the school did not have computers for practice.”

“So when I learned about Inveneo coming to give a special course here in Dessalines, I did not want to miss it. I came and I have learned so much with the instructors that I feel I can teach now. I would have lost a big part of my life if I had missed this course. I will continue to learn computers and help others who do not know. And that will be my profession.”

Nancy believes technology has the power to change her own life as well as the lives of people in her community. Dessalines may by a rural farming center, but there is overwhelming interest in learning how to use computers and the Internet. Farmers and businesswomen alike have taken the course, wanting to stay current with technology to make sure they’re not left behind. They hope that their experience learning to use computers will open their eyes to better ways to do their jobs and run their businesses. Younger participants are considering entirely new career paths focusing on IT.

The standard computer course involves 24 hours of class time and covers computer fundamentals (mouse, keyboard, etc.) and the basics of Microsoft Word, email and the Internet. Two sections of twelve students each – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – ensure that 24 participants get hands-on training with computers throughout the entirety of each course.

nancy_award
Nancy receiving her certificate. From left: Rigaud Bel, Nancy Jean-Pierre, Michelet Guerrier

And while providing substantial benefit to participants, the courses are also proving to be economically sustainable. Attendees at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau paid 400 HTG, the equivalent of roughly US$10, for the full course. Future classes – which are already filling up – are being offered at 750 HTG. With the course fee that the schools collect, they can pay for trainers, Internet connectivity and ongoing maintenance of the lab.

Looking back at the training, Nancy feels she’s learned most of the important basics:

“I can type and format all kinds of texts. At least I can work as a typist now and I will make some money. I know how to do research on the Internet, which I think is very important for everyone because here we do not even have libraries. But with the Internet, we can find information about everything.

“For this reason, I am in this computer lab almost every day. Sometimes I stay here on the computer 3 or 4 hours a day to do typing exercises and research on the Internet. And with the Internet, email and Facebook, I am happy that I can connect with people everywhere. I am a member of a Facebook group that has many people with whom I can share everything I want. I love the Internet!”

Inspired by the patience and teaching skills of her instructors, Nancy offered to assist in future classes at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In response the school has agreed to hire her previous instructor and to bring Nancy on as an assistant. Nancy will have access to technology, mentorship of her instructors and the possibility of a small salary.

Rigaud Bel, one of the program’s community IT instructors, hopes to help Nancy develop the confidence needed to take over the course entirely, teaching future classes on her own.

Women like Nancy are inspiring examples of how DLHR is changing lives. With more than 500 past participants and another 200 women expected in the coming weeks, schools are looking to expand their programs to include courses in Microsoft Excel and advanced Internet usage.

With these skills women coming out of the program will be able to do more than simply compete in Haiti’s emerging job market. They’ll know they’re not alone, and they’ll be able to stay connected online where collaboration, sharing and learning continue to thrive.

Michelet Guerrier is a project manager for Inveneo working in Haiti.

The Future of ICTs in Myanmar

  1. Posted by Aaron Mason on March 18, 2013 in the categories: Internal, News
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Attendees look on at the opening ceremony for BarCamp Yangon 2013. Photo: Mark Sum
Attendees look on at the opening ceremony for BarCamp Yangon 2013. Photo: Mark Summer

Recently Mark Summer, Inveneo’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, attended Myanmar’s BarCamp Yangon 2013. BarCamps are locally organized, free-form technology “unconferences” where participants are allowed to present with few limitations, and attendees can participate free of charge. There are no restrictions on who is able to speak or present; organizers are only required to take care of promotion, logistics, and infrastructure for the event while attendees proactively present and choose their own content.

This year’s Myanmar event was the fourth in the country’s history, and by far the largest, growing by 60% to 6,400 attendees. This also made it the largest BarCamp in the history of the event itself. Topics are scheduled daily, and amidst the flurry of action patterns of interest appear. Many are exactly what you’d find at a technology conference anywhere in the world – mobile apps, Facebook marketing, etc. – but the substantial presence of ICT policy, international development and a healthy “by Myanmar, for Myanmar” showing made this an especially interesting event from a ICT4D perspective.

BarCamp Yangon 2013’s fluid daily schedule of events. Photo: Mark Summer
BarCamp Yangon 2013’s fluid daily schedule of events. Photo: Mark Summer

Myanmar has a checkered past with technology. The country has been under military control since 1962 and has been cited with numerous human rights violations. Trade and other sanctions have made inclusion in the digital revolution challenging, if not impossible, as many of the technologies and markets supporting digital entrepreneurship are simply not available to the general public. Military and government-controlled mobile networks produce SIM cards recently costing upwards of US$2,000 (this number has recently been falling to $250) and digital marketplaces like the Apple and Android app stores are still unavailable due to trade sanctions. The 24th most populated country in the world lags with just 3% mobile and 2% facebook penetration. Even daily newspapers are off limits to the private sector, run instead by the state.

In the past few years, however, this has been easing. The military has been relinquishing control over the government, international relations are improving and doors are starting to open across every sector of the economy. This could prove extremely important for ICT as sanctions are expected to ease, licenses for cellular network operators are about to be issued, new ICT laws are being drafted and the international community is engaging more and more with the Myanmar government and local businesses.

At Inveneo we specialize in delivering technology solutions in emerging and underserved areas. Haiti, Kenya, Micronesia… These all fit descriptions you’re familiar with: a developing rural market with little access to social or economic resources. We’re very familiar with the deployment of technology and the patterns that follow surrounding adoption, market growth and sustainability. Connectivity starts as a trickle and quickly grows into a stable stream with demand increasing year over year.

Myanmar, on the other hand, is a dam about to burst.

The government has been freed to define ICT policy and an educated IT sector already exists. Local entrepreneurs are eager to catch up with their neighbors so it’s no surprise that this year’s Myanmar’s BarCamp is the largest in the world with everything from Unicode to Ubuntu – from fundamental Burmese language support to the latest in open source – on the table. This rare combination of eager talent, economic potential and budding support at almost every level is unheard of in most underserved areas, boasting huge immediate potential and a long runway for growth.

“The government is drafting ICT policy that will define how cellular networks and ISPs will function,” said Summer. “Everyone is waiting on this because it will decide where the market will go and what opportunities will be available.”

Attendees learn about ICT business models. Photo: Mark Summer
Attendees learn about ICT business models. Photo: Mark Summer

Even without a solid foundation for ICT development, entrepreneurship is rampant. One app developer Summer met built a business around iPhone app deployment without using the Apple App Store or the Internet. The service is USB-based and tracks the number of uploads to the account-holder’s phone, distributes apps at outlets across the country, collects and pays licensing fees – all offline. Examples like this highlight the country’s potential and beg the question: if an App Store business that works without the internet can thrive, what will we see when the floodgates of real connectivity are opened?

“This is probably where you’ll see a lot of other organizations going in,” said Summer. “There’s a large untapped market, really quite like thailand, that’s just now opening up.”

Summer’s goal in attending the BarCamp was primarily to understand the status of the ICT sector and the current environment for ICT4D and development in general. Inveneo’s focus is on bringing technology to underserved populations, and the solutions being developed in Myanmar may provide useful in other areas. It’s also just incredibly interesting to watch a country figure out ICT policy from the ground up.

“It’s important to understand what government and investments will be focused on, so you can look at what the next set of factors in the sector will be. There are even rumors of fibre being brought in,” said Summer. “But the big questions are all around accessibility and the general public.”

Smart Co-working Space Available at mission*social

  1. Posted by Inveneo on August 29, 2012 in the categories: News
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mission*social, a unique workspace for social enterprises, small businesses and entrepreneurs in San Francisco, has new space available for rent. mission*social is more than affordable office space and shared resources – it provides the opportunity for informal dialogue and collaboration among the organizations.

mission*social is conveniently located in the heart of the SOMA district at 972 Mission Street. It features an open loft layout with hardwood floors, full access to video conference rooms, high-speed Internet, a freight elevator, pool table, and a full kitchen, along with the bevy of other amenities no coworking space should be without. We are currently upgrading mission*social with booths for private phone and internet conferencing, an additional conference room, and new/updated AV equipment in all conference rooms.

So what are you waiting for? Join innovative organizations like Catapult Design, Digital Divide Data, Inveneo, and Meedan to share ideas, tips, and advice in person. As Google confirms:

Information is shared most easily and effectively among office neighbors, even at an Internet company where instant messaging and e-mail are generally preferred to face-to-face discussion.

More information and rental options can be found at mission*social.