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Archive for March, 2007

An Organic Model for Growing “Beyond-the-First-Mile” Solutions

by on Mar.28, 2007, under AirJaldi, Audio Interviews, Project Happiness

The phrases last mile or last mile problem refer to the way network connectivity is brought from the telephone central office (or other connection point) to a subscriber’s home or business. For telephones, this used to be the pair of copper wires that ran from the central office, where the switching equipment lives, to the home, where the subscriber lives. Today, of course, it could refer to cell phone towers (which use radio), cable TV lines, fiber-optics or lots of other types of circuits.
Friends have suggested to me that it’s useful to pivot, face the other way, and think of this as a first mile problem instead. And for yet another perspective, the folks at AirJaldi call it a beyond the first mile problem.The AirJaldi Summit took place in 2006. But AirJaldi itself, as an organization, is far more than just a one-time meeting. It aspires to be a model for disseminating Internet connectivity to places commercial carriers will never venture. Using open-source software, modified and loaded into wi-fi routers equipped with battery backup, solar power (in some cases), armored against the weather, and connected to high-gain antennas, AirJaldi has constructed a model network that spans 70km and connects thousands of users’ computers to the Internet.

I talked with Mikey Ginguld, who has just taken a full-time role as acting CEO/COO with AirJaldi, about how they’re doing it. [Use QuickTime or VLC Media Player to play the interview…]

Click the arrow to hear the interview:

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Project Happiness Students Meet the Dalai Lama

by on Mar.28, 2007, under Project Happiness, Tibet

2007-03-28-Hhdl-InterviewOur Project Happiness students from three continents met with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama this afternoon.
We had scheduled a thirty-minute audience and in fact His Holiness was so interested in the students’ questions that we ran nearly 90 minutes.
Among the students were three who had emigrated from Tibet by crossing high passes in the Himalayas – they’re students at Upper TCV now – and two Nigerian students. Both groups were accompanied by their teachers. The California students came by air, train and car and we’ve documented some of their activities already – with more to come.
Until we can get more student experience online, you can read about them at the web site of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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It has to be Grass-Roots or it Won’t Work

by on Mar.27, 2007, under Project Happiness

The goings-on here in Dharamsala are absolute proof that for a cross-cultural, around-the-world project to work, you have to have on-the-ground grass-roots support. Without it you go nowhere.

Our three wonderful teachers (we call them coaches in the project) have made a world of difference in how the project has progressed – and the next few months for each of them will also make a huge difference as we make the quantum leap from three schools to many, many schools.

Who are they, and how and why are they making this difference?
(continue reading…)

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The Importance of Face-to-Face

by on Mar.25, 2007, under Project Happiness

Face-to-face (F2F) meetings are incredibly valuable for establishing context.

Without them, we are just words on paper or sounds thru a pair of earbuds.

Today at the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) the Project Happiness students from three continents, representing the cornerstone schools for Project Happiness, met and shared each others’ cultures for two hours, then had dinner together to complete the day.

As hosts, the Tibetan students first performed a number of dances.

(continue reading…)

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