Thursday, October 21, 2010

BPN 1445 Postings from Brazil (1)

Sao Paolo (Brazil) is a new destination in my travel book. For the first time I am flying to Brazil and for the first time I am in South America. It is a long flight to Sao Paolo, some eight hours. But with a computer to write articles on and an e-reader with a new Dutch language e-book on the hours slip away. It will also be an emotional meeting again with Cid Torquato, whom I have not seen since 2007.

I have been invited to speak on behalf of the World Summit Award at a conference on e-inclusion, especially disability, and innovation. In fact I will be there as part of a WSA team, consisting of Alexander Felsenberg of Germany, Luis German Lopes of Bolivia and myself. We will present together, having made a draft of the speech during a one and half hours conference call on Skype. It is remarkable how fast this works. By the end of the call we all went back to our individual desks and started to design our part of the presentation. As a result of that conference call associations came up and generated some nice examples.

It is a big conference. I guess that there are some 500 conference delegates and there is a large area for exhibition. The conference is professionally organised by the municipality of Sao Paolo. There is, in fact, a major Brazilian conference with another conference inside. Sao paolo is very active in the field of the disabled persons. The municipality is now setting up a Centre of Excellence in Technology and Innovation with the stress on disabled people (ETI-D). Some 4 million US Dollars have been awarded to the project. The people taking the initiative have high aims as they want to become the centre in South America and a well known centre in the rest of the world. An just looking at the list of experts present, there are many experts from abroad, especially from the USA.

It was good to see Cid on stage this morning and delivering a plea for including disabled people in the information society not out of charity, but as full partners in the information society. From what I have seen so far, he is a spin in the web, not only in Sao Paolo, but also in South and North America and an advocate for the rights of disabled people. He really know a lot of interesting and professional people.

BPN 1445

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