The NetHope Global Member Summit officially starts tomorrow, but we had plenty of representatives from our member organizations here in Ireland getting down to work and collaborating.
Today was the first of our two Working Group days, which allows members to meet around a certain program. The joint Connectivity/Emergency Response Working Group attracted one of the largest turnouts than ever before —95 people! Senior Global Program Director Joe Simmons kicked us off with an update from our Connectivity initiative for the first half of the day. iDirect, IPA, ITC Global, Vizada and USAID contributed with information from their work. Senior Global Program Director Gisli Olafsson took over for the second half of the day, sharing news from this past year and future plans for preparedness. Breakout groups allowed for members to dig deep and discuss ways to improve emergency response in the future.
With women empowerment being a hot topic in the IT and development sector, we are happy to report that NetHope Women’s TechConnect launched today in their first summit working group. The goals of the program is to improve job satisfaction and success among women in IT and/or leadership roles in international development as well as encourage more women in developing countries to enter and succeed in the IT industry. The group is also piloting a peer-mentoring program this week, which pairs a woman with a ‘buddy.’ The hope is that this will continue on beyond the Summit. If you are an IT executive looking to engage more women in the industry or if your company would like to partner on the Women’s TechConnect program, contact Global Program Manager Lynann Bradbury.
Then, Gib Bulloch, Executive Director of Accenture Development Partnerships, and William Brindley, Chief Executive Officer of NetHope, lead a special session on “Using Market Forces to Bridge the Digital Divide.” The presentation and roundtable discussion focused on cross sector convergence.
The day finished with a 10th Anniversary Summit Welcome Reception, held by our gracious hosts from Intel Ireland and Concern Worldwide. Tom Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of Concern Worldwide, welcomed us to Ireland with the help of Professor Martin Curley, Director of Intel Labs Europe and Senior Principal Engineer of Intel Labs, Brendan Cannon, Director of Corporate Affairs of Intel Ireland, and Brendan Rogers, Director General of Irish Aid.
More to come tomorrow! Join the conversation on Twitter @NetHope_Org or by search for the special summit hashtag #NHSummit11.