That focuses on the benefits of FON to the individual. Hope you like our new 2007 image!
Gmail has grown by invitation rights. When you have a great product, but one that is also complex in nature as gmail is (gmail is not so easy to use for emigrants from the outlook world), invitation rights are a great way to spread the usage. Invitation rights involve not only a nice gesture on behalf of a friend, but also an implicit element of training and that is what Fon needs. So at FON we decided that FONeros who have successfully connected their Foneras will get the right to invite friends, so they do not pay 29.95 euros or dollars, but get foneras for free. What follows is a description of the program that Fon will shortly announce.
Here´s an idea that I had for Educ.ar that combines the power of the largest educational portal in Argentina with Skype´s 130 million global community, and that is to create a program in which Skype members volunteer to teach English to kids in Argentina.
Educ.ar is a project that my foundation, the Varsavsky Foundation started in 2000 with a donation of $11.2 million dollars. Educ.ar has been described in different publicationsand its basic objective is to improve education with the use of new technologies.
Educ.ar has three main areas of activity, creating educational content in Spanish for the Argentine and Spanish speaking students, training teachers on how to use the internet and other new technologies such as interactive TV to improve their ability to communicate their learning and connecting schools to the internet. Educ.ar has so far distributed 65,000 fully equipped PCs with printers, it has created its web site, Educ.ar and it has trained over 10,000 teachers during 2006. It is estimated that around 40% of Argentine 12 million students use Educ.ar or technology or training provided by Educ.ar and its owner the Ministry of Education. Over $50 million have been invested in Educ.ar over the last 5 years.
Here there are two videos, one in English in which I show the Educ.ar team having lunch and show a typical argentine restaurant and a second one much more detail but in Spanish in which I interview Educ.ar´s CEO Alejandro Piscitelli and film a meeting in which I was presented with the latest technological improvements that are planned for Educ.ar for 2007. Educ.ar badly needs to renovate its equipment that comes from the original 2001 investments. I also want to thank Daniel Filmus, Argentina´s Education Minister for his great job as the President of Educ.ar and overall the support that his Ministry has given to the Alfabetización Digital program (Digital Literacy Program) and donated another $50K to the program.
I grew up in Recoleta and went to school in Palermo during the 70s. Buenos Aires has changed, mostly for the better. When I lived in Argentina very few people came and visited Buenos Aires. This Christmas will be Argentina´s record in terms of tourist entries. In this video I show a very personal side of my city that now combines chic with the same old popular culture of asados.
Building FON you realize why certain countries are doing poorly and others well and a lot of it has to do with lack of transparency. Argentina is one example of a country in which absurd red tape rules and that is why we have around 900 registered FONeros, but very few active hotspots.
Eric Nonacs the head of the Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative. This project focuses on health, agriculture and water / sanitation and this in two countries – Rwanda and Malawi – in order to encourage economic growth. Some of their main achievements included brokering lower interest rates for micro credits, negotiating lower prices of fertilizers in Rwanda and improving the national health care infrastructure in Malawi. I have known Eric Nonacs for years and I have to say that he does a great job at the Foundation. It makes it easier to donate funds to a not for profit when you see not only the vision of President Clinton but managers like Eric Nonacs in charge.
Ira Magaziner is one of Clinton´s best managers. His business background at the Boston Consulting Group, couple with years in government during the Clinton Administration helped make him a great manager in the not for profit world.
Ira Magaziner spoke about the Clinton Foundation HIV / Aids Initiative and the Clinton Climate Initiative. The mission of the HIV / Aids initiative is to assist governments in making HIV / Aids care & treatment available to more of their citizens rather than prevention like,for example, others like the Gates Foundation do. They partnered with 25 countries and pioneered new approaches for children and rural care.
Ira is the perfect manager for this area as he does not seem to hesitate to take difficult decisions – he knows that sometimes action is more important than waiting for the right answer to come –, that hundreds of people can be saved by reacting quickly to certain circumstances. The main achievement has been that the team managed to significantly negotiate lower prices for medications, so that more patients can be treated and therefore more lives saved.
Ira Magaziner also leads the Climate Initiative. Global warming is a major threat to our future and a change in behaviour is very important (as it was mentioned, if we do not act now, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year). The Clinton Climate Initiative is partnering with 40 of the largest cities in the world to assist them to become more energy efficient and to use cleaner energy. (This is an area that I am very interested, since I invested in wind energy in Spain)
Some of my readers will be familiar with this initiative as I went to the annual meeting in September in NYC and wrote about my experiences there. The special thing about the CGI is that each participant has to make a commitment which the CGI will follow up on. Each participant can make a commitment of his choosing – as long as they live up to it! The CGI in September was great and visited by top level politicians, business people, artists, musicians and actors.
John Needham, formerly with Fortune Magazine, informed trustees about the success of the Clinton Global Initiative that he manages. At CGI $7.3 billion were commited in 2006 to benefit more than 500 organizations in 100 different countries. This initiative is like a Davos…. with a mission.