Thinking Outside the Water Box!

Reporters in Africa are using new tools and technologies to tell their stories

Reporters in Africa are using new tools and technologies to tell their stories

Was great to join the Akvo team in Istanbul for the World Water Forum. They did a great job putting together a format that really starts to push the edges of the traditional water box. It was great for them to bring in outside organization that could illustrate some new ways forward. As Africa Interactive, it was great to be able to bring the AI network of photographers, film makers and reporters into the picture. To actually show some of the projects we have been working on and to illustrate some of the ways that we as media can contribute to this process.

I look forward to seeing how their format evolves. Can see some great ideas being brainstormed for the future.
Keep it up!

Some additional background:

Akvo has been asked by Netherlands Water Partnership to assist in organising a 4-hour session called ‘thinking outside the water box’, that will take place on the morning of Friday 20th March. The water sector can be quite ‘inward’ looking, so the basic idea was to ‘open it up’ and fuel a creative atmosphere where new ideas, concepts and approaches that stimulate breakthroughs can be experienced. This animation will probably be used to kick it off.

I can now announce the key presenters and members of the panel – namely Alix Zwane from Google, Djeevan Schiferli from IBM, Thomas Bjelkeman Pettersson from Akvo and Joke Witteveen, who represents the computer gaming industry. Djeevan shared initial ideas about using footage from the animation movie, Madagascar, to back up his story, which sets the scene for what we have in mind.
So, why did these organisations step into the water sector? What is their vision for the future and their role in it? What are the possibilities that social networks and new IT and communication tools offer? How will business change in the years to come?

Additional input in the shape of short pitches will be prepared by Ben White representing Africa Interactive (a citizen network of local African reporters), Becky Straw from Charity Water (think Twestival and tweeting for water), and Gurdal Ertek, who will highlight open source software tools to save water in chemical industries. Representatives of the consortium Helixer talked about doing a sketch (lets wait and see) and the rap star BangBang has a video message to explain his initiative ‘fighting for water‘, where rappers and kick-boxers raise funds to provide water for poor people in Bangladesh. And yes, there is more to come.

During the session, participants will be able to send SMS messages to a big screen (if Rik Fleuren from Tenq manages to make it work on the ground in Istanbul), so the audience can directly with presenters as the session unfolds. Mark Charmer will package short interviews with participants at the forum, to be used as input for the discussion. He will also make sure the session gets broadcast and can be followed via twitter as it unfolds (I haven’t told him yet though).

Learn more about Akvo.


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About zia505

The world is changing right before my eyes. Sometimes I don't know how I will ever keep up. There are so many ideas floating around on this internet. If only I had the means to collect them....

One response to “Thinking Outside the Water Box!”

  1. Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson says :

    Ben, that was great and you really got me thinking about Uganda. Would love to go, but the Akvo tsunami is nipping at my heals. 🙂

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