Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CGNet Swara is a Finalist at Ashoka Changemakers...We need VOTES!

It's my pleasure to announce that we have made it to the finals at the Ashoka Changemakers CItizen Media Competition. We now need votes to win the final stage.
Voting is really easy:
  1. Go to and click the CGNet Swara photo on the top right corner (its the one with a citizen journalist interviewing two children)
  2. On the CGNet Swara page, click the white link that says "Vote"
  3. Provide your email address and location
  4. Go to your email and confirm your vote (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  5. Since you're now back at your email, take a minute and forward this email far and wide.
For people who would like to know more about our work and about the competition, a few links:
For the audio-visually inclined, a short film (1 min) describing what we do: CGNet Swara Elevator Pitch Video (Low Res), CGNet Swara Elevator Pitch Video (Hi Res)
For those who prefer to read: The CGNet Swara Site , Our News Page
For the powerpoint types: Voices Across the Digital Divide (a.k.a. there's plenty of room at the bottom)

Our Ashoka Competition Entry
About the competition

We are counting on your support as usual :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

What we learned from managing a distributed democratic organization

Our challenges have been primarily in the area of community building and management. We have found that while urban members of the community typically have better resources, they usually also have limitations on flexibility and implementation. On the flip side, while rural members have more flexibility and appetite for effort, they are usually short resources.
We have learnt to overcome this challenge by systematically improving our communication processes. By working through the paradigm that communication enables flow of resources, we have been able to connect rural grassroots activists to their counterparts in cities, enabling the urban resource availability to compliment the rural implementation skill.
The next area of challenges has been sustaining the costs of running the project.
For example, the cost of providing free callbacks as a means to improve adoption rates.
Rather than incur the cost of capital involved in raising a large monolithic investment, we have learnt to distribute our financial needs into granular components and obtained individual/independent funding for each. This has allowed us to distribute the risks of the project across many stakeholders and enabled more people to contribute with their existing resources, once again following the overall paradigm of inclusion.