When humanitarians, tech and media join forces: discovering CDAC

Can you fall in love with an organisation? I think I’m smitten by the CDAC network. I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across them but I became aware of their work just days before they put on the Media and Tech Fair at Google’s London HQ last week.

For those who couldn’t make it to the event the proceedings were streamed live online. Honestly it was amazing to be able to tune in to such relevant, insightful and thought-provoking discussions.

Pretty much all of the panellist were conversing on exactly the issues that I’ve been musing over in the course of my studies –

1)      ways to make aid genuinely more accountable to the people it is supposed to serve

2)      why humanitarianism needs to take on some of the values more commonly associated with development

3)      how to make use of the diaspora in emergencies

4)      where to strike the most efficient balance in the use of technology  in responding to crises

5)      how to ensure that online data is enabling yet challenge people’s right to privacy or worse still fall into the wrong hands…

I only managed to catch a couple of hours on the first day but I’m waiting in eager anticipation for them to upload the rest of the material from the sessions that took place over two days. For anyone interested in positive, innovative approaches to humanitarianism this is must-watch information and a must-follow organisation.

Boycott Buy a Newspaper Day

Don’t buy a newspaper, support online advertising instead!

2 February has set aside as Buy A Newspaper Day in the US.

Just last week, French president Nicholas Sarkozy announced a €600 million package to prop up France’s ailing newspaper industry.

The proposed measures include free newspaper subscription for 18 year-olds, paid partly by the government and partly by the publishers.

This is all utter madness! Why should taxpayers’ money be used to bailed out a flawed industry? What next? A bailout for porn too?

As one blogger wrote, in this split-second electronic communications age it can be argued that newspapers are relics from the “Stone Age” of news dissemination.

So rather than propping up a dead man walking, how about putting your pennies behind the potential offered by online journalism?

We’re not talking about the all-too prevalent rehashing of material that occurs on far too many news websites provide, but rather the sorts of publications that invest time, money and technology in creating original content, often in ground-breaking formats, online.

How can you make a difference? Support online advertising. Learn to love pop ups, click on links and sit through pre-rolls on videos.* You’re just one click away from making a difference!

*Other options are available

Financial crisis on a global scale

The fruits of my labours today (in addition to surviving the hangover from hell). Wanted to embed some stills, maybe I’ll get round to that later.

Today really was the day that it hit us just how out of control the financial meltdown really is.


Despite all of the measures by governments around the world, the markets are still plummeting. One experts’ referred to it as the plastic pants approach to banking – people are panicking and selling like crazy! Who knows what tomorrow’ll bring?

Credit crisis craziness

Apologies. I’ve been under the radar this week. Blame it on the day shift and the relentless credit crisis content I’ve been churning out for the website each day.

Slightly worried that thousands of people are reading advice written by me on finance. If only they could see my bank account.

The Wire – season three has also been a distraction. Seriously I plan on watching one episode before bed but before I know it it’s 3 in the morning. Not a good look when I’m due in the office at 8am!

Playboy seeks banking bunnies

Playboy logo
Playboy logo





Forgive me for failing to support the feminist cause with this post but I was amused to read that help is on hand for bankers hit hard by the recent financial turmoil. The good Samaritan is an unlikely one.

Playboy magazine is offering current ad former employees of the financial world money to appear in its forthcoming ‘Women of Wall Street’ special feature planned for the February 2009 edition and on its website.

Cash strapped banking vixens can apply here

Journalism in global crisis

Following on from my post yesterday, the issue of a journalistic crisis appears to be as much of as an ongoing story as the financial crisis.

In today’s Corriere della Sera, Marco Pratellesi, editor in chief of Corriere online, blogs about Italian journalists suffering from a cultural crisis and a rupture between generations. Apparently the same issues are rocking French newspapers too.