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Blue Ocean Strategy for olpcMAP (Part One) November 25, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 7:35 pm
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It was another meeting for olpcmappers, the day before Thanksgiving, at Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square. Adam was late as always, so was Nick, who had a better excuse as it was his first time ever driving or parking in Boston, which is always challenging. At last we all found each other and discussed the future of the map and desired features. Right now the map is still in the early stage of development.

The best part of the map is people, who empower the map. So if you are not there yet, please, create your dot on What is the map for?

1. Show OLPC/Sugar deployments and volunteers, including contact info, description, pictures and all content created (link to blog, website, etc.)

2. Find people and deployments

3. Offer or ask for help – specify what you need or what you are willing to help with

Three hours later we created a “to do” list and Adam came up with tentative layout of the Map Sprint event planned for the last week of December, when we implement new features.

Today I was trying to finish reading Blue Ocean Strategy book written by W. Chan Kim (from Boston Consulting Group) and Renee Mauborgne (INSEAD professor). I realized that we can apply the Blue Ocean Strategy to the map. Main idea is:

If you want to create a superior product/service in comparison to those of your competitors, who swim in the “red ocean”, you need to redefine market space and make competition irrelevant. The strategic profile with high blue ocean strategy potential has three complementary qualities: focus, divergence and a compelling tagline. There are 6 paths of finding your new strategy:

1. Look across alternative industries

2. Look across strategic groups within industries

3. Look across the chain of buyers

4. Look across complementary products and service offerings

5. Look across functional or emotional appeal to buyers

6. Look across time

If you look at the table attached, you will see that we completed only step number one, i.e. a) we analyzed how our map is different from other maps: we map people and XOs, and b) main change is to give power to contributors and make it even more interactive, so that perhaps people can speak about their experiences and laptops can show you what work has been done with them.  Now we are moving to the second column of the table and we need feedback from the field, meaning volunteers, employees and deployments – olpc/sugar contributors.

What do you want to see on the map?

Who should be able to use it?

What are the most important features the map has to have?

What do you want to use the map for – all desirable features?

Would you want to receive a newsletter or use archive of articles about olpc deployments and volunteers via olpcMAP?

Or any other comments…

Please, help us make the map more valuable, beautiful and user-friendly, send your comments and suggestions to

Join our public discussion list by writing to

Happy Thanksgiving!


OLPC/Sugar BBQ in Arlington, MA November 21, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 12:00 am
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About 15 people attended OLPC/Sugar Community BBQ  on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010 at Caroline’s brand new house in Arlington, MA. The reason for this gathering was to meet face-to-face and learn about what everyone is doing. I met great volunteers like Sandy, Sandra, Ben , Paul and others…

I gave them an update about the we are at the stage when we are adding people, ie creating their points on the map with pics and descriptions. Contact form is working well: You can email anyone on the map. Next steps – to add  videos of all volunteers interviewed at the OLPC Summit in SF. Ben suggested or  for those interested in fundraising to buy XOs for existing or future deployments.

Caroline showed us several new activities from Sugar on the stick and told us about  her new project an online game for unemployed people, which I suggested should include strategic volunteering points. Walter assessed my key lime pie and concluded that it is missing lime zest, but good overall!

Adam told us about his trip to Haiti, while making burgers and hotdogs, in spite of Caroline being terrified of BBQ in the back of her new mint house. The upcoming presentation by the Spanish students  about their vision for OLPC is on Sunday November 21, 4PM EST (Boston Time). Attached are the slidesOLPC presentation of their business consulting project.

From Bernie: Great Future-of-Sugar design discussion ongoing below! Feel free to join the conversation directly on mailing lists such as:

For all local OLPC/Sugar volunteers, feel free to subscribe to: (all things OLPC/Sugar/Boston) (SJ’s edutech quasimonthly reading group) (Acetarium, Sunday 9:30pm meetings @ Grendel’s etc)

For everyone else, please create your point on the (instructions are here and add others, who are missing! Follow updates on Twitter .

In anticipation of our Dec 27-31 MAP SPRINT at-or-nearby OLPC/1CC, those wanting to actively visualize global OLPC/Sugar deployments, should join here:


Happy Birthday OLPC Project! November 16, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 3:15 pm
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Nicholas Negroponte and Kofi Annan unveiled a working prototype of the Children’s Machine 1 (CM1) on November 16, 2005 at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, Tunisia” (from Wiki).

So what happened since OLPC XO first introduction to the world five years ago? In response to the Official Overview of OLPC Monitoring and Evaluation Reports  and overview, I just want to say that OLPC has done a lot of great things. New OLPC website is work in progress with its very graphic map that indicates how many XO laptops were distributed worldwide. 

More than that overall number of XOs shipped worldwide I want to know how many children are actually using XO laptops right now. I’d rather support one happy child who is using it than hundreds of laptops locked in the closet.

I also want to know how many people support the idea of OLPC and keep it alive, including educators, developers, content creators, etc., because people make ideas happen. Please, read Ben’s notes on community support question. See pics of volunteers from San Francisco OLPC Community Summit, courtesy of  Mark Battley from Ntugi Kenya deployment.

Thank you, OLPC Community for your dedication and hard work!


Last post November 7, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 10:09 pm
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This is the last post of saigonolpc blog, I will continue writing about volunteer opportunities and connecting humans to meaningful projects around the world on ChebVolunteer blog. You can also follow Cheb on Twitter @Cheb_Volunteer.


Peru Volunteer Project November 5, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 5:58 pm
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Pisco Sin Fronteras is a volunteer disaster reconstruction organisation that works in and around the city of Pisco, Peru. In August of 2007 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake devastated the region, destroying 80% of the homes in Pisco and killing around 600 people. The earthquake left many people living in makeshift housing of cardboard, scrap wood and plastic, and on dirt floors, with no more than a bucket in the corner for a toilet. Pisco Sin Fronteras works to improve the living conditions of those families affected by the earthquake by building and improving houses, working in schools, building sanitation units and working in community development. They always look for enthusiastic, hard working volunteers to help the people of Pisco rebuild their lives.

Unlike many other volunteer organisations, they do not charge a participation fee. Each day volunteers can choose what to work on from a diverse range of projects. This gives each person the opportunity to learn new skills and get involved with both construction and community-based projects.  For those who wish to get more involved in the workings of the organisation, there are always opportunities in administration, fundraising and project development.  As a volunteer organisation, the volunteers are the organisation.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this community and helping people get their lives back on track, please see the ‘Volunteering‘ page. If you would like to make a donation to the rebuilding effort in Pisco, please see the ‘Donations‘ page. More about the project is at


Uganda Volunteer Project November 4, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 2:27 pm
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I learned about Friends of Ugandan Orphans (FUO) project from Nicholas (Eutychios) Kalogerakis. He’s worked in education for many years until he retired. He is a part-time real estate agent and a full-time member of FUO, which he started many years ago. About the project:

FUO is a motivated group of people of diverse backgrounds who have become aware of the plight of children in Uganda, many of whom have been left orphaned either by civil war or AIDS.  FUO’s  mission is to provide practical humanitarian assistance to orphaned children in Uganda in order to improve the educational, economic, social and medical conditions of the children.

In the past few years, members of FUO have funded and overseen several projects: a grain mill for the school/orphanage in Kangulumira, a small banana grove and a vegetable farm for a school/orphanage in Mityana, a sewing room for a school in Kiboga, and a piggery project for an orphanage in Golomolo.  The Golomolo orphanage in particular was found in extremely destitute condition. The only water supply was un unclean swamp, and 350 children were housed in two dirt floor buildings in where they would sleep on the dirt floor each night. FUO provided a new water pump to bring clean underground spring water for the needs of the children. Later, large number of bunk beds was provided, so that each of 350 children has his own bed complete with mosquito nets.

What is needed? Food and medicine are the two most urgent needs that must be addressed.  Feeding 350 children everyday becomes a formidable task for the administrators as they often run out of food and money that they receive in small sums by compassionate people who visit the orphanage.

UFO plans to equip a clinic at the orphanage to provide first aid services and basic medicine to the children. In addition, there is a proposal to establish a computer lab to enhance the educational curriculum of the orphanage.

Volunteers are highly needed either helping in Uganda or from home. In Uganda you can teach the kids, provide medical help, maintain their facilities. From home you can help create a website, fundraise, promote organization, manage it or join the Board of Directors. If you are interested in being part of this project please email Nick at (Nick is currently in Uganda)  or Chris Giantsopoulos at


Cyclekids Volunteer Project November 3, 2010

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 4:28 pm
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The Cycle Kids mission is to get children on bicycles and engage them in a physical activity that addresses the health and emotional issues facing today’s under-active, often overweight, children. This program encourages confidence, curiosity, and independence, supports efforts to live more environmentally conscious lifestyles, and teaches children a skill they will have for a lifetime.

You Are Invited To The First Annual CYCLE Kids Fundraiser November 4, 2010
Celebrating Community Commitment to Eliminate Childhood Obesity

When: November 4th, 6:30 PM until 9:30 PM

Where: The Regattabar at the Charles Hotel
One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone

Please join us to celebrate the Commitment of Communities to Eliminate Childhood Obesity and help us honor the mayor of Somerville, Joseph Curtatone, for his dedication and support to a cause which affects us all. In recognizing the need to support children and families, he has adopted the CYCLE Kids program as an important component of his “Eat Smart, Play Hard, Live Well” community policy.

Enjoy dishes prepared by your favorite local chefs, have your memory of your first bike depicted on a graffiti wall created by artist Chris Piascik, participate in our silent and live auctions, and most importantly, help your community eliminate childhood obesity.

Purchase a Ticket or Become an Individual Sponsor on our event website.


CYCLE Kids | 5 JFK Street | Cambridge | MA | 02138

Cycle kids looks for motivated and caring individuals willing to donate their time to work with children or provide assistance to the organization in a number of different ways. Weather you can help out a few hours a day or only a few hours a month, you can make a difference. If you have some time to give, contact us at to find out more about volunteer opportunities.


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