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Somali Activists, Libertarians in OpenWorld Project

Posted on May 5, 2011 at 1:00 AM

People in Asia open new local project thanks to Openworld: http://www.openworld.com where Somali activists and Libertarians are not only fighting for a better Somalia on a democratic-localist and market model free of the remnants of government and other imposed terror, but spreading tools worldwide for improvement based on their insights and advice of development experts on voluntary options.

 (See earlier article on Somalia and Somaliland below)

A Somali Investor inspired by Libertarian development tools and an LIO Fellow are among those at work using the concepts and the web to empower under-served people around the globe, and hope their work will inspire similar efforts. Among other items, users are informed by tools of Libertarian choice, Liberal tolerance, and progressive action to implement the needs of the users in simple and cost-effective ways.

Soleman Abdi Idd, founding Chairman of Openworld Inc., is a Somali-born investor and entrepreneur active in private sector environmental initiatives, ecotourism, agricultural ventures, and free economic zone development in Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.

LIO Fellow Mark Frazier, Openworld's President, has experience in developing market-oriented initiatives for private and public sector clients in 56 countries. A graduate of Harvard University and former Visiting Fellow of the Lehrman Institute, he is a past publisher and managing editor of Reason magazine as well as cofounder of the Local Government Center, springboard for Reason Foundation's privatization practice. He specializes in economic reforms, free zones for knowledge industries, sustainability strategies for self-help groups, and skills diffusion initiatives in emerging economies.


The group networks volunteers, investors, people with proposals and contributors who simply like the concept. Among the projects underway, according to the site:

>The Horizon Lanka Academy in Sri Lanka. Openworld and its partners are helping to fund microscholarships, work-study projects, student creation of eLessons, and a dedicated internet connection for a pioneering private school launched on a volunteer basis in rural in Sri Lanka. The project has attracted diaspora funding for land grant and building endowments to help ensure its future, and gained national media and political support as an example for villages across the country.

>eCenters and Microscholarship Funds in Kyrgyzstan. With support from the Academy for Educational Development and a $100,000 catalytic microvoucher challenge grant from USAID, Openworld has assisted private telecenter operators in this Central Asian country in extending online learning and certification opportunities at grassroots levels, following local commitment of land grants as endowments for ongoing microscholarship funds. A multimedia presentation on their progress -- with more than 5000 microvoucher recipients over the first 18 months -- can be seen here.

>Strategy development for Business Parks and eGovernment initiatives in Eastern Europe. In response to the growing interest of municipalities in private sector-led eCenters and Business and Technology Parks, Openworld and its partners have been working with communities to design "quickstart" facilities and development tenders for land grant concessions that offer liberalized business climates.


In addition, Openworld is extending catalytic offers of microscholarships, work-study projects, and in-kind contributions -- including video cameras, notebook computers, and software -- to local self-help initiatives interested in endowing microvoucher funds and "eAcademies" through land grants in Somaliland, Gabon, and Haiti.

Openworld and its partners also have a range of online projects to promote sustainable eLearning opportunities and to support private sector-led projects that can generate resources for local microscholarship funds. These include:

>Launching an "Assisting Entrepreneurial Schools" portal with resources for market-based learning alternatives to succeed, including information on microscholarship funds, land grants, and opportunities to engage students as designers/co-owners of new for profit schools and eLearning ventures;

>Preparing a Virtual Business Incubator CD - with funding from USAID's Regional Competitiveness Initiative - for jobseekers and freelancers in Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro to find projects in rapidly-growing online free markets for telework (click here to request a copy);

>Offering "Openworld Presenter" freeware/shareware authoring tools for creation of eLessons that can fill gaps in existing educational systems;

>Using free Skype internet calling software for diaspora and other volunteer faculty to offer online "English as a Second Language" practice sessions for schools serving poor communities;

>Working with FLOW -- an emerging movement for liberating the entrepreneurial spirit and focusing it on the goals of sustainable peace, prosperity, and happiness -- to engage students in cross-cultural exchange to understand and develop Openworld approaches to local social and economic development; and

>Providing digital toolkits in international and local languages for private development of eAcademies, eCenters and Technology Parks around the world on a success-sharing basis with nonprofit organizations.

>Click the siute for more on tools for e.g. global eAcademies , Bulgarian eCenters and Business/Technology Parks, and Krygyz eCenters.

Said LIO curator Michael Gilson-De Lemos: "You can teach someone to fish, or show  how to fish--or best of all teach how to start a fish farm. In my opinion the combination of such networking sites and making assistance programs non-coercive and better accountable make the Libertarian approach-- of dialogue for international understanding while ending poverty and teaching wealth creation so the free markets and intentional community or co-op proejects are a ready tool, not a mystery-- a growing reality to end humanity's true foes: poverty, ignorance, and mutual fear. We heartly encourage interest in such projects especially of people reaching across borders to share their experience where it may help others." 



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