Keewaytinook Okimakanak presents at international virtual conference

On Tuesday, September 10, Keewaytinook Okimakanak presented information about the Kuh-ke-nah project at the international, on-line “ICT, Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development” virtual conference.

The Powerpoint Presentation Archives from the virtual conference are now available for viewing at Over the next few days, the conference coordinator, David Wortley will be digitizing the audio presentations to create full multimedia versions accessible by broadband users (the KO presentation is up for those with broadband connections at - be sure to click on PLAY on the left hand side after it loads)

David combines a number of traditional and contemporary ICT tools to broadcast and distribution information about ICT developments from around the world. Archives of other on-line conferences facilitated by David can be found at

In distributing follow up information about the “ICT, Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development” virtual conference, David writes:

The presentations on September 10th were very interesting and varied. I have grouped them together in the following summaries :-


Three of the presentations examined the global impact of the internet on society and sustainability. All 3 presentations identified the fact that we are at a very critical time in the history of mankind. My presentation on the theme of Societal fission or fusion drew an analogy with the processes involved in nuclear reaction to make the point that with ICT we have unleashed a powerful force on society which we need to understand how to harness for the benefit of mankind, otherwise we may not be able to control its potential for destruction.

Earl Mardle of Technology Empowerment Network (TEN) spoke of similar potent forces and draw an analogy between the early stages of the life of the internet and the birth of the universe - powerful energy and great unpredictability. He went on to describe how TEN is creating a network to help harness these forces to the benefit of mankind.

Thomas Schauer's presentation focused on how ICT may have opened a Pandora's box of increasing consumption in a world of finite resources. He has done some excellent research on the impact of technology on bio-diversity and it seems clear that further research is necessary if we are to understand how to control the forces we have unleashed.

It is interesting to note that all 3 presenters developed a common strand but come from different backgrounds - commercial, NGO and academic.


The presentations from Brian Beaton of K-Net in Canada and Leone Wheeler in Australia were on the theme of community networks.

The K-Net project for the First Nations in Canada is a wonderful example of how a community can shape their future through the creative use of ICT. In particular, they have a very good model for bringing access to remote rural communities through a mixture of broadband, wireless and satellite technologies.

The Victoria Regional Learning Network is a more traditional community ICT program built around lifelong learning and community ICT centres. The project highlighted the sustainability problems projects of this type across the world seem to encounter when revenue funding runs out.


The digital divide is a frequently used term which was at the heart of five of the presentations. Sue Webb of Women Connect perhaps expressed the true nature of the digital divide when she talked about the social divide between men and women and it seemed clear from all of these four presentations that ICT can empower disadvantaged groups, provided society has a commitment to tackle these social divides.

Sue Webb's presentation was on Women and ICT and it drew attention to the role that women can play in shaping a better society through their application of ICT. Sue stressed the need to develop ICT applications that are "women friendly" if we are to harness the true potential of women.

Barbara Fillip's presentation covered her model for e-learning in developing nations. She describes its success in bringing education in a practical way to these countries, but also draws attention to the need to make these facilities sustainable. Like many social entrepreneurs (myself included) she currently subsidises her social enterprise with commercial work. More research is needed into the phenomena of social enterprise and the need to connect risks to rewards if these activities are to be sustained.

Marc Cowgill's presentation was on ICT and Mental Health Empowerment. He describes the value of ICT to people with mental health issues with his mental health empowerment project. When the full multimedia version of the presentation is available, you must listen to the professional way in which Marc makes his presentation.

Richard Blows of Quest-Net described their model for making information more accessible to disadvantaged groups. The commercial sector is very familiar with "information overload" and Quest-Net is a portal site and services portfolio designed for "information-underload"

Simon Stevens is a social entrepreneur who happens be disabled. He spoke about Disability and Wealth Creation - the Interdependency model. Simon's presentation was a shining example of good communication practice. His presentation slides delivered his message with the greatest eloquence and he made the point that disabled people should have more control within the industries that depend on them. It made me even more aware of the need to harness the potential in every human being, whatever their background or ability.

My thanks go out to all the presenters for their efforts - please watch out for the full multimedia versions of the presentations over the next few days.


David Wortley
Mass Mitec
Creative Collaborative Communications
Tel: +44(0)1858 410366