Human Collaboration the Peoples Revolution of a Global Learning Framework

Richard Close, Global Education MagazineRichard Close

CEO-Servant, The Chrysalis Campaign. As a senior consultant, Richard has developed programs for different companies, including poverty curriculum development in Bridgeport, CT and the development of a UNESCO PPN African portal.

e-mail: web: 


Abstract: “While traditional classrooms wade through indexed text books chapter by chapter in order to pass Friday’s test, a torrent of knowledge is streaming past and through the students on their cell phones. While the teacher at the head of class has a one way channel of dumping facts into empty buckets, billions of people outside the classroom walls are exchanging terabits of fluid knowledge in collaborative communities.” This paper discusses how humans have evolved technology to a point where Internet learning has bypassed academia, this is the revolution. It then discusses practical methods for integrating global learning within classroom academics. This visionary and disruptive paper proposes an ugraded set of global education theories and practical methods of how educators and NGO can leverage the content and collaborations. Digging deeper into contemporary theories about technical collaboration the article highlights the role of human context that is managing internet content. The Global Learning Framework™ illustrates how human experience and local values collaborate with the global knowledge base. The paper covers how and why global learning via Internet appliances is bypassing our industrial curriculum models. This paper is a subset of the paper “Human Collaboration the Peoples Revolution of a Global Learning Framework available with references at

Keywords: Human Collaboration, Knowledge, Global Learning Framework, Middle East, Peoples Revolution, Democracy, Poverty, Africa, Human Consciousness, Technology.


“While traditional classrooms wade through indexed text books chapter by chapter in order to pass. Friday’s test, a torrent of knowledge is streaming past and through the students on their cell phones. While the teacher at the head of class has a one way channel of dumping facts into empty buckets, billions of people outside the classroom walls are exchanging terabits of fluid knowledge in collaborative communities. As students look into their two year old history books, they reflect on CNN’s and Aljazeera real time reporting of Middle East revolutions. Shaking their heads, they know the school is not in sync with reality. And after leaving the classroom’s bubble, the student hangs out during recess with friends, opens up his phone and once again unites himself with the global collaborative. We need to embrace this revolution because resistance is futile. We now live in a Global Learning Framework™

Richard C. Close

In the same way that dictators are waking up to flash protests and are shocked at how an entire nation can overthrow an authoritarian trickle down knowledge structure in days, global collaborative learning is overthrowing traditional academic classrooms and page turning eLearning programs. Educators need to take notice that the same revolution of human-technology is taking place with students that have challenged the relevance of learning-in-a-vacuum facts that are dysfunctional with our youth’s reality as a global collaborative.

The entrenchment of colonial/industrial education is when an authoritarian group imparts their knowledge down with curriculum textbooks into the working classes/cultures. While at the same time, democracy in education has the masses fully empowered to explore, create and share knowledge on equal footing between students, the same way billions of people typically use the Web today. The disconnectedness between these two approaches of learning is vast, wide and now becoming antagonistic.

In addition, the argument that the digital divide is because affluence can afford technology and the poor cannot is now growing weaker, because the barriers to cell and PC access are fading. It is only about access and soon everyone will have it. This will happen as the cell phone bypasses the PC as a personal network appliance. Full white paper with references available at

This article illustrates the need for new strategies for the expansion of global education and Telco organizations in order to accelerate the development of villages throughout the world. We need a massive upgrade to our approach, because it is the human instinct to learn collaboratively that will drive this growth into a profitable reality not just by technology itself.

Birthing The Revolution of the Human Collaboration 

Web 1.0 for the Internet was basically a massive phone directory to look up information. It was with Web 2.0, which offered human collaboration, that global Internet user traffic transformed humanity. Web 2.0 was also the advent of application collaboration-widgets in blogs and YouTube in Facebook.

We should therefore explore what changed in global behavior that motivated 60% of the world’s population to communicate together. Within this behavior of how we live, learn, express and create together, we will find the answers to rapid scaling of global broadband and Internet application investments.

Internet Traffic, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education MagazineFigure 1. Cisco VNI Forecasts 120.6 Exabytes per Month of IP Traffic in 2017

The chart above was generated from data by Cisco in its “Global IP Traffic Forecast and Methodology, 2006-2011” and featured at

“A student at Northeastern University in Boston, changed the music and media industry with his creation of a digital file sharing program called Napster. In 1999, he created a software program that allowed computer users to share and exchange files. Napster had several hundred thousand users by the Spring of 2000, and had grown to over 50 million users by February 2001. This technology is called Peer-to-peer or P2P because it allows ‘peers’, ordinary computers to exchange files between themselves”

If we want rapid scaling of global knowledge sharing, we should look at P2P and collaboration as a strategy, not trickle down applications.

By 2008, P2P traffic had become 44% of all consumer Internet traffic globally and according to “P2P traffic to grow almost 400% over the next 5 years, as legitimate P2P applications become a meaningful segment” from multimedia intelligence, P2P traffic would grow by 400% by 2013”.

Napster worked in the U.S. in 2000 – 2001 because of its installed base of PCs and unlimited Internet access. Even though Napster was shutdown in 2001 over copyright law, the social impact and brand was strong enough to resurface it in a merger with Rhapsody in 2011. Africa may lack the large appliances and the installed base that is in the U.S. However, Africa’s youth do not lack the same motivators to collaborate such as the ones that empowered Napster’s staggering growth.

A Historical Context: When IT Communications Mirrored Human Communications

Today the Web has finally evolved to a point where human communication can integrate simultaneously with life’s “content” (facts) with human “context” (feelings, values opinions, etc.). Social networking is the human context of facts. A photograph of a baby’s birth is a “fact”; the reaction of everyone who views it is the human “context.” Previously, in the age of TV or movies, we watched the show or movie and talked with our friends. Today media is released in many formats that ignite global collaborative discussion with global commerce systems functioning side by side. Whereas in TV, we watched the show once (perhaps the rerun), streaming now allows movies to pop up in Facebook or Twitter discussions. The analyst’s concept of adding one or two killer applications is dwarfed by algorithms of “interrelated applications” driven by the human drive to collaborate globally (Napster). In a sense, because of humans sharing content, YouTube is now codependent on Facebook and Twitter.

The Evolution of the Human Beings and the Advent of Technology Upgrades Are Inseparable

As we analyze each step in human communication, it is important to note several shifts in power and control of both content and editorial comment (the human context). Over an extremely short period of time in human history, power in the form of information shifted from a top-down to a horizontal democratic model. Keep in mind this is all an Adult Learning process. In the 1980s, when I was consulting with Lotus Notes, which was the first true collaborative database communication and application software, corporate executives struggled with the concept of sharing information. The model of transparency and collaboration resulting in shared information was frightening for the executives. It shifts the traditional “one-to-many” model of communication, to a “many-to-many” model, affecting directly the power of the “one” who had been the disseminator of information. Thus, introducing Lotus Notes into the market proved to be a difficult process in a community that was not collaborative at the time.

Global youth experience the cell phone’s collaborative power as part of themselves. What seems to be missing in the Adult Learning theoretical framework is the awareness that human behavior is driving the technological revolution and not the other way around. Human and collaborative cloud knowledge are merging. We want to be unique and yet also be one global society at the same time. In the words of Star Trek’s Borg, “Resistance is futile.”

How we Evolved into a Global Colaborative

TV & Radio Networks: One to One strategy

TV and radio, with the exception of radio talk shows, are one-way media venues. Content is pumped out from a central point where the message is controlled. It is ironic that the advent of cell phones /Twitter allows people who are driving to talk back to the radio talk show host in order to win a contest, tell a joke or rant about politics, not to mention talk with one another. But in the beginning, this was not the case, as the government and media industry had 100% control over the messaging. The trend was “one-to-one” marketing, not serving communities of interest like today.

A. Star Networks: Dictatorial Control Strategy

start network, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education MagazineThe early stages of mainframe computing, such as IBM Star computing, progressed into a two way model between a terminal and mainframe. IBM Systems Network Architecture (SNA) was sold as being secure for business communication and applications. What IBM did not fully grasp was the inherent human need to cross communicate (P2P),which eventually cost IBM its leadership position by losing the inter-human communication market (desktop market). IBM’s behavior was typical of its time in which the business culture hoarded information and policy-making to the top. IBM learned the hard way that people will bypass authority in order to collaborate. They will gossip in bathrooms if need be. How could a corporate giant with so many brilliant minds not see past its own authoritarian culture? It was simple denial of the inevitable disruptive process of user collaboration. IBM was on the road to recovery when Gerstner restructured business units to compete with one another and collaborate with the outside world, only then did Microsoft become a friend and partner. While it was an unthinkable corporate change for this market icon to collaborate, collaboration was smartly embraced, and suddenly IBM became a team player and the service company it is today.

In the 1980s, companies like IBM and GE only wanted to hear about large $50,000 corporate and above solutions. It was intellectual arrogance within corporate authority that missed the explosion of the Internet. Industry analysts, paid by the corporation, missed how the numbers would add up as the users of the world armed themselves with the power of collaboration. Symptomatic of this were large companies like Management Science America (MSA), the accounting applications enterprise that did not take PC accounting applications seriously. In 2012, the little company that made QuickBooks, Intuit,  grew their sales by 11% to 3.85 billion and IBM’s purchase of Lotus 123 desktop applications tragically lost its value. Huge investments and market positions were lost, because analysts were stuck in an older world of trickle down authority and control. Academics are at risk of this same shift in market.

The message was clear by the 1990s. People do not want mainframe control or a George Orwell, “Animal Farm” computing architecture. In the end, Dewey and Freire had their way, the main framework was now democracy in learning and business all the way.

B. Token Ring Ethernet Workgroup Sharing

Workgroup Local Area Network, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education MagazineThe IBM PC came on the scene in 1982. Soon after that, PCs were linked together Peer-to-Peer to share files, email and printers. Whereas, PC software started to take the power from Star networks, workgroups shut the door on mainframe markets and corporate control. Control was not relinquished easily.  When the Novell User Group (NYLANA) launched in Manhattan, department heads did not trust corporate IT with data or maintenance, so they hired their own resellers to support them. NYLANA had 12,000 members in NYC. Only when the MS Exchange Server and Novell servers started managing corporate standards/security for email did IT gain some control, and the cat, called content freedom, was out of the bag.

From a behavioral perspective, this was a radical break from corporate authority, as many corporate business departments set up their own LANs and even LAN vendors to separate from corporate IT departments. The Novell network understood this collaborative strategy and partnered with 40,000 Value Added Resellers to compete with IBM/Digital for the human collaboration desktop market.  Later, Microsoft Window NT replicated the Novell strategy. Today, IBM must leverage the Novell and Microsoft platforms for desktop communication. Despite heavy IBM corporate IT pressure, IBM’s WARP network OS strategies all failed in the market. From a Sociological/learning point of view, this represented a key evolutionary leap in the mindset of democratic technology and human communications. Knowledge workers gained control of what they said and to whom they said it.

The second business revolution critically relevant to the global knowledge scalability issue is that the PC LANs, applications and Web gave small businesses the same access to global logistics that large international ones had. International banking, purchasing, shipping, and communications could all be leveraged by a single person setting up a business in a basement. Even full blown automated accounting systems could be purchased from a local retail store and linked into any local bank, not to mention the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. These were all strategies that are recent in human history, that only few years ago were reserved exclusively for the wealthy multinational firms.

Today, the number one employer in the U.S is small business. Another lesson for African scalability is to look at small and medium business for scaling and partnerships, not multi-nationals that reinforce poverty in their wake.

Collaboration: Democratic Chaos Is An Internet Application 

No one application such as Facebook or Twitter can claim credit. The human tendency to find purpose in life by sharing has existed since the first clans taught their children to hunt. As soon as office email could send family pictures, we were collaborating on everything from business engineering, cute pussycat pictures to grandma’s best chili.  There is a method in the madness, order in the chaos.

Collaboration is how we socially reflect life through technology. From learning how to change a diaper, to fixing a copier, to a collaborative AutoCad meeting for designing nuclear accelerators, collaboration is an integral part of the way we interact and produce knowledge. Even drone air strikes are collaborative gaming, weapons and politics in one application. We swap tiny bits of information back and forth, pasting them together to create homes, experiences and plans for when to send a child to the doctor. We learn socially in a relationally fuzzy structure that Knowledge Management can not currently handle. Perhaps in the future something of a holographic type database which is yet to be invented running on quantum computing systems’ logic using DNA based memory systems. The key attribute of the behavior is that we swap and modify lots of small chunks of information.

The Bridge Between Human Consciousness and Technology

Whereas the physical world is time and space-locked, like an indexed based text book, human thought (consciousness) is not. Inside of our anything goes mind space, we can dream the impossible, improbable and then somehow manipulate physical reality to make it happen.  Web 2.0 collaboration serves as a bridge between the physical industrial world and the mysterious mental world of emotions. It is where human context and physical reality crash together.

Why is this important to global learning? Human nature revolves around its need to communicate and build with community context that is massively (if not infinitely) scalable. It will never have enough technology bandwidth.

Providing a way to tap into that human instinct to collaborate in Africa is the key to stimulating the investment required for broadband. Once the means of commercializing the human need to collaborate is identified in Africa, it will be hard to keep up with the demand. The killer application for growth is not academics or even video entertainment. It is humanity’s love and need to communicate and learn from one another. IT is all learning.

What can be realistically achievable now? The entrenchment of colonial/industrial education is when a superior/expert group imparts their knowledge down into the working classes/cultures. Democracy in Education has the masses fully empowered to explore, create and share knowledge on equal footing between students, the same way billions of people typically use the Web today. The disconnectedness between these two approaches of learning is vast, wide and now becoming antagonistic.

In addition, the argument that the digital divide is because affluence can afford technology and the poor cannot is now growing weaker because the barriers to cell and PC access are fading. It is only about access and soon everyone will have it. This will happen as the cell phone bypasses the PC as a personal network appliance.

The Web is a Learning and Human Creation System

The teleco bandwidth strategy is no longer driven by business or entertainment applications as an end in themselves.  Rather, it is the way we take the world in, process it and create anew. Understanding the multiplying dynamics of the Internet is basic to understanding the learning /creative dynamics of the Web market. Humans search and learn through engines such as Bing or Google. Google alone accounts for 500 million searches a day (2013). This does not even count the links users follow after they have found their primary search location. Food recipes are a good example of this. The Food Network statistics form ( 2013) indicates 25,000,000 inquiries in December 2013. Once landing on Food Network’s page from Bing or Google, the user will continue to search for multiple recipes and food search tangents.  Each search is a learning experience, requiring the user to sift through facts in order to create a match with personal tastes at a micro level. As a personal example, I may need to discover what I can cook tonight in relation to what I have in the freezer and spice cabinet (facts) that my children will eat (personal taste). Then I will need to look at how others feel about the recipe before trying it, resulting in a TXT to the family with a photo of the recipe. In a single internet learning event, a hungry person can filter through massive global content, and find a match with the local needs of their family within minutes, then a meal is created.

Learning and collaborating on the Web is a horizontal user driven application. In most countries, it is no longer driven by state curriculum standards, government police, local school or international publishers. It is not a push-based review stream. It is pull-based. Fully grasping this concept is essential to driving African bandwidth traffic and revenues. Push down – based business models of entertainment and academic curriculum will not scale in the way required for a profitable enterprise with short financial runways, that Internet infrastructure requires.

Taking on Poverty’s De-motivational Hurdles

Poverty, Global Learning Framework, Global Education Magazine,While conducting the workshops for our Digital Storytelling UNESCO PPN social network, “I am Africa. This is my story…,” youth understood what the Web had to offer, but they also were realistic that it would be a long and challenging road. In less than an hour, they could see their personal story on YouTube, and the sense of significance and empowerment was breathtaking.

Perhaps the greatest hurdle to the increase of Internet traffic is the development of new life skills and personal growth values in order to defeat poverty’s mental hurdles. People in poverty need to be convinced there is a way out of isolation, and communication is a way out. African youth is a new generation that possesses the mental seed of this possibility.

As early as 1989, in an eLearning conference in San Diego, I pointed out in my JumpStart speech that learning via the Web would not adopt the sequential style of text book or page turning that eLearning courses of the day demonstrated. Human learning would shift to a relational “Search Learning” framework that would mimic how we learn on a day to day basis as individuals within groups. Simply put, we apprentice. The reaction was both excitement at the global possibilities and anger by those wanting to sell the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) type Instructional Design. Search Learning took the business model of making expensive courses or books and shrunk it down to a few seconds on a page. In 2010, a competing consultant contacted me to ask if I would revisit the Search Learning concept based on Web 2.0 today. Keep in mind that the concept of collaboration as we know it today was not present at the time. Starting with Lotus Notes in the 90s our global culture of collaboration has evolved through applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Angie’s List. Even Food Channel recipe reviews were not available back in 1989. Presently, collaborative learning is everywhere.

Global Learning Framework. We are learning collectively

In 2010, a consultant’s challenge sparked my development of the Global Learning Framework™ and Personal Learning Frameworks™ which were designed to illustrate how content and context application, mixed with the human experience, facilitates learning, processing and creation in a global learning environment. The more that we understand how this global learning process of collective problem solving and creating works, the faster we can develop applications to encourage investment in and connect Africa’s broadband infrastructure.

The entrenchment of colonial/industrial education is when a superior/expert imparts their knowledge down into the working classes/cultures. Democracy in learning has the masses fully empowered to explore, create and share knowledge on equal footing between students, in the same way billions of people typically use the Web today. The disconnectedness between these two approaches of learning is vast, wide and often antagonistic.

Entrenched in the Industrial Model

Industrial training model, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education Magazine,Colonial or industrial training is when people in authority such as governments, educational departments or companies utilize a learning process as a “one way street” to replicate the principles or process they want the learner to perform. It is trickle-down, authoritarian and industrial in its curriculum nature. Figure 4 illustrates this one-way flow of informational obedience.

In Colonial training, there is not much personal responsibility for learning, as evidenced by the “do as you are told” process of developing good soldiers. The eLearning buzz word for this strategy is “workforce productivity.” This is a pass or fail, fit in or get fired method. It is the opposite of the Web.

Community, not facts, defines competence. Colonial online learning fits the academic and business models well because of the requirement to control brand, knowledge base, intellectual property rights and student ownership. Yet even when we were developing Microsoft Certification and others, we understood the limits of certification training that were eventually tested in the courts. We could certify that the person knew the body of Microsoft NT knowledge, but not guarantee if they were a good MS Systems Engineer because of variances in IT environments and the personalities of the engineers. Tests only tell us that a person is competent in a self contained body of knowledge. Factual certification does not necessarily mean that “job competence” has been developed. How do we certify mastery of context, values and feelings?

Micro Learning Frameworks™… the Process of a Global Learning Framework™

Micro Learning Framework, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education MagazineCan we find a method in this madness of global exchange of information? Is it possible to facilitate collaboration in the classroom, business and global community? Can we teach in such chaos? The answer is, yes it is already going on all around us. 

To understand how Web 2.0 collaborative learning works in contrast to assess-teach-test is to move from flat index learning into 3-D weave of human context and knowledge sharing. In the 1989 eLearning International Conference, I opened my conference speech that on-demand “search learning” would accomplish this. Now I see that human collaboration and publishing are inseparable processes in the education of global social communities as demonstrated in Figure 5. Micro Learning Paths.

In 2010, Search Learning was upgraded and incorporated into the Global Learning Framework™. The Global Learning Framework is a collaborative weaving of humanity performing five simple educational processes concurrently across the globe. Multiple Internet applications can be leveraged with any Micro Learning Framework. The concurrent steps for learning and problem solving mirror how we communicate as groups in life.

Problem: Web learning starts with a need or a problem or challenge. We turn to the global Web with “How do I find out…?”

Discovery: Next, enter a discovery process. Often we discover that we are asking the wrong question or looking in the wrong place. As the Web keeps offering search results, we find ourselves reformulating our questions until we finally come to a place where we think we’ve found what solves the problem. Note that this is more than a search process. We are not necessarily looking for one object, but also how that object relates to other objects and the human experience, such as price comparison and the reviews on your choice.

Adopt: Once we discover what we are looking for, we choose to adopt it either as the fact we need or the action we would like to embrace. Either way, at this point, we take ownership of that knowledge. With ownership comes a level of “trust” that is enough to embrace it into our life.

Collaborate: Knowledge alone is useless unless tested or applied with other people in the real world. After learning new cake recipes or drip irrigation, I can try it with the physical world or present it to other people. Collaboration is a field of testing the new knowledge with the reality around us. If it is not accepted, we may have to go back to discovery again. Collaboration also reassures us to move ahead or go back to the problem.

Global Learning Framework, Chrysalis Campaign, Global Education MagazineShare/Publish: Once we go through these steps and trust our conclusion, we publish it in a variety of ways. Publishing can be writing your conclusion on a homework blog, planting burn resistant seeds, or baking the ultimate brownies you just researched. Publishing is a statement that what we have learned is “worth” giving back to the world or local community. Yet the moment we share, we change global search engines.

Web Learning Flows Within a Non Linear Global Community Framework

While the Micro Learning Framework of Problem>Discover >Adopt>Collaborate>Share seems like another linear method, it is anything but linear. It is a path 100% integrated with innumerable other Micro Learning Frameworks all concurrently running at the same time and at different stages in the personal/group learning experience. Although it seems like five nice and discrete boxes, the contents of those processes are dynamically changing. As a person, we can search, collaborate and share at the same time with social bookmarking. When we share our thoughts or publish, it integrates with other Micro Learning Frameworks around the globe. In fact, all learning is impacting other learning on a massive scale. Simply repeating a search moments later may yield different discoveries and outcomes.

The power of human collaboration is, in its ability to rapidly evolve and change, the world’s knowledge base as a whole.

With the Micro Learning Framework, we can see how frequently solutions to life’s problems are outside of the classroom, certification program, community education and even the country’s education system. This is a leap in educational theory and practice because the human race has chosen to bypass classic education as its source, which leaves Bing or Google serving up billions of micro lessons across the planet.

“Flash Learning” or Scaling Internet Traffic

Global Learning Framework, Global Education MagazineMicro Learning Frameworks driven by human passion can create large flashes of collective awareness, adoption and idea sharing into revolutions such as the Islamic Spring, presidential elections or the massive sales of entertainment media. We call these fast collective gestalts “Flash Learning.” Dictators who once had control over their people are now waking up to discover an entire country demanding their expulsion. But Flash Learning’s collective power runs even deeper than what we can imagine. While global collective learning evolves, the mental integration of the Micro Learning Framework bleeds over and impacts seemingly unrelated learning paths. This grouping of Micro Learning Frameworks are spontaneously forming overlapping groups and subcultures of interest. Layers upon layers of learning facts and context are virtually influencing one another’s learning processes simultaneously. Think of it, the place you booked your flight is also where you learn about weather, food, housing, local wildlife and disasters. It is all connected to your hand held device from sources around the world, and you can give your opinion, reaction and guidance on all of it. Traditional images of history on the pages of history books have been replaced by archived or real time cries of Syrian youth being murdered by their government on a TV screen right behind the counter while we purchase our Dunkin Donuts. We can even Tweet the reporter to give them our impression while waiting to pay for the donuts. Whether we end up seeing the images of inhumanity like video game illusions or in the tragic human context, is yet to be seen.

Knowledge is no longer black type on the white pages of an indexed book. It is dynamically woven in the fabric of all of our lives and broadcasted into the farthest reaches of space. This is the ultimate invention of the human race, one fluid Global Learning Framework moving through a socially networked technology called the matrix. This phenomenon may be Africa’s killer tool in bridging the economic and educational gap to join the world forum as an equal member.

The Killer App For Africa

The formula is simple–facilitate Web collaboration at an African town level, and you multiply traffic. This leaves us with a cultural application and not a software one. The Global Learning Framework explains that the killer application is the complex and high resource demand that human beings have when working, living and creating with the Internet. It also explains why any broadband strategy must take into account the ubiquitous phenomenon of human need for collaboration.

Facilitating Internet usage in the African Community

Africa has many hurdles to building such facilities in an African village. ICT reliability, personnel reliability, corruption, quality of facilities, competing NGOs to name a few.  However, if properly designed and scaled to the needs of the community, a multi-purpose development center may attract multiple local investors to pursue individual, small, but realistic business models, while creating a facility that justifies the investment in a broadband connection to the facility.

Can or Will Global Poverty Collaborate?

Global Poverty Collaborate, Global Education Magazine

To many, especially those who know Africa and villages only on the surface, the idea of collaborative or democratized style of education with technology in Africa’s tribal cultures is simply wishful thinking. Examples of collaborative learning and action in Africa abound.  Two examples in which I have been involved are:  Thunder Mission and Macha Works, both located in Zambia.

Thunder Mission is located at Thunder Ranch in Livingston, Zambia, which is a 10,000 acre mission with 50 farms, three clinics, schools and orphanages. In 2003, there was one telephone connection on the entire mission that went down when town power shut off at 10pm. Now all of the five villages have mobile phones with multiple types of farming and commerce businesses. These changes were endemic to the explosion of mobile phones throughout Sub Saharan Africa, but also locally organic and evolved as a group of 300 local farmers living on the mission with a need to communicate with one another and the markets in Livingston, Zambia.

Solution is in a safe reliable place

The solution for a place to ramp up traffic is to build a quality, safe train station capable of handling large Internet volume and people meet in groups. The solution is to take all the problems of safety, reliability, quality and a common ground for community and business to meet and place them in one central secure compound (not a small telecentre). Control all the risks of failure in one facility and then facilitate the town’s learning how to collaborate together and with the globe.  Chrysalis Campaign is proposing a new commercial concept called a Community Development Center with Somaliland University of Technology in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia, which would result in a safe compound of cyber libraries, community meeting spaces, and fully wired economical private and rentable business offices.


A paradigm shift from authoritative, centralized knowledge, to democratically and individually distributed information drawn from all over the world is necessary in Africa. The potential solution is to move marketing strategies from that of creating markets to that of facilitating them. The killer application is not a trickle down authoritarian view of video or another killer application changing Africa. Rather, it is building the infrastructure that allows for both profit to the developers as well as the free and unbridled access to the Internet that supports the already deeply rooted collaborative instincts and values of African communities.  



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This article was published on September 15th: International Day of Democracy, in Global Education Magazine.

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