One of the first events the Web Foundation will sponsor is the W3C Workshop on the Role of Mobile Technologies in Fostering Social and Economic Development which will take place on 1 and 2 April 2009 in Maputo, Mozambique.
This event aims to understand specific challenges of using mobile phones and Web technologies to deliver services to underprivileged populations of developing countries, and to capture the specificities of the African context.
It is organized by the W3C Mobile Web for Social Development Interest Group. This group, launched in June 2008, is chartered to build a community of mobile experts, web specialists, sociologists, experts in development, people/NGO with field experience, grassroots…that will work towards identifying the existing barriers to author, deploy and access development-oriented content and services on mobile phones.
There are two major reasons for the Web Foundation to sponsor this event:
- First of all, the sponsorship program for this workshop is dedicated to allow people and grassroot organizations with field experience and expertise, particularly coming from developing countries, to attend the event (through travel grants), and share their expertise with others, as well as get valuable information for their activities.
This is directly in line with the Web Foundation mission, which is working toward enabling people from developing countries to be part of the Web history and evolution, and to bring and share their expertise and requirements.
- Then the specific topic of this event, using mobile technologies in social and economic development, is of particular interest to the foundation and will serve as the basis for the first program of the Web Foundation. Through this program, the Web Foundation will be engaged in addressing some of the challenges identified by the W3CMW4D group and its roadmap. This event will be a great opportunity to promote the future activities of the Web Foundation, and start community building activities and connect with most relevant experts of the domain.
For these reasons, Steve Bratt, our CEO, will give an introductory keynote at the event.