Perspective is thrown at me like a rocket. Next week I fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to present a workshop on Social Strategy for Women Entrepreneurs. For those of us from developed and highly connected countries (myself living in Sweden), let me put this into context. According to the Internet World Statistics, Ethiopia
has the lowest rate of Internet and Mobile penetration in the world (0.4% of 28 Million people). There is one national telecom provider, ETC, which politically filters ( censors) content
. The GNI per capita (annual individual income) is $280 (no, it is not missing a zero).
That said, there is a concerted effort to create change and leapfrog growth via access to knowledge, education and new business through the Internet. They are making strides in privatizing the telecommunications and building up infrastructure. CyberEthiopia reports on progress and access such as IT programs at the universities and companies are gaining momentum. These people are thirsty for knowledge and the desire to connect.
I am very excited about this opportunity to learn from them and to share what knowledge and tools that I can to help them in their journey. My greatest challenge is to provide context within realistic means for their achieving their goals. My workshop will begin with the importance of strategy and “base social rules” for engagement. The sections are as follows:
CULTIVATE, CLARITY, CONTEXT, COMMUNICATE, COOPERATE, CO-CREATE
The advantage they have is to not get caught up in the latest and greatest app or widget (which quite frankly is refreshing, teaching twitter is not really what strategy is about). We can focus on the most essential tools and elements of strategy that cultivate a business that is prime for whatever social tools they can gain access to.
I look forward to writing more on this experience after my return. What are your ideas with how we can influence change and help them succeed in their efforts to leapfrog to catch up?