Going Online

I admit it.  I’m a technophile.  I believe that the web can do pretty much anything.  Except give you a hug.  On the other hand, it’s awfully good at finding people who do want to hug you so…

In 2009 I brought TechSoup into Romania.  Fully aware of piracy rates (high they say, how high? at least 65%… I love that number.  Really now.  How the hell do you find out that kind of thing?) I believed the thousands of young programmers to be our future in building projects around social change and technology.  So, after kicking around a few ideas, I took what I had learned at the community foundation and began looking at how we could build a community.  The result – ReStart Romania challenged Romanians to pitch ideas for online to offline projects that would motivate citizens around social justice issues.

I guess it worked.  We have run 3 since in Romania, one each in Czech Republic and Slovakia and will launch Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo during the spring of 2013.  More than 1,000 ideas and 2.5 million online impressions later, we have supported the launch of dozens of local solutions to local problems like Lost Money, Bribe Market, etc… and are starting to shake things up in some truly innovative ways.


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