It’s been a few weeks now since Spark13, the 4th Global Forum on Telecentres, commenced in Granada, Spain. Since our kick off of the 2-day affair at the Palacio de Congresos last May 28, 2013, we wanted to give you some updates on the conference.

 

By many measures, the event was a resounding success, with more than 1,100 attendees from six regions across the globe. Participants had the opportunity to listen to and interact with 240 speakers who presented topics, programs, research, and projects in four plenary sessions, 26 concurrent sessions, 38 Hub sessions, and 19 Apps Lab showcase sessions.

Since Spark was also designed as a virtual event, live and recorded content was made available to a global audience. During the event, 5,600 connections from 46 countries were detected. Based on the number of connections, an estimated 20,000 people “attended” the virtual forum.

 

Spark13 also created a buzz in the social media circuit. During the days of the conference (May 28-29), #Spark13 was the #3 trending topic in Spain and over 4 million impressions (clicks) were recorded on Twitter.

Beyond these numbers, however, Spark13 was always envisioned as an opportunity for new beginnings—igniting not just awareness on telecentres and information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) but forging partnerships and identifying opportunities. While many partnerships were undoubtedly formed, the Spark team has recorded over 50 formalized agreements at the national, regional and local levels, as direct outcomes from Spark13. Below are some of the announcements and partnerships during and resulting from the conference:

 

  • Memorandum of Agreement signed between Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) and ChangeCorp to extend the Smartwoman initiative and provide mobile content for telecentre training initiatives (read related article)
  • World Pulse agreement under the Telecentre Women initiative (read related article)
  • Announcement of Mobile World Capital on the opening of a Telecentre Lab in Barcelona (2013).
  • TCF launch of the book "100 Outstanding Telecentre Women Managers", highlighting the many impactful efforts of women telecentre managers arounf the world (read related article)
  • Telecenre-Europe announcement to activate members through a series of multi-stakeholder partnerships (to be called "Local Coalitions for Digital Jobs") with the task of preparing young peoplefor ICT jobs (read related article)
  • Guadalinfo network launch of a new 'Goteo' Andalusian node for crowd-funding. This funding mechanism will be utilized to accelerate the development of 4 Guadalinfo projects (read related article)
  • Discussions to extend the Samasource model through the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Telecentre Network, using Makaia and POETA as key partners.
    TCF, CDI Global, TEC Virtual (TEC Monterrey), Generalitat de Catalunya and Citilab Cornellá agreement to create a working group to articulate a model for social entrepreneurship, social enterprises and agents of change in the telecentre world.
  • Awarding of 25 Scholarships from Tech Monterrey to Guadalinfo students to develop their entrepreneurship skills. Open Entry will become the de-facto tool for business ideas sprang out of this initiative.
  • Immediately following Spark, TCF also formalized a Memorandum of Understanding with Silatech to provide youth skills and entrepreneurship training in the Middle East and North Africa region.

 

Spark13 was also a celebration of organizational and individual achievements across the global network. Through the 1st Global Telecentre Awards, nine winners were announced and celebrated at Spark while local achievements were recognized in the Guadalinfo Awards.

 

Much of the success of Spark13 is due to our sponsors and partners, and of course, our community members all of whom have helped to make this event possible. The Spark organizers thank each and every one of you for your support and generosity in making this conference happen.

 

Spark is only just the beginning. Please help to keep the Spark momentum going. By sharing details of the event via social media and other channels, hosting regional events, and continuing to forge new partnerships as a result of Spark, we can take the global telecentre movement to a new level.

 

To access our official Spark13 photos and videos, please visit the following links:

Day 1 Photos
Day 2 Photos
Videos

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