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Technologies for Social Inclusion and Civic Empowerment


BBL: Technologies for Social Inclusion and Civic Empowerment

Creative ways to extend access to information in 'un-connected' communities
using voice-enabled web sites that answer calls, send SMS, Tweet, run polls,
and help mobilize action within local neighborhoods:

Lessons Learned from VoIP Drupal

Presenter: Leo Burd, Researcher from MIT Center for Civic Media  
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: room G 8-090, World Bank 'G' Building, 1776 G St, NW, Washington, DC

external participants please RSVP directly to


Are you working with communities that do not have easy access to the Internet? Would you like to provide partners and clients with automated phone access to community-relevant information, drawing on the power of the Internet to reach out to citizens who don't use computers? How about organizing a phone and SMS campaign in your neighborhood?

VoIP Drupal is a versatile open source communication toolkit that adds the power of voice and Internet-telephony to web sites. It can be used to build hybrid applications that combine regular touch tone phones, the Web, SMS, Twitter, and other channels in a variety of interesting ways, facilitating community outreach and providing an on-line presence even to those who are technically challenged, or who do not have regular access to computers.

Join us as we welcome Leo Burd, who runs the VoIP Drupal project out of MIT's Center for Civic Media,  as he shares lessons learned from this and related projects that use technologies in innovative ways to extend access to information to people in communities to help meet a variety of social and educational objectives.

About the presenter:
Leo Burd, MIT Center for Civic Media 
Leo Burd is a researcher with the MIT Center for Civic Media, where he develops novel technologies and approaches to bridge the digital divide and foster social empowerment. Leo is particularly interested in the design of innovative phone, web and mapping applications to support youth participation, social inclusion and local civic engagement. Prior to joining the Center, Leo was part of Microsoft's Global Learning Research team, directed a non-profit organization that built "computer and citizenship schools" in Sao Paulo slums and was involved in a variety of projects that used technology to improve quality of life in different parts of the world. Leo leads the development of VoIP Drupal, an open source framework that brings the power of voice and Internet-telephony to web sites.

presentation by Leo Burd [2mb]

for more information, please see:

related post from the World Bank's EduTech blog:


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