On March 18-19, Dale Duncan visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York and made a presentation on sustainable development of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) model village centers to world leaders at the Infopoverty World Conference. This conference was organized by The Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean and the World (OCCAM). According to Dale, the trip was a huge success and big step toward solving global poverty issues.
Backing up a bit for some history… In the last 10 years, the UN, in their quest to reduce world poverty, has developed ICT model villages for impoverished and disadvantaged communities. The current model stresses the importance of satellite connectivity and e-services among other ideas.
Recognizing that sustainable development in these models is the next obvious step, Helix and ACI (Affecting Change International) developed a model for a village center made of discarded shipping containers. Breaking the concept into three separate functions – medical, educational, and sustainable – Dale presented the efficiencies and economy of housing these functions in self-contained, durable units. Among the initiatives discussed were ways to provide tools for conserving water, managing wastes, and providing distance education to remote communities. His ideas stressed the importance of adapting the contents of each village center to regional needs via partnerships with organizations that have existing relationships with the communities served.
The team members working on this project included David Neeley with ACI and multiple Helix associates: Dale Duncan, Lora Everett, Trudy Faulker, Linda Glazier, Sarah Godfrey, Bryan Gross, Ryan Hunter, Erica Muhlenbruch, Mark Neibling, Jacob Palan, Carly Pumphrey, Andrea Regnier, Shawn Sanem, Dustin Schafer, Curtis Simmons, and Kristine Sutherlin.