Throughout the months of November and December, Global Voices is organizing six in-person ‘meetups’ in Karachi, Kampala, Skopje, Porto, Phonm Penh and Cairo. The meetups are led and facilitated by Global Voices members, who live and know those local communities.
The Cairo meetup took place on November 16, 2013 in “The Workshops” facility in Maadi.
Mohamed ElGohary, Mohamed Adel and myself facilitated the event. We often encounter people who are interested in all the activities taking place in the GV universe, but aren't really sure how to volunteer, so we set up the gathering to introduce people to Global Voices and its daughter projects, Lingua, Advox and Rising Voices.
We also wanted to connect people who have ideas related to using social media for good, but are searching for others to join them or ways to seek funding.
After a short presentation, we asked the attendees to introduce themselves. We live-tweeted while everyone spoke using the #GVMeetup hashtag to share links to projects, blogs and hobbies of attendees.
One of the attendees used to study industrial design, and showed us her blog, Selouk.me, where she writes about the use of design to change people's behaviour. She talked about “gamification” and highlighted creative ideas to encourage people not to throw their litter on the ground.
Two other attendees, an investigative journalist and a law student, found common ground to discuss how laws related to freedom of information in Egypt need to be changed for journalists to carry out their work.
One attendee was interested in Rising Voices, and wanted to know more about the application process because she has an idea for an online platform to help people of her district speak up about the lack of government services in their area.
Yet another attendee was into voice and video editing, and was interested in GV podcasts. A few attendees asked to become authors, while another is developing on a new blogging platform, and we agreed to discuss the possibility of partnerships in the future.
During our conversation, we had some discussion about the importance of copyleft laws. We pointed out that all GV articles are published under a Creative Commons license. Mohamed Adel then gave a quick presentation about Creative Commons and the different license options.
I also gave a quick presentation about how GV authors build their stories from social media updates.
We continued talking during coffee and lunch. We also played some short videos about Global Voices, and El-Gohary spoke about how fun it is to be a member of such a huge worldwide community.
We ended the day by sharing our contacts and encouraging attendees to contact us any time they need advice about their personal projects or joining any part of Global Voices.