The Connected Nation Blog: July 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Connected Nation’s CEO Brian Mefford Interviewed on WJR-AM

Foster Braun, host of the WJR-AM radio program Internet Advisor, interviewed Connected Nation’s CEO Brian Mefford who described the national non-profit’s model for working from state to state to facilitate public-private partnerships and Connect Michigan’s initiative to assist Michiganders in their efforts to plan for and use technology to improve the way citizens work and live.

“Any trip begins with a good map” was the travel metaphor he used to emphasize the significance of the Connect Michigan broadband map roll out in the state.

He explained how the maps are the first means for examining where efforts need to be focused and pointed out that providers need to know where gaps exist. “They know their service territories but not their competitors: said Mefford. “ A provider might not be aware of new neighborhoods that no one has provided access to yet. We see a lot of private sector investment flow immediately when this kind of market intelligence becomes available”.

To hear the podcast of this interview, go to

To visit the Connect Michigan Web site go to

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Connected Nation team leads fundraising campaign to help some of the world’s poorest children

The Connected Nation team is leading a fundraising campaign aimed at helping some of the world’s poorest children.

Destiny Academy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was founded in 2005 by an Ethiopian couple named Hareg and Yonatan to give some of the poorest children in the city the opportunity to get a quality education. The school has shown rapid growth since its establishment. Today, it employs 42 staff and educates more than 400 students in grades K-8. To help those that cannot afford schooling, Destiny formed a sponsorship program where forty kids are currently attending free of charge and given money for medicine and food thanks to the generosity of others. In a country where 42% of the population has access to clean water, 39% live on less than $1.25 per day, and only 36% of adults can read, Destiny Academy is paving the way for a better future.

This summer, Destiny is raising funds for an exciting project to establish a fully functioning computer lab at the school. The lab will have 7 computers, 2 printers, computer desks, network and Internet access. To make this happen the school needs $4,000. In Hareg’s words, “Setting up the computer lab will serve as a bridge to connect the students with the present technology.
It will give them access to the rest of the world. To the majority it will be a unique opportunity to touch a computer. We believe education is the only way out of poverty and deprivation.”

Connected Nation Communications Director Jessica Ditto is currently in Ethiopia volunteering at the school. Inspired by her efforts, the Connected Nation team is collecting funds for the computer lab.

To learn more about Destiny Academy, click