If things are quiet around here its because I'm in Kuala Lumpur for the GK3 conference, hunting new participants for the Stockholm Challenge, handing out some awards at the gala dinner and looking out the window of the hotel at the Petronas Towers.
That alone is enough to put me well into the ranks of those with privileged lives on this planet.
But yesterday I ran into Mike Gurstein in the foyer and he invited me into an impromptu session on ICT, Media and indigenous peoples that followed on from a conference they had just finished in Bario in Sarawak. I've said for years that poor people aren't stupid, just poor; and the people doing things in Bario (which is OFF OFF-Grid and just held an international conference, organised and co-ordinated over the net from their local telecentre) are damned smart. Smart and energetic beyond belief for a soggy middle-aged westerner.
But even they paled a little beside a woman called Kyle who hopped up from the audience and talked about her project among forest tribes in the Philippines where illiterate communities are using GPS and GIS tools to map their land and contest it with logging companies. That alone will make a great entry in the Challenge.
But the killer is that the conceptual framework that the forest tribes use is so sophisticated and multidimensional, that the technology can't keep up. Yesss!!!
And then I just had breakfast with the great Michel Menou and got to have a conversation with him when I should just have shut up and listened.
On my tombstone they should write, "He had a privileged life, and he knew it". The big question will be whether I managed to do anything useful with that privilege