In 2014, when Sierra Leone was hit by the Ebola outbreak, three local software developers kept the country's infrastructure working by rewriting it to . They saved hundreds of thousands lives when companies like Google and IBM backed off, calling the project too risky.

And their own recollection of the events with some technical descriptions:

The question of narrative is very clear to me here.

The SL guys did something which follows all the ideas, but they haven't been given that "lens" to perceive their actions with, as it's absent from the larger culture.

Instead they're promoted as entrepreneurs and successful "socially responsible business", which is comprehensible to the Western world, but totally ignores the social potential of their achievement.

Solarpunk needs a strong reporting narrative.

@alxd A nice one for Odoo (aka OpenERP) - a lot of companies believe you couldn't possibly do HR stuff with an open project.


If I was an Odoo community manager I would plaster half of the internet with "Our product saved lives in Sierra Leone"

@alxd That depends; the challenge for things like Odoo is to show they can work for large businesses and aren't just good because they're open source; in the end it's the business people that have to be convinced.

@alxd IMO the most important thing to take away from this is the fact that when IT infrastructure mega-giants like Google and IBM could not (read: would not) contrib for political/business roadblocks, A small but motivated team created something truly amazing with FOSS solutions, within weeks, that saved countless lives. Even if the aformentioned companies tried to tackle what Emerson and his counterparts achieved, they would have failed. And they know it.

#Humanitarian #OpenSource #FOSS

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