From Morgan Collett we have just learned that OLPC discontinued "Change the World", its program for donors to give 100 or more laptops to schools or other small pilot projects. Morgan noticed this email, which is a shock to all of us rooting for community-sponsored deployments:
Unfortunately, as some of you might have heard "Change the World" aka "Give a School" aka "Give 100, Give 1000" will cease to exist. We are just waiting for the info to be taken off the main website (any second now). We are doing this in an effort to refocus back to large-scale deployments that create change in a major way. We WILL honor all requests that we have received prior to the info being taken off the website.
I am quite saddened by this abandonment of grassroots interventions. I hear the talk about how small deployments take as much effort as large ones, with less bang, and I reject that thought forcefully.
It's the small deployments that generate the excitement for larger efforts. It's pilots that give us guidance for national rollouts. It's the OLPC movements in South Africa, Oceania, and South Asia that are giving OLPC is real successes. And to discount, or outright abandon them is foolish.
When will OLPC learn that its needs community solutions to XO deployment scale blues?