The Global Voices Summit, as you know, is over. Everyone (except perhaps Oso) has packed up and gone home, taking souvenirs, new friendships, and ideas with them.
Personally, as always, I’ve had a hard time adapting to being back home. As I mentioned before, every time I travel, be it 100 miles or 1,000 or more, my wanderlust grows. My inability to adapt this time, however, has yielded an unexpected side effect – I haven’t been able to stop writing since I got home. Much of it is GV-related, some of it freelance, some of it so personal I have yet to figure out who to send it to via e-mail.
To me, the most amazing thing to come from the GV Summit is new ideas. During small group sessions, many of us discussed new ideas for GV: a new style guide, author recruitment, and coverage of as-yet-uncovered countries and territories. This last idea proved to be quite important amongst my colleagues, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting down with (or, rather, excitedly jumping around the room with) Yazan Badran and Renata Avila to plan coverage of the Western Sahara.
Now, this idea didn’t come about overnight – for months, perhaps even a year, I’ve received comments from Moroccans, Sahrawis and friends of the region asking why GV ignores the Western Sahara. Now, ignores is perhaps the wrong word…Global Voices does its best to cover every country around the world (note: except the US/Western Europe, which are only covered occasionally) on a regular basis and all authors are volunteers, so when a country is left out, it’s for lack of time, resources, and manpower. That said, I’d always wanted to cover this region, but was never sure how to go about it.
And that’s where the Summit comes in…an incredibly, impressively global exchange of ideas has just occurred. GV’s first Western Sahara post (thanks to Yazan) is live on the site, and I woke up to over 100 e-mails, sending the idea vibes back and forth across the Atlantic and Pacific.
I am truly amazed with what we can accomplish when we put our heads and hearts together. Sounds trite, perhaps, but never before have I felt so full of this particular brand of energy (certainly not the brand that gets me outside, but the weather’s crappy, so forgive me) and never before have I realized that now, it is impossible to look away. Whereas before I could go about my insulated life, working my previous (I reiterate: lovely but unrelated) job, drinking my $3 Starbucks and talking the talk, I can do so no longer.
Pull me up.