HOPE Alliance Africa- The Printernet
A poster from 2012 Michael leveraged in
We continued going back and forth about new ideas to promote literacy as the major focus of Michael's "fix education" agenda. As a retired printer wanting to divine new ways of using print media to do good things, he held on to his idea to leverage very low cost print in two languages enabling kids from around the globe to communicate with each other. He felt that this form of correspondence would evolve in engaging and authentic ways stemming from what he felt were student's natural interest and desire to know kids from other places throughout the world. While we were mulling about this idea of his, Michael was making acquaintances in Africa and the seeds of a tangible project were planted. I think that Michael's emergent thoughts at the time are obviously represented through the poster graphic included above.
There were so, so many conversations, often going late into the night around where Michael wanted to go with his idea. Michael was always online. He communicated with people around the globe, and at the time in particular, a number of people living in various African locations. There were other concepts that influenced Michael's dreams, and perhaps it's best to let him explain some of that in this interview with Tammy Lea Meyer:
Countless hours of dialog, several mistakes and failed efforts later, Michael finally achieved something he felt confident enough to share with the world. He called it the "Printernet." Michael describes the Printernet as a concept. From the Patreon site he established to solicit financial support for the project, he explained that the real time purpose of Printernet is,
...creating ways to use Print in the service of Social Justice and Education.
Michael established independent print distribution centres, and was able to connect with and support publishers in local African villages. There is much more to the story of Michael's publishing centres and the work happening there to actively use print in the service of social justice and education, but that will emerge when it's supposed to. The fundamental question now is where does Printernet evolve to now that Michael's leadership is no longer present?
HOPE Alliance is committed to supporting the Printernet. We are humbly committing our time and expertise to the project; it has now become our passion project.
To that end we have formed a high performing team of collaborators committed to supporting the Printernet concept. Our commitment is grounded in each of our team member's individual background and experience as well as out of respect and admiration for Michael and his passion for the project. It's our4 way of honouring him, and perpetuating the project simultaneously. As Michael would say, we're just trying to "do well by doing good."
"What a high performance team needs is that everybody there, is really there."--Michael Josefowicz
Our preliminary schematic is detailed below. You can't get any more grassroots than this, and we understand it won't make much sense to anyone new to the Printernet project, but if you're intrigued to learn more, please don't hesitate to visit the Printernet website at printernet.org.