Don't Forget to Say Thanks to Adam!!

Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
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Trip End Jul 01, 2014


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Monday, June 11, 2012

This month brings change to our OLPC Global Volunteer Community. As of June 1, 2012, Adam Holt's status as an employee of One Laptop Per Child has ended. Adam has devoted 5 years, and as many of us know, has worked  24-7 for this mission to improve education for the world's poorest children. (Christoph D describes Adam's dedication to all things OLPC: "48 hours a day, 14 days a week, 104 weeks a year. ;-)"

Adam has worn so many "hats." As an employee, or a contract employee of OLPC, Adam has worked to distribute Beta XOs to the developer community and encourage folks to build and test Activities for Sugar (the Operating Software designed especially for children and the XO. He has worked to support and improve Sugar, and has been a member of the Board of Sugar Labs.  www.sugarlabs.org

He has managed the ticket tracking system (RT) for the more than 100,000 inquiries that OLPC has received over the years and has been the face behind the computer keys for at least some work on most every one of those ticket. What does this mean? When someone writes a letter to Nicholas Negroponte or to OLPC asking for XOs for their child, their school, their village in the developing world, or with any questions about the XO laptop they might already have, someone from OLPC has to reply. Adam has developed systems for recruiting and training volunteers (like myself), organizing the inquiries and distributing them, reminding us that they need work, and overseeing the responses to help make sure that the replies are helpful and reflect well on OLPC.

Through his RT system work. Adam has connected with the many volunteers who share his passion for the OLPC mission. Over the years, his work with the volunteers led to yet another role for Adam. He became chief community and event organizer for the Global OLPC Volunteer Community. First, after the G1G1 campaign, many purchasers had many questions about how to use the XOs, in spite of their design which encourages exploration. There was a Book Sprint to write the User Manual and to make the Help Activity that makes it accessible from the XO's desktop. This was a remote event and was "before my time." But I was certainly a beneficiary of the final product! Adam organized the Class Acts Sprint in DC where volunteers met face to face to share stories and strategies with each other and the OLPC community at large. Adam has organized or attended countless events in Boston, New York City, Uruguay, Toronto, and together with Sameer V and OLPC-SF, the Global Volunteer Summits in San Francisco that more than 100 volunteers look forward to each October. Adam has built and nurtured our volunteer community, and our small projects as well.

Adam started and has run the Contributors Program. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program The CP re-distributes gently used refurbished XOs, mostly re-donated to OLPC by G1G1 purchasers. I don't have the math, but I suspect that well over 2000 XOs have been re-distributed for small projects, children, and folks developing Sugar curriculum or Activities around the world. The kids in the Vung Vieng Village in Vietnam (the subject of many entries in this blog), would not have XOs but for Adam and the Contributors Program. And don't worry, the CP will continue until we all re-donated laptops have been re-distributed and put to good use!

And there is more. Adam has on the ground developing world deployment experience too. This past year, he has worked for many months with children and teachers and XOs in schools in Haiti. http://buildingaschool.org/ He has consulted with XO Projects and for Development in Jamaica and he in Madagascar helping out there this month.

Adam's role may have changed from OLPC employee to OLPC volunteer. We will be interested in watching his career choices for the future. I for one, hope that he will use his expertise, experience, and passion in a "project consulting role."

I am sure I don't know half of what this magician has done for OLPC and children around the world. Working with Adam and OLPC has enriched my life. If you would like to email me photos of Adam, I can add them to this entry. You can leave your comment here, share the link, with others and on Facebook too.

Let's not forget to thank Adam!
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Comments

Kurt H Maier on

Adam Holt is an amazing person. Project kickoffs, difficult situations,
unfortunate miscommunications, joyous celebrations -- it doesn't matter what
life throws at him; Adam always shines. I'm privileged to have volunteered
with him and I know wherever he goes he will have a massive positive
impact. Few people have such a laser focus on their work and such a
boundless reserve of motivation and work ethic. Add to that an unstoppable
never-say-die attitude, and it's hard to describe Adam without sounding like
you're indulging in hyperbole... but he really is that great.

Luis Galindo on

Thanks Adam and all the other volunteers for start changing the world :-)

Luis

June Kleider on

I would like to add my admiration and support for Adam's future projects. His endless energy and bountiful ideas are an inspiration to us all. He is in Antananarivo on his way to help with OLPC-Fr Nosy Komba, But in true Adam-style he is checking out the location of our next deployment, he met with the US Embassy rep, found a hotel for 10 euros night with wifi, was befriended by a lovely taxi driver /guide, met the IT guy at the Madagascar Development Center, chatted up the receptionist for the real scoop. All this during a one night layover. We love you, Adam

Sandra Thaxter on

There is not enough I can say. Adam filled the gaping hole in the marketing plans for the wonderful XO laptop He has truly made a vast and growing grassroots movement possible. He built the infrastructure through many hours of on-line communication and travel to sites and events to keep it going. Is it up to us now? How will be recover from not having Adam Holt holding to fort. I'm worried that the only path to broader adoption of our beloved technology will fall on its face now.

We need a party .to thank... for Adam... so much hard work...

Gonzalo Odiard on

I received my first 2 XOs, participating in the Contributors Program, and thanks to that, I could enrich my involve in the SugarLabs and OLPC world, until today, and I hope for many years. I hope you enjoy the coming challenges, and know more about your plans.

Becky Young on

I met Adam after I interned with OLPC in Peru in 2009. He helped connect me to other volunteers and to the OLPC Learning Club in the DC area. I believe Adam was one of the planners who had the idea for the Realness Summit in the US Virgin Islands. All of these factors combined gave me the connections and inspiration to start a small deployment in Honduras which also depended on donations from the Contributor's Program. Adam has done a great job and certainly gone above and beyond. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Mark Roy Battley on

Back in 2009, when our group was just a teacher and four 15 and 16 yr old kids with a crazy dream of bringing XO laptops and wireless internet to rural Kenya, Adam was optimistic, compassionate, dedicated and humble enough to spend time online and ultimately visit us in Toronto.

It was his support that made our future growth possible, and it was through his uncanny ability to inspire and connect people that we were lured to San Franciso, and later, Boston, and introduced to the OLPC community worldwide.

Adam doesn't seek recognition for his efforts - his selflessness, altruism and drive seem to be an essential part of his DNA - but he deserves so much credit for keeping the OLPC flame alive in diverse communities around the globe, and creating a mutually respectful and supportive network of volunteers.

As they say here in Kenya, asante sana, Adam!

Craig Perue on

Adam has been amazing in helping OLPC Jamaica move forward. Even before arriving in Kingston in late January 2012, he had helped connect OLPC-Ja to the rest of the OLPC world. Then with Bill, Mark, Quentin and Laura, he rocked our 2 local school communities for a week and made lifelong friends here. Several months later he returned, and again convinced another amazing volunteer, Bernie Innocenti, to lend his energies to our cause. They did the diplomatic rounds here, and as in January, helped steepen the rise of our education revolution. Adam - few have skills as valuable as yours, and even fewer a heart as big and gold. The world needs you.

Caryl Bigenho (aka GrannieB) on

Adam has been, and I am sure will continue to be, the driving force behind the OLPC volunteer community. His infectious enthusiasm has kept us all busy and interested. Getting to travel somewhere with Adam, be it on a wi-fi equipped bus in rural Uruguay or an Amtrak train (without the promised wi-fi) on an all day trip up the California coast, is a lot of fun. He is always interested in something new along the way. How I wish I could go with him on some of his new adventures! I will follow the pictures of his new travels with great interest.

I will miss Adam's ready availability on Skype when I have important (or not so important) questions to ask or things to share. But I'm sure we will see him there as often as he can manage. I hope we all (myself included) can pick up a little of the slack to fill in the gaps, but we can never replace Adam. He is, and hopefully will always be, our "leader extraordinaire."

Mohd Lazim on

You're the man dude...

nsevers
nsevers on

This came in from Lionel L from France:
No word could resume what we owe to Adam. Adam was not a guy from the foundation he was THE foundation for us. I must say than without Adam, OLPC France would not be what is it today. Adam: we’re enough lucky to have you shortly to our Nosy Komba deployment. Look at child faces there: every smiles that you’ll see is a thank for you. See you soon my friend. Lionel.
P.S.: In fact, it’s simple you’ve just done for us what your grandfather do for France few years ago ;-)

Thanks everyone. Keep the comments coming! Nancie:)

Bastien on

OLPC will always be a failure because technology itself just sometimes works... but OLPC will always be a success because it is a powerful idea. Such an idea needs a strong collective spirit to thrive, and Adam is definitely the guy who made us realize we were sharing this spirit. Thanks Adam, I promise I'll practise my frisbee!!

George Hunt on

I've been trying to figure out why saying thank you to Adam is hard for me. I'm coming to realize that I've been projecting onto his efforts my hopes for the OLPC organization:

1. that small deployments, seeded by the contributor's program, could grow into ones more in line with the nationwide philosophy/strategy of the larger OLPC organization.

2. that collective action by a group of volunteers (including me) could bridge the gap between contructionist hopes, and on the ground class room realities.

Adam has worked long and hard, often dealing with delicate human interactions, towards helping the Support Gang be productive and useful.

I think the S-G, and Adam, have found a niche, and provide a service that the world needs. But it may not fall completely under the umbrella of OLPC.

Travis A on

Adam,

Met you at the OLPC Summit in SF. Thanks for all you do!

Lionel on

No word could resume what we owe to Adam.

Adam was not a guy from the foundation he was THE foundation for us. I must say than without Adam, OLPC France would not be what is it today. @Adam: we’re enough lucky to have you to our Nosy Komba deployment. Look at child faces there: every smiles that you’ll see is a thank for you.

See you soon my friend.

Lionel.

P.S.: In fact, it’s simple you’ve just done for us what your grandfather do
for France few years ago ;-)

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