Welcome to my blog

Development Policy08 May 2009Thea Hilhorst

Good day, and welcome to my new Broker Blog! When the editors of the Broker asked me to start a blog, I already started to phrase a polite, thank you for the honor, but no thanks. Academics are only interested in their academic publications, and will possibly consider a column in a dignified national newspaper, but a blog? The only reason why I know about blogs in the first place is because of my teenage kids who follow the whereabouts of their favorite pop stars. Blogs to my mind are for attention-craving politicians or for nut cases with nothing else to do. That just shows for my ignorance. Increasingly, blogs are becoming places where science is being made. There are academic blogs where a million people engage in sharing ideas, posting literature and working towards scientific breakthroughs! See the links below for some examples.

What finally pulled me towards a Yes, I will blog, however, was a meeting I had with my old student Moraan Gilad. She is the founder of the Hub in Rotterdam. A wonderful place for social innovation. 130 young companies have joined the Hub. They create opportunities for blind people, deal in alternative energy and whatever you can think of. The hub is a house where companies can hire office facilities by the hour, but most of the interaction between the entrepreneurs happens through internet and intensive blogging. Take a look for yourself at the Hub. There are big dreams to start new hubs in fragile places like Kabul and Gaza. Great dreams, about development from below that directly taps on the social energy of young people that help each other to find opportunities and overcome the obstacles on their way. If that’s the power of blogging, then I certainly want to be part of this new culture of communication and innovation.