Fair Trade Fair in Bern
Wednesday August 31st 2005, 19:47h
Filed under: Development Cooperation

Although summer came back to the city I spent most of the day in the basement of the Hotel Kreuz in Bern following the Fair Trade Fair symposium. It was a very impressive conference featuring speakers like Jean-Daniel Gerber, director of the seco (State Secretary for Economic Affairs) and Evelin Herfkens, UN coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals Campaign who both had an excellent speech this morning. Also the largest fruit mosaic, forming the African continent with 5110 pineapples, leading to an entry in the Guinness Book of Records was a success. As another highlight of the day I finally found a really good fair trade coffee brand, Nica Espresso, from claro.

Evelin Herfkens, UN coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals Campaign Pinappels on the federal place, winning entry in the Guinness Book of Records

Annual Conference of the SDC
Saturday August 27th 2005, 12:02h
Filed under: Development Cooperation

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC or in German DEZA) organized yesterday the annual conference in Fribourg about microfinance. It was impressive listening to the words of president Joseph Deiss (picture below) although he probably didn’t write the speach himself. The following discussion panel about financing microfinance institutes, for example with the new responsAbility fund supported by various large Swiss bancs and federal institutions, was quite interesting and showed the possibilities and limits of such microfinance organisations. Since there were about 1500 visitors according to the SDC I was happy to be together with my current boss, Gerhard Bärtschi from TearFund Switzerland and some friends of the Vineyard Church Bern.

President Joseph Deiss during the opening speach
The panel discussion about financing microfinance institutes

Bad weather in Bern
Monday August 22nd 2005, 23:55h
Filed under: Private

It rained a lot all over Switzerland these days. Below there is the Marzili in Bern, the public swimming pool - today a little bit larger than usual.


Sunday August 21st 2005, 13:36h
Filed under: Linux, Ubuntu

I’d like to congratulate Mathias Born, journalist of the Berner Zeitung, to his effort and choice installing Ubuntu Linux on his laptop! As I know of my own experience it’s still quite hard for former windows defectors like us to configure a Linux with all our needs like printer and scanner connection, palm synchronisation, dvd player etc. so it’s still somewhat a pioneering act installing even the userfriendly Ubuntu in these days. But after half a year now I know it’s really worth it - even if it’s just that you don’t have to worry any more about viruses or paying for the Norton Anti-Virus update. And fortunately there are also websites like this Unofficial Ubuntu Starter Guide which offers a huge amount of introduction hints to the operating system.

Fall full of conferences
Wednesday August 17th 2005, 13:24h
Filed under: Development Cooperation

As I’m now working until the end of December 2005 for StopArmut 2015 at the office of TearFund I get in contact with quite a few invitations to conferences about poverty, development aid and things like that. I’ll list the next ones I know of: (all in Switzerland)

Above birds
Monday August 15th 2005, 23:53h
Filed under: Private

Last saturday we got off the air - Anita, her dad and I dared a 20 minutes flight from Beatenberg to Interlaken and had some nice winds.

Getting ready
Me above trees
Traffic jam
Power girl

French government promotes Linux for school kids
Sunday August 14th 2005, 8:57h
Filed under: Education, Linux

Would be really great if education responsibles here would do the same - supporting large open source projects in schools! A discussion some weeks ago on the LugBE mailing list showed there is still little understanding about the importance of open source software in education. Hopefully Novel will really put in an offer with Linux and the government responsibles actually look at the alternative to MS.