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Celebrating the art of the possible

Tonight in Santa Clara, California, several thousand people will be standing on the stage with me as I collect a Tech Award for FrontlineSMS. It’s been an incredible four years – the last two in particular – and it’s amazing to think how far we’ve all come. FrontlineSMS stirs genuine enthusiasm and excitement everywhere I go, and people resonate just as much with the story as they do with the simplicity and impact of the technology.

The Tech Awards is a prestigious Silicon Valley-based international awards program that honours innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity. This is the second time FrontlineSMS has been nominated, snapping up one of three awards handed out this year in the “Equality” category. Fifteen awards in total are being given out on the night, along with one to Al Gore who’s being honoured with the “Global Humanitarian Award 2009″.

The Tech Awards

I may be the one picking up the FrontlineSMS trophy, but this is very much a team effort if ever there was one. This would never have happened without the faith of donors, an incredible (and growing) user community, volunteers, partners, numerous bloggers and members of the media, academics, advisors, designers, lawyers and solicitors, photographers, competition judges, programmers, members of the public, students, techies, and friends and family. There are simply way too many to mention. Remove just one piece and it all comes crashing down.

This Award is also, more importantly, a celebration of the art of the possible. It shows what’s possible if you build tools for underserved places – where they’re often most needed – and what’s possible if you remain totally focused on your goal. It also shows what’s possible if you don’t lose sight of your users, and if you focus on building solutions and not just technology for technology’s sake. And it shows that you don’t need significant amounts of money or abundant resources to build tools which can have real impact.

The story behind social mobile tools are an important motivator to budding entrepreneurs, and I’m happy to continue sharing that story for as long as people find FrontlineSMS an appropriate, useful and relevant tool in their social change work. Thanks to everyone for making the journey as rich and exciting as it has been, and I look forward to continuing to work with you all as ours – and your – work continues. There is still much to do.

\o/

56 comments

1 Ken Banks { 11.19.09 at 2:44 pm }

Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

2 Craig Kiebler { 11.19.09 at 2:46 pm }

RT @kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

3 Tweets that mention Celebrating the art of the possible | Build it Kenny, and they will come... -- Topsy.com { 11.19.09 at 2:46 pm }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ken Banks, Craig Kiebler. Craig Kiebler said: RT @kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G [...]

4 changefeed { 11.19.09 at 2:46 pm }

->@kiwanja: Celebrating the art of the possible http://bit.ly/2miYZF

5 Priyanka Joseph { 11.19.09 at 2:47 pm }

Congrats Ken! RT @kiwanja Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award http://is.gd/4YO6G

6 Grassroutes { 11.19.09 at 2:47 pm }

RT @changefeed RT @kiwanja: Celebrating the art of the possible http://bit.ly/2miYZF

7 FrontlineSMS o/ { 11.19.09 at 2:52 pm }

Big night tonight as FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

8 BioMed Central { 11.19.09 at 2:54 pm }

Congrats! RT @frontlinesms Big night tonight as FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award…. http://is.gd/4YO6G

9 uberVU - social comments { 11.19.09 at 2:54 pm }

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. “Celebrating the art of the possible” http://is.gd/4YO6G

10 David Isaak { 11.19.09 at 2:58 pm }

RT @frontlinesms: Tonigh FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

11 Bobby { 11.19.09 at 2:59 pm }

Major congrats!! Great news, and well deserved. :)

12 epiraces { 11.19.09 at 3:09 pm }

Kudos! @frontlinesms: Big night tonight as FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award. http://is.gd/4YO6G

13 NetHope_org { 11.19.09 at 3:10 pm }

Tonight FrontlineSMS picks up Tech Award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

14 Jan Chipchase { 11.19.09 at 3:26 pm }

Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

15 Peter Tatischev { 11.19.09 at 3:32 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

16 Joshua Haynes { 11.19.09 at 3:35 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

17 Pop!Tech { 11.19.09 at 3:39 pm }

[Congrats to #poptech Fellow] RT @kiwanja Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major tech award: http://is.gd/4YO6G

18 Kristen Taylor { 11.19.09 at 3:40 pm }

From everyone at PopTech, Ken, big congrats, we’re thrilled about this award–

19 Tariq Khokhar { 11.19.09 at 3:49 pm }

Congratulations! RT @kiwanja @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

20 Evie Browne { 11.19.09 at 3:49 pm }

@frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

21 Hajo van Beijma, TTC { 11.19.09 at 3:50 pm }

RT @kiwanja: Big night as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

22 Denise Ofelia Mangen { 11.19.09 at 4:04 pm }

poptech

Congrats, Kenny + team! RT @kiwanja Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major tech award: http://is.gd/4YO6G

23 Antoine RJ Wright { 11.19.09 at 4:06 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

24 Celine Takatsuno { 11.19.09 at 4:16 pm }

congrats, true impact here RP @kiwanja @frontlinesms picks up major technology award: Celebrating the art of the possible http://is.gd/4YO6G

25 Steve Chee { 11.19.09 at 4:50 pm }

Congrats! RT @frontlinesms: FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

26 Heather Fleming { 11.19.09 at 5:01 pm }

RT @kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

27 Art » Celebrating the art of the possible | Build it Kenny, and they … { 11.19.09 at 5:03 pm }

[...] Read a original: Celebrating a art of a probable | Build it Kenny, as well as they … [...]

28 Amanda Williams { 11.19.09 at 5:20 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

29 iPayStation { 11.19.09 at 5:34 pm }

RT @frontlinesms Big night tonight as FrontlineSMS picks up major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

30 Kaushal { 11.19.09 at 6:49 pm }

RT @kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

31 Dale Zak { 11.19.09 at 6:53 pm }

Huge congrats to the entire @frontlinesms team on major technology award! "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

32 Erik Hersman { 11.19.09 at 6:55 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

33 Ellen Petry Leanse { 11.19.09 at 6:57 pm }

RT @whiteafrican @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

34 Meryn Stol { 11.19.09 at 7:22 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

35 lucky { 11.19.09 at 7:27 pm }

RT @kiwanja: Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

36 Shara Karasic { 11.19.09 at 7:42 pm }

Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://ow.ly/DMMZ (RT @whiteafrican @janchip @chep2m)

37 Rafiq Phillips { 11.19.09 at 7:44 pm }

RT @sharakarasic Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://ow.ly/DMMZ (RT @whiteafrican @janchip @chep2m

38 Theresa Ann Conner { 11.19.09 at 8:03 pm }

It’s great to see FrontlineSMS honored: reciprocally, it honors so many in its capacity to be used and shaped by those it serves. Huge, huge congrats Ken! \o/

39 Abdulla Faraz { 11.19.09 at 8:26 pm }

RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

40 Ishaq { 11.19.09 at 8:45 pm }

RT @n3m6: RT @janchip: Congratulations to the @FrontlineSMS ecosystem on their tech award: http://bit.ly/pi_winners

41 Daily Brief: Financial and Economic Policy, Intriguing Startups, TechAwards, Paul Polak - Marco Puccia : Business and Development { 11.19.09 at 9:41 pm }

[...] Celebrating the art of the possible (via Kiwanja) – Congratulations to Ken Banks and all who have collaborated on FrontlineSMS for being awarded the Tech Awards for a second time! Intel listed the full list of award recipients on their blog. [...]

42 Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood { 11.19.09 at 10:30 pm }

Congratulations Ken. It is a great job what you are doing!

43 Celebrating the art of the possible | Build it Kenny, and they ... | Museum And Art { 11.19.09 at 11:06 pm }

[...] is the original: Celebrating the art of the possible | Build it Kenny, and they … Connect and [...]

44 miraj khaled { 11.20.09 at 1:25 am }

Congrats Ken! RT @kiwanja: @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. "Celebrating the art of the possible" http://is.gd/4YO6G

45 David Barnard { 11.20.09 at 6:55 am }

Congratulations Ken.

46 Heather LaGarde { 11.20.09 at 11:42 am }

RT @poptech: [Congrats to #poptech Fellow] RT @kiwanja Big night tonight as @frontlinesms picks up a major tech award: http://is.gd/4YO6G

47 Marla McCarroll Pinto-Rodrigues { 11.20.09 at 3:35 pm }

CONGRATS !!!! ;)

48 Elizabeth Araujo { 11.20.09 at 11:53 pm }

Celebrating the art of the possible: Ken from kiwanja.net nabs an award http://is.gd/4YO6G

49 Tracy Prentiss { 11.21.09 at 12:02 am }

Great to see you and CONGRATS on the Laureate Award – truly deserved!

50 Ashoka Changemakers { 11.23.09 at 4:36 pm }

Congrats to our lovely SMS guide collaborator! RT @kiwanja @frontlinesms picks up a major technology award. http://is.gd/4YO6G

51 Ben Hoehne { 11.23.09 at 4:42 pm }

frontlinesms receives presitigous tech award http://tinyurl.com/ya7fvuu

52 thecaro { 11.23.09 at 6:54 pm }

Celebrating the art of the possible | Build it Kenny, and they will come… http://is.gd/4YO6G

53 Bill Siemering { 11.24.09 at 2:18 am }

See Ken's blog on Tech Award: http://www.kiwanja.net/blog/2009/11/celebrating-the-art-of-the-possible/ He's a great friend to DRP.

54 kiwanja { 11.27.09 at 10:12 am }

Thanks again to everyone for their amazing support and kind comments! :)

55 Anthony Papillion { 02.27.10 at 12:59 am }

Don't tell me social tech activism doesn't work: @FrontlineSMS picks up major award tonight.Congrats Frontline team! http://bit.ly/97DqSE

56 FrontlineSMS @ Tech Awards | Build it Kenny, and they will come... { 04.12.10 at 8:39 am }

[...] Read more about the Award in a blog post here. [...]

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