US Agency for International Development (AECOM)

Fact Macedonia: Online Media Resource to Counter Fake News in Macedonia

The media environment in Macedonia is populated by outlets managed by particular parties and ideologies, some funded by outside sources providing fake stories to influence opinion. The project was designed to counter those influences and involved creating an online media resource in Macedonian, Albanian and English (for the large Macedonian diaspora) with a social media component. The strategy was to design the platform to work like, and integrate with, popular social media platforms and to use social media influencers to move people discreetly to more objective news sources. The original project implementers were a cultural entity in Skopje with a large constituency and mailing list (80,000) of progressive young users. The project was to be self sustainable largely by selling space to advertisers while keeping it free for subscribers and encouraging them to sign up.

The Principal of Internaut Consulting was involved in the development of the platform, articulation of the influencer strategy and user requirements document in addition to developing the evaluation parameters for the IT firm contracted to develop the platform. In addition, Internaut Consulting worked with the implementers on the preliminary marketing and sustainability plan to influence users, advertisers and legitimate media outlets to sign up and use it.

While is country for the assignment above, Internaut Consulting was contracted separately to assist in the initial formation of a National ICT Strategy for Macedonia. In this context the Principal developed job descriptions for various project personnel, recommended some implementers for the project and researched the best in class examples of national ICT plan development strategy frameworks, existing national ICT plans and comparative reviews.

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E-Commerce/SROI Initiative

Greentealovers is a socially responsible business focused on the sale and information related to high-antioxidant green and white tea. It was started by the Principal of Internaut Consulting, Jonathan Peizer and the proceeds have gone into increasing energy efficiency at Internaut Consulting. It’s the combination of his interest in the healing effects* of green tea as well as in e-commerce solutions. Because Internaut consulting works with clients that do business on the net, it took a pragmatic approach to understanding the business and the issues of commerce on the net and learning by doing. All aspects of the business from developing the sites web presence to order fulfillment is done by Internaut Consulting.

* The oldest tea specialty book in Japan, Kissa Yojoki (how to stay healthy by drinking tea) was the two-volume book written in 1211 by the fanmous Zen priest Eisai after his second and last visit to China. The first sentence states, Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete.

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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Technology Transfer Project

Kauffman Innovation Network iBridgeSM is a program of the Kauffman Innovation Network launched by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The iBridge Network was designed as an online technology transfer platform to more effectively disseminate and license the outputs of early-stage research by linking university researchers with broader academic and end-user communities. The initiative was in need of client-based strategy for each of the various stakeholders involved.

Internaut Consulting was retained to develop strategies and tactics to identify and address all project stakeholders including the ‘buyer’, ‘seller’ and technology transfer administrator. Breaking out the different stakeholders and addressing strategies for each of them had not been done previously. The final recommendations covered multiple sectors and support opportunities for each of these stakeholders.

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Biomimicry Institute

Sustainability and Collaboration Support

The Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. It has youth eduction program, an annual design challenge and a platform that provides information on nature inspired design solutions. It requited a funding strategy and a way to best monetize its offerings.

Internaut Consulting was retained to advise on funding and collaborative partnerships and how to best monetize assets to enhance offerings without compromising the non-profit mission.

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Proposal Evaluation/Grant Writing

Internaut Consulting was retained to evaluate and write part of a social entrepreneurship proposal for the Middle East for IREX. IREX is a US-based nonprofit organization committed to international education in academic research, professional training and technical assistance.

Internaut’s contribution distinguished the difference between social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, both elements of the proposed program. It also articulated the common elements of success that promote scaling in a social enterprise, and the associated training needed to be included in the program.

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Developing Radio Partners

Messaging and Organizational Strategy

Developing Radio Partners (DRP) builds vibrant, participatory communities internationally, through the development of financially and editorially independent media services with a focus on community radio. The IDEA Network is an initiative of Developing Radio Partners (DRP) providing targeted issue area (health, environment) support. DRP required help with organizational strategy, messaging, development and issue prioritization.

Internaut Consulting was retained to assist DRP in modifying its very process-oriented organizational identity and messaging that promoted its more traditional [and dated] focus of radio. The DRP strategy was retooled around its IDEA network initiative focusing on well defined donor support areas (environment and health). Its tried and tested process methodologies weer then tied, as supplemental selling points, to these focused issue areas.

In addition, Internaut Consulting helped strengthen a collaborative partnership with Frontline SMS, a progressive development technology using text messaging, to leverage DRP as an entity that could both broadcast and receive local community input in low technology environments. This further enhanced DRP’s attractiveness to donors with its ability to meld old and new technology to achieve results, rather than promoting just its one way broadcasting capabilities (radio). This new strategy and messaging was then utilized to attract more progressive funding support for DRP activities and within months DRP had new projects and support.

Note: This project was the result of Internaut Consulting being retained to review proposals and provide ongoing advice and evaluation to an anonymous major media donor on convergence projects that merged Internet and traditional media.

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New Strategic Approaches to Nonprofit and Board Governance

The Principal of Internaut Consulting is the creator of the nonprofit social enterprise A decade ago he founded the organization dedicated to new approaches in nonprofit software development through a variety of services including facilitations, product development services, training and its unique web 2.0 social network platform for nonprofit software developers, clients and service providers called Social Source Commons. Aspiration is a true hybrid nonprofit with a self-sustainable strategy offering services to others in the sector.

The Principal of Internaut Consulting has continued to provide ongoing governance support over the last decade as founder and board chair of Aspiration.


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Social Entrepreneurship Workshop

New Strategic Models and Approaches Strategy

Internaut Consulting participated in a workshop identifying similarities in existing working models of social entrepreneurship — and the creation of new strategic models and approaches based on these successes. Participants in the discussion included NESsT, Compumentor/TechSoup, IDRC, Grameen Foundation Technology Center and the Shuttleworth Foundation. A number of these participants later worked together to put the plan into action on the product and service channel initiative.


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Latin American Revenue Channel Development, sponsored by IDRC, Microsoft and the Swiss Development Agency is a community of people and organizations working together to improve the social and economic impact of grassroots telecentres. It required a comprehensive business plan to implement its vision. Following the development of its comprehensive business plan, wished to pilot revenue channel development of product and services to sell into the network. It needed a strategy and implementation plan to do it.

Internaut Consulting was engaged to develop a business plan to promote a sustainable telecentre movement globally offering innovative value-added products and services to its telecentre clients. The ecosystem and administrative support structures laid out in the business plan were designed to allow telecentres to trade products and services of value with each other. Development of the plan led to our further engagement developing tangible revenue channels.

A year later Internaut Consulting was engaged in the next stage of the project by IDRC and Microsoft Community Affairs to develop scenarios and an implementation plan leading to successful revenue channel development. The objective was to pilot practical initiatives delivering products and services to emerging markets through the ecosystem of networks and individual telecentres. As a result of the plan three pilot network initiatives were selected in Latin America. The implementation plan was used to develop the channels with two recommended implementing partners, NESsT and TechSoup. Internaut consulting advised that these two implementing organizations had expertise in supporting vertical and horizontal channel capacity development necessary for the project to succeed.

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Media Development Loan Fund (MDIF)

Strategy to Better Integrate its ICT Products & Services Arm

The Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) [now Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF)] supports independent news media in emerging democracies. The Center for Advanced Media in Prague (CAMP) functioned as the technology products and services arm of MDLF. As CAMP and MDLF services evolved somewhat distinctly from each other MDLF wished to evaluate how to better integrate its technology products and services arm into its core business and what client groups to best target.


Internaut Consulting was engaged to assess MDLF-CAMP’s client technology offerings and how well they complimented MDLF’s overall strategy through a series of 360 interviews with MDLF staff, developers and clients. Internaut Consulting also provided recommendation’s to refocus CAMP to target clients that MDLF wished to primarily focus on, and better align MDLF-CAMP priorities with those of its parent MDLF. The result was a complete restructuring of MDLF’s technology servicing arm and the eventual spin off of MDLF-CAMP into its own self-sustainable entity servicing these clients and others.

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