Almost two years ago, when I started working at IntraHealth, dcm told me about IntraHealth Open. Being a neck-bearded freetard, the idea really appealed to me: Use open source in the education of students in developing countries across Africa to build a workforce that could support the IT infrastructure of the continent without using Western consultants. The use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is essential to the goal. Using software that is freely licensed for perpetuity avoids the "First Hit is Free" model many software companies use to get developing countries hooked on their software. Building the use and understanding of FOSS into the curricula gives the students the skills they need to use software on the job. And deploying freely-licensed software like Ubuntu, OpenOffice, iHRIS Suite and OpenMRS into these developing countries will create a local demand for workers who can use, understand, and maintain the very software they’ve learned about in school. I’m very excited about the new IntraHealth OPEN initiative. You can even take part. Senagalese musician Youssou N’Dour is working with other musicians to help raise funds for the OPEN initiative by making his music and remixes of it available for free download under a Creative Commons license. So go download some music and consider making a donation to IntraHealth OPEN. UPDATE: Listen to dcm talk about Open in the Launchpad podcast.