The WOWEM Team

January 8, 2016 by  
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Joan Kerr

As a skilled business woman, a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of managing, operating and innovating, while founding several not for profit organizations and philanthropic initiatives. Her business acumen, dedication to sustainable development principles, collaboration, and a flair for creativity have led her to achieved her goals thus far. An eternal optimist, whose infectious enthusiasm inspires and motivates her clients and colleagues.

Stacy Gildenston

For over two decades, Stacy Gildenston, M.A., has produced media for clients across universities, Fortune 100 corporations, national and tribal governments, and not for profits. She’s been interviewed as an expert in both Linux and virtual realities by the BBC, CNN, and Discovery Television Networks, as well as has spoken worldwide, including at a United Nations conference in Geneva, and at a ‘surprise’ press conference with the Vice President of Peru. She specialises in creative development around technology and education and is making robots with young girls.

Lady Murrugarra

I have the expertise as coordinator of Telemedicine / Telehealth, innovation and entrepreneurship. More 25 years in Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt. Lady have held the following positions:

  • Coordinator telemedicine and telehealth, actuallly
  • Webmaster Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, until 2014
  • Databases and Statistics until 2012
  • Criobank coordinator until 2013
  • Asociated Investigator. Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
  • Editor and Author, Book in ICT and AIDS for the schools.
  • Regional Coordinator. actually

Canadian Victory Garden Brainstorming Weekend

April 15, 2015 by  
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April 25, 2015toApril 26, 2015

FBSC  will be hosting the Canadian Victory Garden Brainstorming Weekend at 200 Winchester Street, Oshawa Ontario  ( West of Simcoe and Winchester)

This event organized by the Women in Engineering at UOIT  is being faciliated by  Butch Shadwell who is has extensive  international experience designing and implementing off-the-grid solutions.  The  event is a free event to  Energy and  IEEE  engineering students  and  it’s a great end to a grueling  school year.

For more  information
Glenn McKnight  905 442 2167

WOWEM: Rises

March 12, 2015 by  
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In 2004, the WOWEM Project envisioned a civil society that cared about how Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) could be used to promote equity, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.  A way to gage the specific struggles of women and how the community could respond through tecnological collaboration, empowerment and support with practical experience and hence woman’s intuitiveness and exceptional wisdom.

It gives us great pleasure in viewing this video, take a look.

It started in 2004 with a challenge!  How do we 1) find out how women faired in the IT world, and 2) what supports are needed to develop any skills, networks or marketplace to excel.  A simple ‘fact finding’ initiative.

The WOWEM Impact

Over 60 organizations across the globe shared, supported and offer wisdom to the members, resulting in achieving the United Nations Civil Society Award for the World Summit Awards Program.  The recognition for the ‘best in e-content & Creativity’

WSIS 2014

WSA Team

WSA Team

WSIS in Paris

Joan Kerr with Fadi Chehadi at WSIS 2014

Joan Kerr with Dorothy Gordon, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT


WOWEM: History of vision & resilience

March 4, 2015 by  
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The Women’s Open World Empowerment Movement (WOWEM)

Open Source, gender equity, civil society engagement

Open Source, gender equity, civil society engagement


The WOWEM Project started in 2004 as an initiative to explore how women performed in the IT World and to encourage them to share stories of how they cope in the work atmosphere. It was a collaboration between Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC), Lady Murrugarra of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia  and Stacy Gildenston, formerly of Linux Professional Institute, now residing in Australia. The project focussed on encouraging women to share stories of struggle, resilience and wisdom.  To achieve this, we envisioned the following:

WSA graphic  Provide education to women who organize local community project

WSA graphic  Assist in setting up sustainable women-focused small businesses utilizing Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) as a tool

WSA graphic Promote market-ready products for international sales

WSA graphic  Utilizing profits for local enterprises led by the women including microloans by and from the women who earn them

WSA graphicEducation: topics to include organic farming, permaculture, health & wellness, making, arts.

WSA graphicDevelopment of online portfolios

WSA graphicUsing profits for both personal and community sustainable development

WSA graphicResearch of gender and F/OSS development around the world

WSA graphicEvaluating successes and failures

2004 Vision

A future ‘Marketplace’ to assist women in making dreams come true, by :
1.  Creating a Free and Open Source site to promote women who are making products wearing/using/displaying their work and telling their stories;

2.  Running beta test with products from Indonesia, Mexico, Palestine, Niger, Jamaica, and Peru; and

3.  Supporting a social enterprise to enhance the activities of the WOWEM Project and women around the world.

2005 – 2014

Because the project was embraced by civil society with such enthusiasm, the project won the UN World Summit Information Society (WSIS) Award digital content and creativity.
Following this tremendous acclamation, the site and domain name was hijacked for more than 7 years.  A blow to enhancing the participation and development of gender equity solutions from a local to global level.  It took much time to realign and re-establish the presence we achieved as the digital environment advanced.

2015 Onward: WOWEM, A Story of Resilience

After many attempts to revive the WOWEM Project, Stacy, Lady and Joan, the three original Founders of WOWEM, have come together to relaunch and engage women in digital world. Recognizing the dedication to support open source and gender equity with the shared vision to educate and collaborate, they have agreed to continue the contribution to the global success of WOWEM in the digital space once again.  As we move forward, the primary goal is to focus on learning by offering workshops that encourages designing and making, capturing the ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) spirit to advance the technical skills in the digital environment.

We look forward to our continued collaboration and success in the coming years

Glenn McKnight appointed to PIR Advisory Committee

February 23, 2015 by  
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gmcknight image
Glenn has been choosen as one on the advisory committee for Public Interest Registry who owns .ORG and the new .NGO gTld’s. This is a volunteer posting to assist PIR in their planning and implementation
PIR is located in Reston, Virginia

Durham DIY Showcase

February 23, 2015 by  
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Durham DIY Showcase
The Annual Durham DIY Showcase 2015 held on the 15th of February in Oshawa at UOIT commenced on one of the coldest days of the year , but it quickly heated up through the spirited interaction of thirty-six exhibitors sharing their passion to share their knowledge and excitement of all things STEM to young children.
The event sponsored by IEEE Toronto Section and the IEEE Canada Foundation was coordinated by the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities and the University of Ontario . Sponsorship for the event came from the IEEE Toronto section IEEE and the special grants from the IEEE Canadian Foundation. The prime objective of the day long event was to ignite and inspire children to take interest in topics such as Wearable Technology, Open Hardware, Humanitarian DIY and much much more.
The vision of the free event started with a journey of discovery after participating in various Maker Faires and Maker Spaces and realizing that these events failed to connect the engineering professional to the excitement of the maker/hacker community. The culture shift from nerdism to educating the public on the importance of the engineering profession became a major core goal of the event . We have succeed making the event fun, engaging and educational All done as a free event to the public and the exhibitors. If your student branch or section is interested in learning more contact Glenn McKnight. Email

Newspaper article

Pictures at
2014 Pictures

DIY Showcase 2014

February 2, 2014 by  
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February 17, 2014
10:05 amto2:05 pm



Creativity, entrepreneurship, community, innovation, connectivity are a few words that describe the first annual DIY Showcase.

Join us for a learning and fun filled Family day.

Display tables.  Workshops.  Woodwork. Handmade Paper.  Planting seeds.

DIY_feb 3

Make a Change

January 27, 2014 by  
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There are so many ways we can make a difference. Choose soemthing, or support someone who is already doing something.

Sustainabilty is about the environment, social and economic issues of our time. Whatever your cause, food, social justice, democracy, health, the environment, YOU can make a change. The issues can be addressed if we all just do something that is positive.

Let’s make a change.

Ontario Supports Growing Local Food

November 6, 2013 by  
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  Preparing the soil by hand

The agricultural sector is a huge contributor to the Ontario economy.  How big?  According to the Ontario New release , the contribution from farm to fork is $34 billion.  That’s staggering and aspiring especially since the employment is more than 740, 000 jobs.

Local food is about health eating and knowing who is growing and caring for it.  The best person is YOU.  If you can’t grow your own, buy from someone you know, think about your food, who is growing it, where is it coming from, what nutrients do I need to function, to feel energized.  Local food is more than just economic it’s the social and environmental aspects that are equally important.

Start somewhere and support the local food movement- Grow your own!

4th Annual Harvest Dinner 2013

September 17, 2013 by  
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October 3, 2013
5:00 pmto7:00 pm



Join us for the 4th Annual Harest Dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #43.  The event is being hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary.  


Victory Gardens provided food for over 40% of the population during the First & Second World Wars.  Women played an instrumental role in feed children soldiers and the community by growing food, canning and preserving and taking care of the homefront.

The Canadian Victory Garden Project continues this tradition by creating a modern day food garden using a established model to grow vegetable.  Tasting the harvest with our friends and families is pivotal to the Victory Garden Model.

The Canadian Victory Garden donates the produce to Feed The Need, Durham and to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #43.





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