[Air-l] Mongolian Internet pioneer Narantsetseg (Nara) Baljin has died

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Fri Mar 12 07:33:39 PST 2004

Some of you may have known Nara Baljin, this is sad news.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Adam Peake
> Date: March 11, 2004 3:51:05 AM EST
> Subject: [isoc-members-discuss] Mongolian Internet pioneer 
> Narantsetseg	(Nara) Baljin has died
> Very sad news.  Nara was one of the Internet pioneers in the Asia 
> Pacific. A great person. We miss her.
> Adam
> Narantsetseg, Nara to all who knew her, was a rare visionary working 
> at the distant peripheries of the Internet who bravely embraced the 
> new technologies and made them the centre of her life. It was a life 
> cut short but lived inspiringly well.
> To many people outside her country, Nara was not only the 
> representative of the Mongolian Internet but also of Mongolia itself. 
> She was an immensely effective and impressive representation of both.
> Nara was equally successful at home. She was awarded the "Best IT 
> Researcher for 2003" by the ICT Stakeholders group, a recognition 
> which moved her to tears. And on the day she died, the Mongolian 
> Business Women's Association named her the "Best Business Lady".
> Nara was in Jakarta, Indonesia, the week before, taking an active part 
> in the meeting of the Panel of Authors of the Digital Review of Asia 
> Pacific. She spoke passionately about the digital inequalities which 
> existed and the importance of not under estimating the commitment 
> required to close the digital divide.
> The challenges Nara vividly described never once clouded her vision of 
> what the Internet could deliver: from distance education and expert 
> medical advice to more transparent government and cheaper 
> communication services.
> Nara spoke with quiet authority as one of the original movers of the 
> digital revolution in Mongolia. She was the Marketing Director of 
> Datacom, the first Internet services provider in Mongolia, before 
> establishing her own InfoCon Co. Ltd, one of the earliest information 
> technology consulting companies in the country.
> Nara took an active part in drawing up Mongolia's Mid-Term Strategy 
> and Plan for the Development of Information and Communication 
> Technologies. She also directed a diverse portfolio of development 
> projects initiated by the International Development Research Centre of 
> Canada, UNDP, Soros Foundation and the World Bank.
> Despite all these commitments, which would have discouraged many 
> others, she found time to educate herself. She was working on her PhD 
> even as she ran her company, implemented development projects and 
> travelled widely and regularly to represent Mongolia at international 
> events.
> The frantic pace never distracted Nara from what she considered the 
> more important things. On her last morning in Jakarta, even though she 
> had a flight to catch, she found time to assemble a 
> beautifully-arranged platter of fruits to share over breakfast with 
> her fellow authors. Technologies were important to her, but people 
> were even more important.
> This tribute to Nara is by the authors and publishers of the Digital 
> Review of Asia Pacific <http://www.digital-review.org> originating 
> from the Pacific Islands, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, 
> Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, India, 
> Japan, Lao PDR, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, 
> Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, 
> Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam
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Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
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