The Dirk Award
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The Dirk Award


The Dirk, backstage at the 2004 Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia

You've found the web home of The Dirk Award, which exists to celebrate inspiration, leadership and contributions to the eRider community.

The Dirk Award is given annually to Circuit Riders or eRiders who have shown extraordinary contributions to the nonprofit and international NGO technology communities while paying tribute to the principles of social justice and the role technology can play in empowering other communities and individuals. eRiders are one of the largest global resources of ICT capacity building for development organizations and work in a world-wide movement with growing representation in more than 20 countries. More information about eRiders is available at

Call for 2007 Dirk Award Nominations!

The Dirk Award Committee is honored to

2006 Dirk Award Winner!
Vladimir "Kaladan" Petkov

The Dirk Award Committee is honored to announce Vladimir Petkov as the 2006 winner of The Dirk Award.

Since 2003, Vladimir Petkov (aka Kaladan) has worked as an eRider, serving as Content and Project Manager at Interspace, a New Media Art Centre in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is part of a great team which supports his efforts in spreading eRiding; the team is creative, dedicated and ever-willing to welcome new visitors to Interspace. Several years back, the term “supeRider” was coined to describe an individual who showed strong mentorship and leadership skills both on their own eRider team as well as in the larger eRider community; Kaladan has been an embodiment of that term ever since he started eRiding.

KaladanAlong with his team of talented eRiders at Interspace, Kaladan has "hosted" visits from two other eRider teams, Open Consultants from Georgia and the eRider team from Tajikistan. Kaladan set a week-long agenda for each visiting team that offered learnings on how the Interspace eRiding team has been successful, but also provided opportunities to address the visiting teams' current challenges. Kaladan has also traveled to Tajikistan and most recently Thailand to provide training to eRider groups there; in Thailand he trained with eRiders working in the "Free Burma" movement, and he has agreed to travel to Sierra Leone to work with teams of eRiders working in West Africa. He is also responsible for the running of the website.

Kaladan and Interspace have long been at the forefront of providing Open Source Solutions to NGO's. His strategy of deploying open source solutions came as a response to a Bulgarian Government crackdown on illegal software piracy which threatened to close several Bulgarian NGO's. With Kaladan's help, many Bulgarian NGO's remained open and his model for migrating NGO's to Open Source has been used by many other eRider organizations.

In person, Kaladan is warm, friendly and always has a smile. He is also entirely humble and always ready to help where he can. It is because of these traits that we are honored to acknowledge Kaladan and all that he has done for the eRider community and for the NGO sector as a whole.

The Committee of previous Dirk Award recipients and the global eRider and nonprofit technology support community congratulate Kaladan for passionate, inspiring, far-reaching work!

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The Dirk Award