The organizers of Mesh 2009 announced a couple keynote speakers for their April conference and it’s shaping up to be a great event. Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis will be doing the business keynote and Kiva’s Jessica Jackley Flannery will be doing the society keynote. Stay tuned for media and marketing keynotes announcements soon.
Jason Calacanis is a serial Web entrepreneur and bona fide Web celebrity for a number of reasons: He started a print publication called Silicon Alley Reporter during the first bubble, then when Web 2.0 came along he started a blog network that became Weblogs Inc. and was eventually bought by AOL. Since then, Jason has started a people-powered search engine/directory called Mahalo.com and has made waves in the blogosphere on several occasions, including when he announced he was quitting blogging.
Jessica Jackley Flannery, meanwhile, is a co-founder of Kiva.org, one of the most high-profile attempts to use Web 2.0 for charitable purposes. Jessica started the “micro-lending” organization with her husband Matt after working on relief projects in rural Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It lets users lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in the developing world, providing affordable capital to help them start or expand a small business. It is one of the fastest-growing social benefit websites in history, with thousands of people lending millions of dollars to entrepreneurs in over 50 developing countries.
If you plan on attending Mesh 2009, be sure to book your tickets early.