One of the best ideas I have culled from McCluhan (no link I can find easily) is the idea that in a world of many minds, there are some that can solve some of the most difficult problems easily.
They don't see it as a problem. The reason they haven't solved the problem is that they have never been asked the question: how do you solve xyz?
One of the best ways I can think of to kick off the Weblog Network is to build a collaborate set of weblogs that address key problem areas for global development: water, food, energy, fabrication, eduction, communication, policital empowerment, environment, cooling/heating, and work. The key would be to ask the correct questions in each of these areas and focus on the identification of low cost enabling technologies that make the solutions possible (granted, technological solutions are my bias, but I am a tool-using animal).
ThinkCycle is an example of this type of network (although in a very clunky style) that is leveraging minds at MIT and across the globe to solve specific problems. For example: they are working on a low-cost water storage system for developing countries. [John Robb's Weblog]