Aleph Molinari – Bridging the Digital Divide
The Digital Divide is a mother that’s 45 years old and can’t get a job, cuz she doesn’t know how to use a computer.
Most news focuses on the roughly 2 billion people in the world who use the Internet. Economist Aleph Molinari chooses to focus on the other five billion people. He is working to close the digital divide and empower people, by providing widespread access to technology education.
In 2008, Molinari founded Fundación Proacceso and in 2009 launched the Learning and Innovation network. The network uses community centers to educate under-served communities and
enable them to use technology for empowerment. In about 2 years, the network has graduated 28,000 users through 42 educational centers throughout Mexico.
The Learning and Innovation network
employs a well-designed system to bridge this digital divide. The system is divided into 4 educational parts. The first focuses on computers. The second is the Internet. The third is office software. The fourth phase is a 72 hour technology program that produces, in the end, a digital citizen. While the program sounds somewhat trite, there is no doubt that the programs conducted by Fundación Proacceso and the Learning and Innovation network have made a huge impact on extremely poor communities in Mexico.
Molinari’s arguments are extremely persuasive. There is no doubt to me that, as he says, “Internet is a right, not a luxury.” We can do a lot to bridge this divide, enabling many of the five billion – most of whom are in the southern hemisphere and Asia – to become active participants as digital citizens of the world.
Although the work ahead seems daunting, it is even more daunting to consider what will happen to our world in the absence of a more fair and just distribution of wealth and opportunity. It is better to make do with less than to lose everything we love and cherish.
Molinari’s final message is full of hope:
The main message is that technology is not going to save the world, we are, and we can use technology to help us. Most technology is human energy, so let’s use this energy to make this world a better place.
- The Digital Divide: Who’s Being Left Behind (tech.li)
- COM22: Wk 2. Digital Divide (decuni.wordpress.com)
- Social Media’s Effect On The Digital Divide [Infographic] (anisesmithmarketing.com)
- Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network (queuniversidade2.wordpress.com)
- Update on the Digital Divide (alleganylibrarydirector.wordpress.com)
- An Opportunity to Bridge the Digital Divide (impact.webershandwick.com)
- The Digital Divide [an infographic] (thetechscoop.net)
Most people say that you should be careful when using sharp objects. They are trying to tell you to watch out and prevent an accident, whereby you may cut yourself. Very good advice.
Being a lifelong Scouter (see: Boy Scouts), I pride myself on being prepared. Preparedness includes, of course, having the experience and tools to be ready for unplanned circumstances. It means planning for mistakes and, occasionally, accidents. It means, too, taking precautions so that most accidents can be avoided.
But when accidents do – inevitably – occur, preparedness helps us mitigate the severity of the pain, suffering, and damage. There is an adage – no pain, no gain – but this is concerned with planned pain, the work that is necessary to become strong. Bad pain is the kind you can get when you fall down a flight of stairs – or worse. Many of these accidents can be avoided with precaution and good habits, a huge part of being prepared. “Be Prepared” is also about tools, including maps, rain gear, lights, extra batteries, and the like. Of course, it includes First Aid.
What good is a first aid kit without bandages. Sure, there are needs for other things, but when you are out on a mission with kids or youth, the lowly band aid is what you often need the most. It is surely an essential, but it is something you don’t really need to think about, a throwaway. Or is it?
Help is a company dedicated to helping you help yourself. It makes and sells products to help you when you can’t sleep, have a headache, have allergies, or when you have a blister. Instead of calling the products by their standard names, often the name of the medicine itself, it names its products by the thing it is trying to remedy – i.e. help® I can’t sleep.
This makes their products a whole lot easier to find – and use. But then they found a way to go a step further.
Instead of just helping yourself, what if you could help others when you help yourself? That might be more difficult. Maybe. Probably. But what if it wasn’t? Would you help?
The answer is pretty easy. Most people would. And do.
“Help® I cut myself (and I want to save a life)” costs a bit more than the average bandage. But you can help save a life when you cut yourself. And do so without really any substantial effort. Help partnered with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center to provide bone marrow donor registry kits inside packs of help I’ve cut myself. While you’re bleeding, use the enclosed swab to swipe a bit of the blood. Then, put the swab in the envelope, fill out the form, and send it off to get it registered in the DKMS database. It’s that simple. And, you’re already bleeding.
Watch their humorous video:
So good luck. Be prepared. And, next time, let it bleed!
- Cut Your Finger And Save A Life With Bandaid Bone Marrow Donor Kits (psfk.com)
- Health tech startup takes on blood cancer with a bandage kit (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Thank You Sharp Objects (e-clecticism.net)
- Marine Donates Bone Marrow, Wins $2.9 Million in Vegas (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- South Street Home Store Hosting Bone Marrow Donor Drive (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Colorado Soldier Desperate For Bone Marrow Transplant (denver.cbslocal.com)
- Bone-Marrow Diseases and Anemia (everydayhealth.com)
- Bone Marrow Drive In Queens (myfoxny.com)
I believe in the LiveSTRONG Manifesto. I became a LIVESTRONG Leader for 2012 because I wanted to use my experience leading groups through adventure and sports to learn about cancer, cancer survivorship, and its prevention.
We believe in life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it.
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.
This is LIVESTRONG.
I just read today in the LIVESTRONG Leaders group on Facebook about a young man who was fighting cancer until last weekend. His words from last year about how he was facing his fight says succinctly a lot about why I have joined the fight. His attitude is evident in the title of his post, which I used in my title as well. (Thank you Ruel, rest in Peace. You are now, in my mind, an exclamation point. That will keep screaming out forever!)
I’ve been wearing a LIVESTRONG wristband for around 7 or 8 years now. Long enough for it to become as fitting and natural as a watch or – really, as much as I love/hate to say it – my wedding ring.
I started wearing it around 2004, when I finally got one at the NikeTown Portland store. (The store was the first of the NikeTown concept, which has now been mostly phased out.) I’ve been wearing one full time since.
I started wearing the band mostly because I loved the way Lance Armstrong competed. I have been a fan for many years, since he came back from cancer and started winning the Tour de France. But I first started paying attention to cycling races because of Greg LeMond. I had already been a fan of cycling itself, but LeMond’s first victory at the Tour de France in 1986 coincided with my being a bicycle messenger in San Francisco.
Then, in 1987, LeMond was accidentally hit by a shotgun blast during a turkey hunt by his brother-in-law, nearly killing him. But after losing two years of professional racing, Greg LeMond won the Tour de France in 1989 and 1990. He was the first American ever to wind the race, but after coming back only 2 years after nearly losing his life, I became hooked.
Then came Lance. His story is now legendary. Never came close to reaching his potential (for 5 years he was projected to become a star) during his career leading up to 1996, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Spreads to his lungs and even his brain. Surgery, extensive chemo, and a long hard rehabilitation. Two lost years of professional racing. Then, in 1999, Armstrong amazingly wins his first Tour de France. Then, even more dramatically, Lance wins the world’s greatest race for 7 consecutive years.
We’re about the fight.
We’re your advocate before policymakers. Your champion within the healthcare system. Your sponsor in the research labs.
And we know the fight never ends.
Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.
This is LIVESTRONG.
Founded and inspired by Lance Armstrong, one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.
I’m not as big a fan of the Tour de France as I once was. I don’t think it is because there have been no American winners since Lance. Nor is it because of the lack of media attention. Part of it is because of the media attention, especially the focus on doping. But much of it is because I’m more focused on just living and doing, rather than watching others compete.
I’ll keep on riding, running, hiking, climbing, and swimming. These things are important to me. They are me.
We are LIVESTRONG.
Come along for the ride of your life!
- LIVESTRONG Celebrates 15 Years Strong (freshnessmag.com)
- Lance Armstrong Foundation, Ironman Announce Partnership (swimmerjoe.com)
- Livestrong Partners With Ironman, Armstrong Announces 2012 Racing Plans (christostriathlon1.wordpress.com)
- Lance Armstrong Investigation Dropped, Livestrong Bracelets Everywhere Rejoice [Scandals] (gawker.com)
- Greg LeMond to be guest of honour at Tour of the Battenkill (velonation.com)
- Who will be the next great American cyclist? | Matt Seaton (guardian.co.uk)
- Lance Armstrong Doping Inquiry (blogs.theprovince.com)
This list was compiled by John Taylor Gatto, a teacher in New York City for 30 years and selected the state’s Teacher of the Year three times. Gatto is the author of 6 books, including the wonderfully and colorfully titled Weapons of Mass Instruction (2008).
It is a wonderful and succinct list, one that I believe everyone should thoughtfully consider and most to enthusiastically adopt. I am particularly fond of #s 4 and 5 on his list.
This, to me, is definitely disappointing news in Japan at a time when it is increasingly evident that the only way forward for people in this world to improve the welfare of all people is to communicate effectively. While there is no intrinsic reason that any particular language is more important than any other, it is certain that English is important as a common global language for business, politics, and human welfare. The fact that fewer and fewer Japanese seek any education in the United States serves as a reminder that many in Japan seek to further insulate themselves from the global reality.
It is not just study overseas that is suffering a crisis in Japan, however. I believe that there is a lack of any sense of adventure among most Japanese. Japanese society today seems to emphasize cultural norms and “harmony” to the extreme, pushing back any diversion from what is considered reasonable deviation. Ultimately, the current social paradigm which places an extraordinary emphasis on “salaryman” lifestyles can only serve to limit any sense of personal responsibility and adventuresome spirit.
What is lost, mostly, is any real sense of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. There is a lack of chutzpah. I am hopeful that things can and will change. I think this is a recent phenomenon; certainly, the foreign student numbers reflect a dramatic shift in even a decade or two. But without balls, there is not only no beautiful game, but no game at all.
I think that a lot of people might agree that games are an important part of a better world. That is, games and the fun that result from people engaged in gaming is a critical part of a better world. In fact, stated this way, I think that perhaps most people in the world would agree that games are important in a better world.
However, it is unlikely, I think, that most people would agree that games can MAKE a better world. That is, gaming and the process of playing games will be a critical part of changing the way in which we think about and engage with our world, making it a better place in which to live. This presents a very different position, that games are a solution to our world’s most pressing problems.
I am a lifelong Boy Scout. In writing Scouting for Boys and setting the stage for the international Boy Scout Movement, Lord Baden Powell wrote a book that outlines the principles of Scouting as a series of Camp Fire Yarns. Yarns are, of course, stories; usually they are stories that are long, elaborate, and twisted, but often have a moral. But these stories are punctuated throughout with games; these games are essential parts of the Scout program, that teach youth how to interact and engage with others and be prepared for all kinds of adventures and become responsible and practical adults.
For a Scout, then, it should be no surprise that games can help people develop good skills in solving real-world problems. games are not only an important part of the discovery process, but do very well to instill the practices that are just, good, and responsible.
It should not be so difficult, then, to extend this ideology to suggest that if we posit the most difficult issues of our time in a challenging and resolvable game format, then we are more likely to not only develop more creative and likely resolutions, but instill the habits that improve the odds of resolving these issues. If people are more likely to conduct challenging but vital activities when confronting them in a game than in real-life, then why don’t we make more of what we experience in real-life a game-like activity? What do we have to lose by doing so? More importantly, what might we gain?
If nothing else, real-world gaming might be good practice to resolving problems. But there is much more potentially to be gained by playing our way forward and framing the world’s most pressing issues as a game. For example:
Feeding the World Challenge
With 7 billion people on the planet, the world’s natural resources are currently stretched to the limit. Food, in particular, is at a premium, and half the world goes to bed each day hungry. Your objective in this game is to find a way to share/compete for resources to comfortably feed the greatest number of people, while gradually finding a population equilibrium.
Although this game example does not provide any details about how players play the game, its rules, methods, or devices, I think it illustrates how a game might posit critical real-word issues in a resolvable, creative, and meaningful way. In order to make the game more fun, there should be unpredictable elements, not just those that are associated with intellect or skill. Certainly, though, experience and smarts should count for something. It would certainly give a lot more people the opportunity and incentive to consider important issues and their resolution.
Feeling lucky today? Then give a game a go!