e-Stas: briefings from the symposium on technologies for social action (I)

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #42, March 2007


e-STAS is a Symposium about the Technologies for the Social Action, with an international and multi-stakeholder nature, where all the agents implicated in the development and implementation of the ICT (NGO’s, Local authorities, Universities, Companies and Media) are appointed in an aim to promote, foster and adapt the use of the ICT for the social action.

Here come my notes for part I.

Opening Lecture
A case of Social Enterprise: Global Giving – the power of the masses in social projects
Mari Kuraishi President of the GlobalGiving Foundation

Quickly verifiable information flowing freely to many ore outlets has lead to a behavioural change

Eric Beinhocker’s The Origin of Wealth: there are shifts in classical technology, accompanied by behavioral shifts, combined with a mechanism for allowing communication.

The nonprofit sector seems to be lagging 10 years behind the private sector in digital development matters. But how can/should this new technology be applied?

A couple of interesting links:

Social Businessmen and Corporate Volunteering (I)
Stuart Gannes, Digital Vision Program of the University of Stanford

Need to provide with connectivity the peri-urban environments, crowded with rural immigration that have no way back, but a strong need to remain connected to their origins (family, etc.) and also to provide with connectivity those rural areas so they don’t have to run into extreme poverty at the cities they get to.

Engines of off-grid innovation: increasing foreign investments, wireless data networks, private investing leads public sector. The drivers for innovation could be financial services, community services and e-citizenship and e-government.

One of the ways to achieve this is to teach entrepreneurship. This should be combined with ICT, the secret sauce of innovation, extending the social grid.

From prototypes to impact, some successful initiatives:

Social Businessmen and Corporate Volunteering (II)
Belén Perales, Responsible for the Corporative Social Responsibility of IBM Spain

IBM fosters volunteering among their employees and, if their commitment with a specific project reaches 40 hours in total and during 5 continuous months, then IBM supports the employee’s project by donating technology and/or some corporate time. Besides this, there’s the volunteering day (actually two or three days per year) where everyone likely to volunteer can spend a whole day doing it during worktime.

Some IBM corporate social responsibility projects, where IBM corporate staff volunteer their time to nonprofit projects:

  • Eternal Egypt, digitalizing Egypt cultural heritage
  • Proyecto Atapuerca, establishing wireless networks for archaeologists
  • Genoraphic Project, to create a DNA database to study the past (through ancient humans genomes)
  • Kidsmart, special computers to ease digital literacy for kids, also adapted for disabled kids. The corporate volunteers build the special computing desks.
  • MentorPlace, where the corporate volunteers act as experts that give advice on ICTs
  • Reading Companion, to practice English pronunciation
  • TryScience, for science diffusion
  • Web adaptation technology, to adapt web pages for visual disabled
  • World Community Grid, through grid computing, to do more and better research (there’s supposed to be 650,000,000 underused computers in the world. There’re now 270,000+ members and 550,000+ computers connected, that have achieved the equivalent computing power of a PC working nonstop during 81,000 years.
  • OnDemandCommunity, to foster IBM corporate volunteering

The Citizenship’s role in the ending of the digital divide and the promotion of the knowledge society (I)
Montserrat Mirman, Compromiso Digital, Council of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Andalusian Local Government

Digital Escort is a digital literacy programme based on digital volunteers (sic) [I understand she talks about online volunteers, not ICT volunteers]

The volunteer profile is somehow a digerati, prone to social action and aiming to share his time.

The Citizenship’s role in the ending of the digital divide and the promotion of the knowledge society (II)
Rocío Miranda de LarraFrance Telecom Foundation

What is the civil society? What is the Third Sector? Could be civil society = third sector + citizenship?

The Third Sector is quite young in Spain, but growing: due to good economic and social environment, law changes (including tax laws) and social demand

The Third Sector / Foundations roles should be: complement other sectors’ roles (i.e. the Government) and foster innovation. In concrete:

  • Foster innovation incorporation in NGOs and foster its use, as they can assume more risks, have more flexibility; Digital Literacy projects should be a must in this field
  • Look for new uses of ICTs
  • Diffusion of ICT use, projects…
  • Advocacy, putting the stress in accessibility
  • Canalization
  • Intermediation

The Citizenship’s role in the ending of the digital divide and the promotion of the knowledge society (III)
Jaime Estevez, Director of Europa Press.net

Join journalism, social action and new technologies, so citizens can be main characters in the society. Public debate participation and social networking among nonprofits is of highest importance. To do so, a public platform was created so candidates can interact with their voters and vice versa. The problem is that people are not eager to participate with the traditional top-down rules, so the success is not in that there are tools, but how participation is designed and expected to take place in those tools/platforms.

Europa Press has now created a blog aggregator where politicians and citizens share a meeting space on the Internet where they deal, from each one’s blog, about public interest issues:cuadernosciudadanos.net

See also:

e-Stas 2007, Symposium on Technologies for Social Action (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “e-Stas: briefings from the symposium on technologies for social action (I)” In ICTlogy, #42, March 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=525

5 Comments to “e-Stas: briefings from the symposium on technologies for social action (I)” »

  1. Pingback: ICTlogy » e-Stas: Expert group on the decalogue for ICTs for nonprofits

  2. Pingback: ICTlogy » e-Stas: briefings from the symposium on technologies for social action (II)

  3. el primer blog que localizo que de verdad sigue con rigor el congreso y está en inglés… es divertido

    un saludo!

  4. Pingback: TecnolONGia » Arxiu » Què ha passat a l’e-stas 2007?¿Qué ha pasado en el e-stas 2007?

  5. Pingback: ICTlogy » e-Stas: briefings from the symposium on technologies for social action (III)

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