SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Social inequality in Colombia is one of the deepest in the world. At the end of 2021, the World Bank presented the report, 'Towards the construction of an equitable society in Colombia', in which it pointed out that the country is among the most unequal globally.
The differences in the digital, educational and other related gaps result in the high disparity that tends to increase, since instruments such as education that serve for social mobility or advancement have not contributed decisively to address the problem of inequality. According to the publication A Broken Social Elevator - How to Promote Social Mobility (2018), "it would take a Colombian born in a low-income household 11 generations to reach the average income of this country. This is the highest indicator of all OECD countries".
The ability to access computers or mobile devices and the internet is increasingly important to fully immerse oneself in the economic, political and social aspects of countries and, although 51.9% of Colombian households by 2019 had internet connection, according to the basic indicators of ICT ownership and use of the DANE (National Administrative Department of Statistics), the universalization of these tools does not equal in their appropriation: being able to make these devices a tool for training involves an effort and deployment of capabilities that must be conducted from different sectors.
In this sense, from the Casa Tres Patios Foundation we want to create the School of Digital Experimentation in which we will adapt a space in our headquarters so that the public with whom we work can access and appropriate the possibilities of audiovisual equipment and other digital tools. Thus, with our support, these devices can be used to explore and investigate issues of interest and importance to the communities, so that they have more options to imagine and create solutions to address the various problems they encounter in their environments.
A MEDIA LABORATORY
The School of Digital Experimentation, which seeks to be a media laboratory (medialab), is conceived as a critical and participatory educational space in which the concept of collective intelligence will be used to promote that the solutions designed for specific problems are more creative and that digital tools are also used for productive purposes, because according to the National Consulting Center more than 40% of the Colombian population uses the basic tools of digital technologies especially to communicate and for entertainment; this shows a technological wastage that results in the country also being at the bottom of the OECD list in terms of productivity.
The latter is also observed in the figures presented by the Communications Regulatory Commission (2020), which show that in Colombia almost 70% of network traffic is destined to video entertainment, music and social networks; and only 10% is destined to the use of productive tools. In this sense, it is clear that although technology alone cannot save the world, people who learn to use it can transform their lives and those of their communities. That is why it is important to start by creating these spaces in which, in addition to technological tools, there is room for a key training exercise to acquire a decent job and thus contribute to eliminate poverty, which is precisely what the School of Digital Experimentation seeks to achieve.
From the Casa Tres Patios Foundation, for the past two years we have been working with groups of young people in the Audiovisual School and the School of Social Action in order to help them find their own voices to express their opinions and feelings about the social, political and economic situations they face in their lives in Colombia. In this work we have used basic tools to do our research and to create our audiovisual products.
We are also starting a project for ex-prisoners to help them reintegrate into the community. One of the biggest challenges they face will be their own economic sustainability. Thus, we have determined that, in addition to psychological support and personal skills, they will benefit from learning skills that will enable them to create their own businesses. Based on our experience in art and design, we intend to give them computer, audiovisual and graphic skills so that they can begin to offer these services to individuals and businesses.
All these programs require access to computers and audiovisual equipment. Thus, with the help of your donations we will create this media lab with the technology and space necessary for these projects.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
If you want to know more about what moved us to start this project, we invite you to watch this video:
Finally, to find out what we need to adapt the media lab, you can click here, where you will learn about the tools and the costs of each one of them. We hope you can contribute with your contribution to our Vaki: https://vaki.co/en/vaki/escuelaexperimentaciondigital