Ernest J. Wilson III. How to Make a Region Innovative. strategy+business, issue 66 Spring 2012.

To foster economic growth, innovation clusters need to draw on the power of an interrelated “quad” of sectors: public, private, civil, and academic.

Uma revolução social e de costumes ganha território nos rincões do Nordeste do Brasil. O movimento saiu das lan houses das áreas pobres do interior e da capital, expandiu-se pelas zonas rurais, entrou nas casas e em comunidades. Promoveu grandes transformações coletivas, sociais e culturais. O cotidiano de famílias, associações e escolas foi alterado. Percorremos 11 mil quilômetros, nos nove estados da região, e constatamos que o Nordeste está atravessando uma nova fronteira - a fronteira digital.

O acesso a computadores, celulares e à web formou redes de comunicação no mundo real. São redes que têm a internet como ferramenta de apoio e que ligam cidadãos em torno de interesses comuns. É um fenômeno novo, estágio avançado da inclusão digital. Investigamos as mudanças provocadas em um lugar que teve quase o dobro do crescimento do número de internautas nos últimos cinco anos. O Nordeste aumentou 213%; o Brasil, 112%, diz o IBGE - embora muitos continuem excluídos. É o mesmo que desponta no topo do ranking de acessos a sites de relacionamentos virtuais (75%). Este especial multimídia mostra a inclusão para além da lan house e do Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube e outras redes sociais - algo que também já foi popularizado neste território. Gráficos e quadros ilustram o Brasil do qual estamos falando; entrevistas com especialistas e links para estudos fornecem informações extras para os interessados. Textos, vídeos e o mapa das cidades visitadas desvendam nomes e sobrenomes dos que desenham esta nova geografia sociodigital, a nova fronteira das expressivas mudanças que vêm ocorrendo no Nordeste.

A reportagem percorreu os nove estados do Nordeste. Ao todo foram 11 mil quilômetros. Entrevistamos mais de 50 pessoas …

- Hace algunos años, los agricultores desconocían el precio final de sus productos en los mercados de la capital o de las poblaciones importantes. Así, el espacio que tenían para maniobrar y negociar con los intermediarios era bastante reducido. Ahora, con el teléfono móvil y gracias a cooperativas y aliados de los grupos productores, se sabe en tiempo real el precio que tiene cada producto en la tienda o el puesto del mercado. Los productores no están ya a merced de los precios de los intermediaros y pueden hacer presión para obtener más beneficios. ·

-Otro de los problemas más acuciantes eran los deficientes servicios bancarios, que dificultaban la transferencia de dinero de la ciudad al campo. Las operadoras telefónicas, arriesgándose bastante debido al vacío legal que había en la materia, se lanzaron a promocionar sistemas de transferencias en metálico a través de teléfonos. Hoy día, Keniacuenta con el sistema de transferencia monetaria por móvil más voluminoso del mundo en número de usuarios, y países con estados fallidos y situaciones de verdadero caos administrativo, como Somalia, cuentan con eficientísimos sistemas de transferencias internacionales que llegan a los pueblos más diminutos.

- Los mensajes de texto se han convertido también en un arma muy eficiente a la hora de movilizar a la población. Gracias al férreo control sobre las compañías telefónicas, Etiopía ha impedido durante varios años que la población pudiera enviar mensajes para así poder evitar que grupos de oposición se pudieran organizar, convocando manifestaciones o acciones de protesta. En otros países no es raro ver que, en momentos cruciales donde el orden público o la estabilidad del gobierno se ven amenazados, se suspendan estos servicios durante algunas horas o incluso durante días.

- Por último, el acceso de un margen tan elevado de la población a latelefonía móvil es también una oportunidad genial para poder “controlar” la gestión de administraciones públicas y servicios. Por ejemplo, hay ya iniciativas que, en connivencia con radios locales y gracias a la colaboración ciudadana, son capaces de controlar el desempeño de instituciones públicas o privadas, tales como el absentismo laboral en escuelas, dispensarios y otros servicios, de modo que pueden pedir cuentas de la gestión presupuestaria de cualquier institución.

Bar, François, Francis Pisani and Matthew Weber (2007), “Mobile Technology Appropriation in a Distant mirror: Baroque Infiltration, Creolization and Cannibalism”, paper presented at the Seminario sobre Desarrollo Económico, Desarrollo Social y Comunicaciones Móviles en América Latina, Buenos Aires, April 20th

Alejandra Davidziuk (2007). Apropiación de las tecnologías móviles desde una espejo lejano: infiltración barroca, creolización y canibalismo: una reseña.  The Journal of Community Informatics, Vol 3, No 3 (2007) Special issue: Community Informatics in Latin America and the Caribbean

En este trabajo, los autores usan la evocativa sugerencia del Manifiesto Antropófago brasileño para considerar la apropiación de las tecnologías móviles y sus contribuciones a fin de repensar el impacto público de esos dispositivos en América Latina. El argumento central del Manifiesto entiende “felicidad” como un motor de desarrollo comunitario (llamado también “cultura viva”) que debería ser transformado en política pública efectivamente apropiada por su gente. En ese sentido, Bar et al. sugieren analizar cómo la gente usa los teléfonos móviles a fin de demostrar que esos dispositivos tecnológicos pueden ser considerados como herramientas para el desarrollo y el cambio cultural…

The book “How Developing Countries Can Manage Intellectual Property Rights to Maximize Access to Knowledge” is edited by Carlos M. Correa and Xuan Li and can be download here.

… the analysis, conclusions and recommendations presented in this book will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges to access to knowledge and of how to frame development-oriented policies to address them. The book is intended to reach a broad set of readers: it provides guidelines for developing countries’ governments in participating in multilateral and bilateral negotiations as well as to design national IP regimes consistent with those countries’ development objectives…

In this report, the authors examine the growth of mobile phone technology over the past decade and consider its potential impacts upon quality of life in low-income countries, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. They first provide an overview of the patterns and determinants of mobile phone coverage in sub-Saharan Africa before describing the characteristics of primary and secondary mobile phone adopters on the continent. The authors then discuss the channels through which mobile phone technology can impact development outcomes, both as a positive externality of the communication sector and as part of mobile phone-based development projects, and analyze existing evidence.

http://zunia.org/uploads/media/knowledge/file_Aker_Mobile_wp211_FINAL1284556553.pdf 

http://designforthefirstworld.com/

Hello (First) World!

We live in a com plex world, one full of inequities and won der ful things. Won der ful things are usu ally well dis trib uted, but inequities not so much. Our fel lows in the First World have been con cerned for a while with us hav ing the major share of the bad ness, so we thought, why don’t we pay back? After all, their life isn’t problem-free either.

And that’s where this com pe ti tion starts.

We’re call ing artists, design ers, tin ker ers, mak ers, and thinkers with an idea to par­tic i pate. Two con di tions only: you were born in and live right now in a Devel op ing Coun try and you are 13 years of age or older.

Devel op ing into what, exactly?

What does it mean to be a devel op ing coun try? Among other things it means that the future of these coun tries is to become devel oped. We are on our way toward devel op ment, and we assume that’s a great thing: we will have bet ter edu ca tion, bet ter health care, a more equi tat i ble soci ety. But let’s stop to con sider for a minute whether devel oped coun tries are some thing we want to turn into. Are peo ple in devel oped coun tries hap pier or health ier? Do they live a bet ter life? Do they have a bet ter under stand ing of nature and live in a bet ter equi lib rium with the envi ron ment? Do they live in peace?

Sadly the answer to most of these ques tions is no, or yes in some cases but not sig nif i cantly so.

We have been focus ing our energy and resources on try ing to solve our Third World prob­lems to become more like the First World. But per haps it is time that we, the so called Third World minds, focused our energy and cre ativ ity on solv ing some of the First World prob­lems. We will have a brighter future to look for ward to, and per haps this can help us rethink and approach our cur rent prob lems from a dif fer ent perspective.

Dead line May 30st, 2010 11:59 p.m. EST

Dx1W has pro claimed 2010 Inter na tional Year of the First World in Need, and has defined four main areas to address: Food Pro duc tion and Eat ing Dis or ders, Aging Pop u la tion and Low Birth rate, Immi gra tion and Inte gra tion to Soci ety, Sus tain abil ity and Over consumption.

Fur ther more, one of the major aims of the Year will be to demon strate the ben e fi cial effects of cul tural diver sity. We want to rec og nize the impor tance of trans fers and exchanges between cul tures through implicit or explicit dia logue that under lines how cul tures and civ i­liza tions are inter linked and con tribute to the progress of humankind.

The strat egy of the Inter na tional Year con sists in main stream ing the above-mentioned prin­ci ples in all policy-making at local, national, regional and inter na tional lev els through the involve ment of the great est num ber of rel e vant stake hold ers. The activ i ties car ried out under the Inter na tional Year focus on:

  • Reduc ing obesity.
  • Address ing aging pop u la tion and low birth rate.
  • Reduc ing con sump tion rate of mass pro duced goods.
  • Inte grat ing the immigrant population.

The Dx1W com pe ti tion is addressed to the devel op ing coun tries of the world: All cre ative solu tions depend on hav ing a pow er ful idea. Whether it’s great resources, mil i tary, pol i tics or gov ern ment, power and size are not enough with out hav ing a pow er ful vision. The First World needs our ideas to solve their prob lems. First World prob lems demand Sim ple Third World solutions. From today on The Third World will bring ideas to redesign the future of the First World.

Indi vid ual and team sub mis sions are welcomed.

Steps:

  • Select one of the pro posed areas to work.
  • Select a pop u la tion with that prob lem to apply your solutions.
  • Think of an orig i nal idea that will solve the prob lem you selected.
  • Think how to apply that idea to a spe cific com mu nity in the First World.
  • Plan how you will make it hap pen. Write, draw, film, design. Ren der ings and exten sive plan ning is encour aged but not necessary.
  • Use text, pho tos, and video to explain your project.
  • Reg is ter and Login into the site to apply.
  • Sub mit your idea on time.

Eli gi bil ity

  • Par tic i pants should be 13 years of age or older and a legal res i dent of a Devel op ing coun try.
  • The idea should not involve reli gious advo cacy or proselytizing.

Designers have traditionally focused on enhancing the look and functionality of products.  Recently, they have begun using design tools to tackle more complex problems, such as finding ways to provide low-cost healthcare throughout the world.  Businesses were first to embrace this new approach—called design thinking—now nonprofits are beginning to adopt it too.

[Full paper, pdf]

… This paper is about “do-it-yourself” as a practice of free culture. Here DIY is not only used as David Garcia’s (1997) definition for tactical media, DIY is meant as a way of “hand on” and doing things to change the systems, it is about not waiting for the government or institutions to do the work. It is about being responsible the one’s own surroundings. That is a big cultural difference between Brazil and Europe. While in Europe all the basic surviving needs are granted for you by institutions, by that I mean food, education and health. In Brazil we have to struggle to get these things, we don’t survive if we wait for the government. It is why many forms of alternative living emerge.

Based on these and many other statements heard on interviews or read onproject’s website, it is effortless to get an optimistic feeling. All the projects are made essentially by people: people with energy, people that dedicate their time and own resources, people that collaborate, people that, in a way, believe, and believe in a social change.

After reading a text by Hernani Dimantas (2005), a Brazilian media theorist, called “Linkania - The Hyperconected Multitude,” many questions came to my mind. The most important one was “have we an optimist view of the web?” I say this because I feel that every time I read something from Brazil. Therefore I sent him an email with my questions to discuss on the subject.

Among all the answers and arguments his last paragraph was: e, isso tudo é sobre o Brasil… sobre conversas, mestiçagens, generosidades, mutirões e puxadinhos digitais. Colaboração aqui é sobrevivência.

As designers working to improve the quality of life in other countries, the firm IDEO has spent more than 10 years creating a methodology focused on designing for the user. And now, IDEO wants to give all of that methodology away. A series of PDFs that are free to download, the Human-Centered Design Toolkit hopes to empower organizations and design firms by giving them their field-tested tools for social impact in a way that focuses more on sharing information than authorship. (via Open-Source Innovation: IDEO’s Human-Centered Design Toolkit | Designerati | Fast Company)

As designers working to improve the quality of life in other countries, the firm IDEO has spent more than 10 years creating a methodology focused on designing for the user. And now, IDEO wants to give all of that methodology away. A series of PDFs that are free to download, the Human-Centered Design Toolkit hopes to empower organizations and design firms by giving them their field-tested tools for social impact in a way that focuses more on sharing information than authorship. (via Open-Source Innovation: IDEO’s Human-Centered Design Toolkit | Designerati | Fast Company)