Tech Global

Technology with purpose with stories

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One in six Spaniards never connects to the Internet. The digital divide is also present in our country, characterized by age as a determining factor, but not the only element.

An example is that in Spain 4.4 million people have never used the internet. Among those disconnected, 60 per cent are women and 72 per cent are 65 years of age or older.

A digital divide that is palpable when we talk about 2.2 million households in our country that have no internet connection, that is, 13.6% of homes, according to data extracted from the Study ” Technology for purpose. The social impact of the company in the digital age” of the business Observatory Against Poverty.

This report aims to inspire companies to make it easier to act and take sides and reach out to more people, ” argues the director of research, Social Innovation and consultancy for the CODESPA Foundation, Mónica Gil-Casares. It seeks to give answers to the technological transformation we are suffering at the time of what they already call the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

And this industrial revolution is also characterized by a number of key technologies: mobile connectivity, blockchain, chatbots, big data, artificial Intelligence, cloud, Robotics, the Internet of Things, 3D printing…

Technologies that in turn can help improve people’s lives. ” Technologies can be powerful, but they don’t change the world on their own, “said José Carlos Sánchez, Coordinator of publications of prodigious volcano, adding:”all technological change has always created inequality.”

The use of the technology for social purposes

Technological solutions for positive purposes must comply with the so-called “4A”: accessible, affordable, appropriate and tailored to the target population.

One of the cases in which technology has served to improve the lives of the people is that the EHAS Foundation started in Guatemala: with the purpose of to increase healthy pregnancies and reduce the rate of mortality in childbirth. “We try to identify risk pregnancies before delivery. We started with a thousand pregnant women as a pilot project and achieved a 35% reduction in maternal mortality,” explained Andrés Martínez, vice-rector of Planning and Strategy at the Rey Juan Carlos University, during the presentation of the report. At present, they have already helped 19 000 pregnant women.

Another technology-based project has been launched by the Konecta Foundation. In it they offer in Brazil job opportunities in contact centers to people with visual disabilities, giving them access to jobs that they did not previously have opportunities.

Big data, for its part, can also be used to anticipate natural disasters. This is the case with Vizzuality in Colombia and Kenya, countries where it uses this technology to help those engaged in agriculture and livestock farming.

Another example comes from the hand of Itwillbe, an NGO that, through a technological solution based on biometrics, it helps to find children lost in India who do not have identity documents, conducting recognition, facial, fingerprint and the palm of the hand.

So, technology with purpose or purpose and then technological solution? In the words of Mónica Gil-Casares, ” first the diagnosis is made and then the problem is solved and it is seen if the technology is part of the solution.”

There are many examples in which digital innovation has social purposes, but as Gil-Casares points out, “more disruption does not imply greater impact. Mobile telephony is one of the technologies that has the greatest impact,” he quoted as an anecdote. For her,”technology is a tool, but not an end in itself.” The use we make of this will depend on its (re)Evolution.

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