During the 5th social responsibility forum in Madrid organized by Net Impact and IE, I had the occasion to listen to a talk by Ashoka fellow Rodrigo Baggio, a devoted social entrepreneur and the founder of CDI – Committee for Democracy in Information Technology, a non-profit organization promoting social inclusion by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a tool for building active citizenship.
Installed in impoverished communities, each CDI Community Center is working in partnership with existing leading grassroots organizations that provide an infrastructure, while CDI supplies free computers and software, implements educational methods, trains instructors and monitors the schools. CDI´s educational methodology is a combination of civic and digital education that seeks to help people help themselves, empowering the communities to understand the challenges they are facing and work together to solve them. Using technology to acquire knowledge stimulates the local economic development and creates jobs.
Today composed of 816 self-managed and self-sustaining community centers throughout Brazil and 8 other countries in Latin America, this large network of solidarity makes CDI´s work feasible and replicates its experience. There is an ongoing investment in staff competencies updating, knowledge exchange and the qualification of educators who come from the communities where the schools are settled.
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