Magamba is a youth and cultural activist network using the arts since 2007 as a vehicle for expression under the highly restrictive conditions current in Zimbabwe. Magamba started the B the Media campaign in 2011, to promote free expression and demand accountability through new forms of media activism. Through workshops, young people gain skills in blogging, podcasts, video blogging, and newsletter writing, to cover both events that they organize themselves, as well as other social, cultural and political events. By providing a space where young Zimbabweans can express themselves, B the Media makes it possible to discuss the MDGs and improve life for people, while engendering further debate using the social media. In 2013, the B the Media team started the online e-newsletter Kalabash as an alternative space for the next generation of male and female Zimbabweans to share their views, whether personal, social, political or cultural.
“The MDGs provide the world with a benchmark, which we hope to step closer to. The youth are at the core of closing in on the environmental, healthcare, educational and rights based goals outlined in the MDGs. Through a global network of justice seekers we can feed the need to change for the better.” (Nicholas Fallon Monro)
A belief that citizens’ voice can be harnessed as a resource led to the invention of Social Cops, a technology platform that crowd-sources citizen reports regarding civic issues and forwards them to relevant authorities. Google maps integration & GPS tracking allows to identify the relevant authority in a given case and to forward the complaint to the authority involved via a customized dashboard with automated daily/weekly analytics. The institution involved in the project can easily engage with citizens by sending notifications, emails, SMS directly via the dashboard. Social Cops uses citizen data and matches it with third party feeds to increase accountability and to incentivize public servants.
“Using innovative technology, our model harnesses citizen voice as a resource to create and affect systemic change. We call it <using small data to create big impact>. The biggest learning in the past few months has been that every neighborhood has its own heroes – who are just lacking the tools to enable them to create lasting change.” (Prukalpa Sankar)
YES AYV Creative Youth Media Project
The Yes AYV Creative youth media project was launched in 2011 with the support of UNHABITAT and Adobe Youth Voices. Over one hundred under-served youth were trained in digital media creation. Yes AYV has been a telling success, polishing young people’sskills in teamwork, self-expression, interactive dialogue and digital journalism so that they are able to report on issues relevant to their lives. By learning to create and publish digital media on interactive social platforms, once deprived youth have turned into active participants addressing the public interest of their community, country and world.
The effective use of media tools, social networks and mobiles inspired these youth to conduct inquiries on MDG related issues using digital journalism. Their media creations won four global awards in 2013, helping to secure the resources to form a digital media social enterprise with the purpose of training youth in digital journalism for reporting on social issues. Yes AYV is an example of using ICT, interactive networks, mobiles and digital media for positive social change.
"Our goal is enabling youth participation in development for social change. Promoting Gender Equality, Youth Health, Child Rights, Universal Education, Environmental Sustainability, Youth Economy and Global Partnerships for development are our objectives. We believe that Youth skilled in interactive platforms and mobiles are a key stakeholder in development. They can take higher responsibilities in society with social awareness and media literacy.”(Poornima Meegammana)
Book for Book
The Book for Book website provides high school students with the possibility of matching requests and exchanging books of particular interest. In the spirit of solidarity and environmental awareness, the platform aspires to host young students and parents who wish to find books online for free, quickly and easily. Platform users can offer or search for specific textbooks that other users living close to them may have already offered. A meeting can easily be arranged for the book exchange to take place. School principals or even students within a specific neighbourhood can organize a meeting for a large-scale exchange of books between classes within a school or in a public place. Book for Book aims to eventually establish a social network, connecting students and schools to recycle used books of different school grades on a large scale and from a single access point.
“According to official statistics, every year in Greece 45 million new school books are printed, costing about 26 million euros and resulting into 270,000 trees cut! However, at the end of each school year, most of the books end up useless on students’ shelves or even discarded. Our main goal was to create a tool facilitating the exchange of books. Books do not have an expiration date, so it is a pity printing so many of them every year instead of passing existing ones to the next generation.” (Kassie Papasotiriou)
Lendabook is a social networking site, where anyone can facilitate the mutual borrowing and lending of books wherever they are. Lendabook lets people make friends, share books they own and borrow them from each other. Lendabook is becoming a giant digital library scattered in various regions of Indonesia with diverse collections of books. As the value of books increases with growing ease of access, Lendabook is bound to promote the culture of reading.
Member registration is simple: all it takes is information including residence, email address, facebook, and twitter accounts. Members’ profiles indicate their identity and contact where they can be reached to let people borrow their books. The profile also shows a member’s book collection, so others can see what may be borrowed, just like sharing real libraries! What an easy way to get friends and books. Lendabook already has more than 1500 members from various parts of Indonesia and from further abroad.
“In the Indonesian society and especially among youth, reading becomes less and less common. With the expansion of the digital world and increasing access to technology we believe that Lendabook can make an important contribution to the revival of a reading culture. This way we hope to see knowledge and education increase in the future.” (Muhammad Iqbal Hariadi Putra)
Jerry Do It Together
Jerry Do It Together is an open-knowledge project that focuses on the building process of IT infrastructures. It brings together citizens that decided to build a more inclusive digital society. A Jerry is acustomized computer inside of a plastic jerry can, built together with its end users. Made out of end of life materials, they are the low cost solution for digital empowerment. The project compiles open-source building manuals and free tutorials assisting everyone to create a Jerry of his own.
The initiative is spread through the Jerry Clan, a global community of users and builders, that relayes it locally. By building Jerrys together, the team aims to open and democratize the knowledge in the field of digital technologies. Today, around 450 people are actively participating or following the project’s activities in Europe (France, Germany, Ireland) and in Africa (Algeria, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin).
“Our goal is to foster innovations that emerge from the community. Our key factor of success is to make new Jerry use-cases as replicable as possible. Therefore our key challenge is to strengthen the Jerry Clan with powerful tools for documentation, online and offline collaboration. Addressing both neophytes and experts is one of our primary challenges. “How to make people contribute?” is a key question we keep in mind when working on contributor paths.” (Justine Hannequin)