The need for digital democratization is gaining space on the social agenda
In order to understand and socialize the characteristics of the current techno-digital system and to identify the strategies of struggle to slow down the unjustified monopolistic appropriation of these technologies by the companies, the Sessions “Utopias or Dystopias. The Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Digital Age ”took place.
Via Internet Ciudadana
Our populations are plunged into an accelerated technological revolution, in which digital technologies play a central role, modifying almost all aspects of life; open up possibilities, facilitate tasks, shorten deadlines and spaces, but also, given their current commercial orientation, deepen pre-existing inequalities, condition habits or instrument social control.
Transnational corporations have taken control of digitization, offering declining capitalism the prospect of reconversion of its crisis of productive profitability. The ultra-minority fraction of economic power has even found a way, in applications derived from the current technological model, to hinder the free play of democracy in order to prevent the transformation of the system of exclusion.
However, despite the strong impact this has on the daily life of individuals and on the collective aspirations of peoples, the debate among citizens and within social movements of Our Global South is just beginning, being still largely limited to activists from the digital sphere.
In this context, this event, promoted by the Forum on Communication for the Integration of Our America and the Latin American / Caribbean Internet Ciudadana, in collaboration with various organizations in the region, debated during three consecutive sessions the formulation of alternatives and possible actions to meet the challenge.
In a previous phase, working groups analyzed the main impacts of digitization in areas such as work and employment, communication, education, agriculture and rurality and collective digital rights, which resulted in some initial requests and proposals.
The first meeting (28/4) was devoted to the debate on “Public policies for digital sovereignty and democratization”, during which three main ideas were reaffirmed:
Internet connectivity as an essential and regulated public service as such, the requirement of legislation so that individuals and communities can exercise individual or collective power over their data and the strengthening of technological sovereignty – both national than regional – as an essential factor for developing the digital economy without generating new forms of dependence.
In a second session (5/5), aspects related to “Good practices in the use of technologies and the need for critical digital literacy” were addressed Digital autonomy, as a necessary condition to overcome the divides digital technologies and breaking the dependence on businesses, mutual support and networking to enter into the technological dispute and the necessary capacity building to be able to meet these challenges, were the axes of discussion.
As in the first session, many related proposals have arisen, alongside possible strategies to be implemented to promote these points, as well as the certainty that social awareness and, in particular, that of organized citizenship, is a essential condition to move forward in the realization. public policies and the adoption of other uses and technologies.
During the closing day, whose theme was precisely the construction of “An agenda of social conscience for digital democratization”, various activities were identified to broaden the echo of these questions and proposals and thus increase the role and the ‘impact of the organized social base in the design, implementation and governance of these technologies.
The initiative of these Sessions has already brought together peasant and trade union organizations, communication spaces, technological cooperatives, students and academics, digital activists, political activists and professionals in the infrastructure sphere, around twenty from countries in the region.
However, the challenge is enormous. These participants all identify the need to integrate digital issues into the demands of popular movements, reaching out to the territories, in order to generate a critical mass essential to achieve broad transformations.
In the meantime, it is imperative that Latin America and the Caribbean move forward as a region in its sovereignty and integration, to meet the challenges arising from a past of colonial exploitation and to avoid sinking into a new technological colonialism.
Internet Ciudadana – internetciudadana.net
Press contact: [email protected]