Marshall McLuhan once envisioned a global village as the way the world would look a century from when he lived. He also in a way predicted that such integration would take place by means of the inventions that progress and thus, technology, would provide.
Now and much earlier all those prophecies have greatly been surpassed by what the evolution of mass media and the Internet have brought to civilization.
Modern human life in most of the great cities of the world would not be recognized by a time traveler coming from as close as 50 years ago. But there is a tragedy that even McLuhan failed to predict. A huge and growing invisible wall being self built between those with and those without access to the Internet and what it brings to quality of life.
It is far more what telecommunications in the form of connectivity has brought to every single activity of Society, whether it is productive, economic or cultural, than any other element of knowledge and genius through history. It profoundly affects the way we work, learn, keep our health, reach out to others, leisure and even fight.
A cluster conformed by computational power, systems and applications, connectivity, devices and content is shaping a new civilization. Human kind, by means of the Information and Communication technologies (ICT´s) is becoming the Information Society. But its members are simultaneously and paradoxically being brought closer and apart.
Such syndrome affecting society, both on personal and collective levels, creating growing inequalities between people and nations has been identified as the Digital Divide.
Many governmental and private initiatives are being put in place to assess, understand, measure, propose policies and set goals to revert the digital divide between individuals and societies along those nations and sectors already divided by economy and education, as is the case of the Tunis Commitment agreed in 2005 during the World Summit of Information Society organized by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).
But not enough advance has being achieved as while the goals are approached by signatories, then growing distance continue to build up by means of faster evolution and breakthroughs among more developed countries.
The Americas Challenge and the role of Aldea Digital.
The digital divide has its own particular dynamics within the Western Hemisphere, but especially within the Americas.
As the world becomes more interconnected and competitive it seems also more meaningful that regions sharing common ground either culturally and geographically, also share a common strategy to overcome the Digital Divide syndrome.
The Americas bring the very special feature of being the "New World" as it was defined by Europeans after they conquered it's territory by force of a much more advanced technology applied then to transport and warfare. After five centuries that shaped a continent as homogeneous as speaking mostly three major languages, and observing many cultural, political and religious values, the Americas are poised as a potential territory to achieve a privileged development ratio among the rest of the global community.
Aldea Digital is a non for profit organization founded with the purpose of developing initiatives to put resources and wills in place to build a strong bridge over the Digital Divide throughout the Americas.
The role of Aldea Digital is to coordinate a set of programs designed to address different key factors affecting the way in which communities and individuals are able to take advantage of ICT´s for the improvement of their quality of life.
As there are generic and specific goals orbiting around the globally accepted call to action by the signatories of the Tunis Commitment, Aldea Digital establishes its own set of vows which pertain to each reality defining all countries throughout the Americas. Then for instance focus on increasing smartphone penetration in countries without good wireline infrastructure but better endowed with cellular presence will be privileged as opposed to focus on promotion of available and relevant content in those countries where penetration is already an achieved goal.
Aldea Digital will develop a set of benchmarks in order to quantify the amount and nature of efforts to be aimed onto each country or region.