What are knowledge societies & what is their social vision?

A selection of stories, initiatives, and experiences that highlight the importance of Knowledge Societies.

#ICareSoIShare captured the spirit of our event, which took stock of progress towards goals set 10 years ago, during the first World Summit on the Information Society (aka #WSIS).  
New technologies are opening tremendous possibilities for creating & sharing knowledge, and hence mutual understanding, in today's "knowledge societies". How can we ensure everyone, everywhere, has the skills & opportunities to participate in building these societies? How can we build the human capacity, in each of us, to be more connected, caring, alert, innovative and resilient? How can knowledge societies be a force for peace & sustainable development?

Imagine a tweet leads you to imprisonment

#FreeSaidYousif campaign poster, posted on Twitter by @OsamaJaleel

Global Voices Advocacy is a project of Global Voices Online that aims to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world that is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and freedom of information in cyberspace. It provides awareness of stories like that of Sayed Yousif Almuhafda, the Vice President and Head of the Documentation Unit at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), as well as a member of rights groups Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International. He was arrested on December 17th 2012 as he was monitoring a nonviolent demonstration in the capital Manama and reporting about it on Twitter.

Languages Matter!

© iStockphoto.com
UNESCO promotes linguistic diversity and multilingualism

Just a few amazing language facts.
There are more than 550 spoken languages in Nigeria. Eight are already extinct. Multilingualism is a way to preserve valuable linguistic inheritance.
Aside from Spanish, other spoken languages in Ecuador include Kichwa, Shuar and 11 other languages.
In Lebanon, TV, newspapers and music are usually in three languages: Arabic, English and French.

What are the languages on the internet?
All languages are not equal in the digital space. Of the roughly 6,500 languages that exist, only 60 languages are represented on the internet.
Swahili is spoken by over 30 million people but it is basically inexistant in cyberspace.
UNESCO assists Governments in safeguarding linguistic diversity and promoting multilingual competencies.

How a blind student reaches top of her class with accessible technology

© Colegio San Benito

We can use technology to get disabled people to participate as equals in a learning experience. Meet Ignacia Picas, a primary-school student from Santiago, Chile who is blind. Ignacia uses a laptop computer with built-in tools in the office applications along with screen reading software to participate fully in class. This enables Ignacia to maintain a near-perfect grade point average.

Digital Preservation and Protecting Civil Rights

© UNESCO - Anne Thurston

How is digital preservation a social and political issue? “When records are not well managed, governments cannot be held accountable. It is easy to misuse information, hide fraud and corruption, and draw inaccurate conclusions. Delivery of justice is impaired, and human rights cannot be protected. Citizens cannot prove unfair treatment or defend themselves from false accusations.” – Anne Thurston (International Records Management Trust).

Mobile Learning in South Africa: "Ai shakespear rocks!"

Photo by Steven Vosloo - Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
User testing Yoza.mobi with Students for Humanity

There were over 6 million phone subscriptions in 2012, still in many places, paper and books are luxuries. Phone screens are like e-readers, and phone lines are the bridge from home to school.
To find out if teenagers in South Africa would read stories on their mobile phones, Steve Vosloo, manager of the Nokia-UNESCO partnership, launched the m4Lit (mobiles for literacy) project and Yoza Cellphone Stories was born. Launched by the Shuttleworth Foundation, the stories include mobile novels, Shakespeare and other classic authors.

Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation.

Forest Whitaker’s Harmonizer Programme in Uganda

Northern Uganda has suffered a civil war for more than twenty-two years. This chronic instability has caused a dramatic surge in internally displaced persons and has also created tens of thousands of child soldiers, who have been abducted and forced to serve in militias. Among the many challenges that these youth face are lacking access to education and resources. The conflict has also created a technology gap in the region, causing youth to be cut off from modern technologies such as computers and internet connectivity.

The visible line between men and women in the media

© Kent Smith
Merging Oceans

In the debate on the inequality between men and women, the media plays an important role since they contribute to influencing and shaping the perception of people, their attitudes and behaviors, especially in the relations between men and women.

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