Blog Action Day – Technology and Global Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, an annual event that exists to “…unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion“. This year’s focus is on global poverty. Rather than my normal technically oriented posts, today I’m going to post a few thoughts on how technology may contribute to eradicating global poverty.

I am by no means the most qualified person on this subject, but I do strongly believe that having access to technology is a key factor in enabling people to better their positions in life and rise above poverty. Again, far from being a history major, I do know that it’s no coincidence that the evolution of technology from the Industrial Revolution and throughout the 20th century has led to decreased numbers of population below the poverty line. Areas of the world with historically limited opportunities see more skilled positions created as technology spreads. Even those jobs not directly involved with technology reap the benefits. Still, there are areas of the world, even in the U.S., where access to computers is limited or non-existent. Great programs like One Laptop Per Child are working to change that.

The importance of supporting initiatives like OLPC cannot be overstated, even more so in today’s globalized economy. Denying a child access to technology, and the wealth of information that is the Internet, are severe setbacks to their educational development and future employment potential.

The Internet is also a fundamental tool for communication, giving a voice to every person on the planet with access, something unprecedented in history until now. Even those without direct Internet access are assisted by those who do have it, with programs like FreeRice.com, a non-profit organization that donates rice to the hungry.

The almost daily advancements in technology are fascinating to watch, especially when taking into account the positive impacts on society. It won’t be surprising if the spread of technology eventually wipes out poverty on a global scale. If you would like to do your part, check out OLPC, click a few links on FreeRice, support any of the other supporting organizations that can be found here, or check these suggestions on the Blog Action Day website.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for writing about Blog Action Day — you bring out some very interesting points. Here’s a look at what we’re doing today at Christian Children’s Fund: http://ccfinthefield.blogspot.com/

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