This year's Global Voices Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, provided the perfect opportunity to do video interviews with the blogging community in attendance. Software developer, cyberactivist and Global Voices collaborator Chris Moya was one such interview.
Chris is equal parts innovator, software developer, musician, citizens empowerment activist and co-founder of the website spainrevolution.com [es] – precisely the project we discuss in the following video:
Recently Cibervoluntarios and Empodera.org [es] published an e-book entitled Redvolution: el poder del ciudadano conectado [Internetvolution: The Power of the Connected Citizen] (PDF in Spanish). Chris was asked to contribute to the project, and based on what he wrote we learn the following about the internet and the value of information:
Information can be found on the internet immediately, as it is occurring, now there is no need to wait for traditional means of writing, editing, censuring and publishing. Those who own the information will continue to have power, but this has changed, now we hold the information while they are the same: those that desire to control information, those that offered it to us on a platter.
They first handed us the tools thinking that they would still be able to control how a citizen used that tool, and immediately thereafter the first netocracies popped up; networks defined by their horizontal structure, lack of defined leadership or hierarchy, no longer limited to only those you know or restricted to any particular group, but with a new idea of society, one adapted to the time in which we live. Once you cross that tipping point, there's no going back.
Chris believes that it is in the internet and through cyber empowerment and networking, where unjust governments can be confronted:
At any moment, while sitting at your desk in your bedroom you have options. You could contact the “Department of Citizens’ Affairs,” something you know will not work. Or you can join communities of social activists that are advocating for decisions on global issues. You could also write a blog post detailing your point of view and then someone sends the post to one of those sites that distributes news and overnight you have seven million hits, perhaps garnering attention from the President Secretary who, after dying from embarrassment from the poor social image he now has and the number of votes that are slipping away, decides to rethink his methods.
The other option you have is to share your ideas on social networking sites, discovering thousands of people think as you do, and in a moment getting those same thousands of people to take to the streets in protest.
You close your computer and think: today I feel like more of a citizen than ever.
Chris offers details about some tools for today's activists:
cyberactivism, social innovation, social technologies, networks, empowerment projects, citizen participation, internet transparency, open government, crowdfunding, free discourse on the internet…
All of these and many more are the tools every activist has in his toolbelt. These actions, movements, ways of thinking, processes of building the internet, manners of sharing information and culture, are lines of thought for a twenty-first century citizen.
Chris talks about these digital tools in the following video:
In a final moment of reflection, Chris shared:
In a world that revolves around the drive for money, which promotes individuality, the selling of ideas, the selling of nearly anything, people are turning up, and not just a few people but thousands that believe in proposing, sharing, organizing, and developing ideas with a singular objective: putting the common good above the benefit of the self.
This is as paradigm shift as exceptional as the model of industrialization.
As this idea matures, the virtual frontiers of the internet will transcend into the daily life of civil society, in each one of us and each of you and another world will be altogether possible.
Finally, it is worth noting the other projects on which Chris is currently collaborating: Apps4Good (an initiative with Dale Zak of Canada), with artists like Jordi Abello, developing banking apps for cell phones and supporting journalists like Lali Sandiumenge on projects such as MésCafèambllet [es] (find out more about it here).
Other related posts:
The second video was subtitled in english by solana.larsen