Recently, a creative team from Eemagine development interviewed me for their publication presenting people from the digital technologies world, asking me about the current projects, motivation, and #startwithwhy story. Below is the entire interview and you can also read it on Medium.
How ICT Got Meaning in the Real-Time World
A Career Path of a Brilliant Woman in the World Wide Web
Danica Radovanovic does a lot different things; she is a digital equality advisor, an internet researcher, a consultant. One of her biggest accomplishments, though, merged all three together — a startup that will provide free access to Internet to people in Tanzania and DC Congo.
Having been one of the Internet’s early adopters in Serbia, her experience in the digital world is quite extensive. She had a newsletter in the late 90’s with over 800 members, in the early 2000’s, she was an editor of an electronic magazine, and a successful blog that exists to this day.
What was the first experience that led you to what you do today?
“I researched the communication and social practices in ICT in Serbian internet communities for my PhD thesis; how young and older people use social media and social networks in their everyday life, and for
Background: Agenda 2030
The United Nations have established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing 17 goals with a total of 169 targets. Given the ongoing development, it is obvious that development need digital inclusion, and the transformation towards digital societies.
Basis for digital societies is information for all, and the digital access. Given that roughly 4 billion people (status 2016) are not connected to the Internet, the first focus is ‘Goal 9 on sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. We see that target 9.C Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020 is directly addressed through the InfoInternet standard on free access to information for all.
My colleagues and I, at the Basic Internet Foundation, invited 9 partners for the DigI activity “Non-discriminating access for digital inclusion”, with the goal of piloting digital health in Tanzania (TZ) and the digital ecosystem in Congo (DRC). The Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are supporting this pilot.
As part of the activities, the consortium has established a pilot installation of a village hot-spot for digital health, and is now planning the Connectivity of the 4 pilot villages in TZ and the villages Kano and Palu in DRC. During the pilot, we identified the need for cost-effective infrastructures in the villages. Regarding connectivity, we have standardised on cost-effective equipment from Mikrotik and Witelcom.
However, we have seen the need for a village server and an IoT gateway. We envision student work or hackathons to establish the infrastructure for sustainable development.
We currently discuss a “village platform” as the digital hub for the remote villages. Goal of this hackathon would be to establish a low-power community server for a village of 2.000 – 10.000 people. Given the costs of communication and electricity, we envisage:
- a low-power (<50W) platform for storage of local video information
- PoE or solar-powered operation
- server for local community content
- social network platform for the village society
- cache server for network content
- low-cost server
Hackathon: IoT home platform
Goal of this hackathon or student work is to establish a low-cost IoT gateway, first of all controlling the power from the solar panel, charging of battery, and priority of attached devices. Current low-cost solar regulators have no Internet connectivity, thus remote configuration and assistance is not possible.
The goal of the implementation would include:
- a solar charge regulator for panels up to 1000 W
- communication interface, typically Ethernet or Wifi based
- controlling of produced energy, consumed energy (e.g. USB), batteri status
- interface towards IoT devices, e.g. controlling other IoT devices
Both hackathons are done in collaboration with industry (Eye Networks, Witelcom, IPXextenso), the Partners of Partners of DigI, and the University of Oslo.
Goal of this hackathon is showcasing the talents of women and girls in coding and software development, and encouraging them to become involved in the world of technology through the creation of solutions using technology. This hackathon is expected to attract women in Africa who are already in a technology-related field, and who are helping other women. The goals of this hackathon are:
- coming up with solutions affecting societal problems and women today in Africa. Solutions such as: inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG 4), including girls development, women’s health, and assisting rural women to upskill.
- one day “Digital media literacy” workshops on the following topics: 1) Bridging the gender divide on the internet, 2) How to use social media to address digital inequality, 3) education and leadership for girls and women.
- helping women and girls in science.
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An article I wrote few months ago (and was that prompt not to share it here) is about the current activities and projects at the Basic Internet Foundation I wrote earlier. We’re working on providing free access to Global Health Information in Tanzania, and education information in DR of Congo. It is published on Global Voices Community blog, where you can read it, and is currently available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
I know this is rather a bit tardy to announce (read: a dynamic period over here), however, last month I won an award for the best dissertation in 2015! I won few awards before (once for the best short story in the literature and one for the ICTs contribution at theFaculty of Engineering), and this one I didn’t expect to get. Apart from any public recognitions, I am always aware of the value of my own work, on the amount of time and energy I put into it and to get things done in the best possible manner.
To be honest, I was hoping not to get it, how silly :)?Of course, it is a great honour and I am very glad that Serbian Public Relations Association (DSOJ) and the jury recognized the relevance of my research (ICTs in education, examining the internet dynamics and digital inequalities, etc.). I want to thank to Serbian Public Relations Association and the jury of DSOJ. Here is the PhD in Serbian; sorry folks, those who want to translate it into English, please do ping me. I’m overly saturated with own manuscript.
This is a citation reference:
Radovanović, Danica. Uticaj internet zajednica na komunikaciono – društvene procese u umreženom okruženju. Doktorat, Fakultet tehničkih nauka, Univerzitet u Novom Sadu, 2015.
My personal choices and professional interests are always focused on serving and helping others, especially vulnerable groups in our society. Now, I am happy to share with you the information about a Winter camp in Uganda being organised by the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF), which is called “Christmas with Orphans”.
Following the 5th World Children’s Festival, which occurred earlier this summer at The Ellipse next to The White House in Washington D.C. and building on the success of the ICAF Summer Camp in Washington DC, the ICAF “Christmas with Orphans” Camp will take place in Uganda and will run from December 20th through Dec 30th and is being presented in collaboration with the Uganda National Museum and the Ministry of Education.
The camp provides a global educational opportunity for high school juniors, enabling them to gain an incredible, hands-on international service experience which will enhance their prospects of gaining admission to top universities and help them decide on the right career.
Register today, because no more than 20 campers will be admitted. Please share this information as well, as other parents you know may be interested.
I have wonderful news to share! You may have noticed that just last week my colleague, Bernie, posted the exciting news we just received from New Media & Society editors, that our paper has been accepted. The paper, which I collaborated on with my esteemed colleagues; Bernie Hogan, from Oxford Internet Institute, and Danijela Lalic, from Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, will be published in New Media & Society which is the #1 communication journal, as ranked by Google Scholar. We are honored and thrilled to be selected for inclusion in this extremely reputable and wide reaching publication. In the paper, we explored and presented an empirical evidence demonstrating different types of digital divides, with a focus on tensions surrounding digital literacy and collaboration, present in the higher education community in Serbia. An electronic version of the publication will be available soon. Keep an eye out for it, and let us know what you think!
An update [July 7, 2015] You can access and read the NM&S article following this link.