Empodera Live 2016, the international reference in social innovation event, has come to an end. Held last 20 and 21 September at the Echegaray Theatre Malaga, this year has focused on civic technology as an engine for social change and the role of brave and entrepreneur women, promoters of this change worldwide. Empodera Live 2016 ends with the largest audience of its history thanks to the interest created by the organizations and speakers who moved to the city of Málaga to share their experiences. Projects that use technology to improve the living conditions of thousands of people in countries like Haiti, Nepal, Palestine, Russia or Syria. If you missed it you can watch everything what happened on stage follow this link thanks to Agora News Streaming.
Science applied to social innovation had its place in the program with the participation of Letizia Jaccheri and Jacqueline Floch, women leaders in computer science for social environments in Norway. They introduced the European project Socratic, a platform to generate challenges to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. To end the first day we invited the audience onstage to share in three minutes their social innovation projects, because #empoderaLIVE also serves to bring together people with ideas and organizations and citizen collaboration is encouraged. Great initiative which showcased 10 projects with local and community focus, social projects with technology as a common denominator.
The event was opened by the Mayor of the city, Francisco de la Torre; the Councillor for Social Rights and Good Governance of the City Council, Julio Andrade and Yolanda Rueda, President of Cibervoluntarios Foundation, the organizer. Abeer Abu Ghaith, first technological and social entrepreneur woman in Palestine, opened the stage for interviews leaving us all shocked with her courage in fighting for the rights and opportunities of women in the areas occupied by Israel. Afterwards we had the pleasure to listen to Jillian C. York, activist for Freedom of expression on the Internet at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and contributor to Global Voices or media such as The New York Times. Jillian spoke with the founder of Citizen Journalism, Oscar Espiritusanto, on challenges to avoid online censorship and fight for freedom of speech and privacy online data with which large corporations is marketing.
Rufus Pollock, founder of the Open Knowledge International, aroused great interest with his defense of an open world through data and knowledge. “Every piece of public information should be open for a real social change. In a world truly open worldwide access to medicines would be free, for example” he said. Then the Russian environmental activist Yevgeniya Chirikova shocked the public with its work in protest against anti-social policies in Russia, she was forced into exile for fear of reprisals and persecution by the Russian authorities. She is well known for her activity at activatica.org.
The second day, Wednesday 21 Razan Ghazzawi, Syrian blogger, opened the day denouncing the situation of civil helplessness in which there are thousands of Syrian citizens to the indifference of the international community. She is a prominent cyberactivist for speaking out against violations of Human Rights in his country since the outbreak of the conflict that is still generating over the years millions of refugees and tens of thousands dead before the outrageous international silence.Federico Mayor Zaragoza sent the important message that peace can only be achieved when more women have access to important decision bodies. Ana Barrero, President of AIPAZ, joined us to talk about ICT for Peace Project carried out by Culture of Peace Foundation and Cibervoluntarios Foundation to promote technology as a means for a culture of peace.
Undoubtedly, the Tenth Edition of #empoderaLIVE was the year of women who, with their work, generate positive social impact on the communities they work with. This is the case of the visionary Dara Dotz, cofounder of the organization Field Ready, working in areas of Nepal and Haiti with 3D printers to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies necessities in situations of natural disaster. Unfortunately this year, Roya Mahboob could not join us live because her visa was denied at the last moment. Roya, Afghan entrepreneur, was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine and has a wonderful project in Afghanistan has taught thousands of Afghan girls to program to offer a future in technology jobs, providing opportunities for change their lives in an oppressive environment in which women’s rights are trampled on many occasions. Judith Torrea, award-winning journalist and blogger, also spoke of femicide in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, with very hard evidence on the impunity of corrupt authorities. The President of Mujeres Por Africa Foundation, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, closed this year with a great message also with the push of thousands of women needed to make a big change.
We want to thank all the individuals, organizations and contributors who made this possible. Thank you very much for being, participate and speak out. See you in Empodera Live 2017 🙂