Although most discourse today centers around the lack of resources or the rate at which resources are being depleted, it often overlooks one of the most important, and one of the fastest growing resources in the world: knowledge.
Today there are hundreds of millions of educational institutions across the globe, serving students of all demographics and ages. But schools are not the only providers of information. The internet can fulfill this role as well.
In August 2013, founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg recognized this vision and released plans to bring affordable Internet to everyone around the globe, claiming that “connectivity is a human right”. Known as Internet.org, this initiative is a nonprofit organization that is composed of a partnership between Facebook, mobile phone companies (such as Samsung and Microsoft), other nonprofits and local communities and experts. The organization seeks to increase the efficiency and accessibility of the internet and promote new business models to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that currently do not have access to it.
Experts working on the project are collaborating on developing data-compression technologies as well as cheap, but durable and quality smartphones to make accessing and using the internet cheaper. Internet.org is also operating on the desire to increase the rate of internet adoption (which in 2013 was approximately 9 percent), hoping that increased adoption will facilitate the integration of developing countries and those previously living without access to the internet into the global knowledge economy.
Thus far, the Internet.org endeavor has launched in countries such as Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Colombia and most recently Ghana, and plans are underway for countries such as Indonesia to join in.
To learn more about Internet.org please click here.