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Women in Tech 26 April 2019

Young People: Building an Internet for Everyone

Darlena Cunha
By Darlena CunhaGuest Author

Young people everywhere are building technology, mobilizing communities, and raising their voices to shape policies that create an Internet that’s truly for everyone.

That’s why we’re partnering with the not-for-profit and non-governmental organization AIESEC on a pilot project to train 500 young people on Internet-related skills in Bolivia, Nepal, Namibia, and Kenya.

It’s our hope that this project will be the start a journey that will result in even more young voices joining a community of thousands of people around the world who believe in the open Internet.

Young people like Pamela Gonzales.

At only 24 years old, Gonzales is the co-founder of Bolivia Tech Hub, an early stage incubator that serves as one of La Paz’s only support systems for the city’s tech community, helping entrepreneurs to learn, develop, and collaborate on new projects.

She’s impacting hundreds of lives, but she says it didn’t come easily.

In her first year of university, she partnered with a friend of hers, a local web developer, and together they secured funding and built something new.

“My mission was to find a place to learn the things I couldn’t learn in the university,” Gonzales said. “I found there were a lot of students who couldn’t learn a lot of tech things because we didn’t have computers with Internet.”

Today, the Hub is completely funded through sponsors. Gonzales spends a lot of time securing funding, but to get it off the ground, she says she and her co-founder had to start from scratch.

“We started doing a lot of contests and challenges, and that created a small tech group which was very creative and full of new people,” Gonzales said. Many of the participants eventually started companies and the ones not going into entrepreneurship secured jobs as developers. As time went on, Gonzales turned her attention to the country’s vast underserved communities. Bolivia Tech Hub runs Technovation for women and girls, and the Curiosity Machine Program, for families.

Community building is at the heart of Gonzales’ work.

She is also a member of the Internet Society Youth Special Interest Group (SIG Youth), a community of young people dedicated to ensuring the voices of young people are heard when it comes to decisions that impact the Internet.

These young people represent the future of the Internet and the world. They are building their dream Internet and they will help inform the policies that govern it. You could be one of them.

Help build an Internet that’s for everyone. Join SIG Youth!

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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