buenos aires is a lot. like any city, theres the good and the bad. i’ve been posted here for about 3 weeks now. i started working my second week in. i’m at a tech non-profit called Wingu Web. it’s main goal is to help other non-profits make the best use of this whole ordeal that is technology, including everything from management tips to hackathons to workshops. it’s a company that believes in the do it yourself idea, but they want you to look good while you’re doing it.
the whole company is founded in an understanding of one’s responsibility to the society, to those around you. in sum, the work done is for the benefit of the community such that everyone can use the same tools as effeciently as anyone else, if that makes sense. what i see here is the main difference between the startup world in the us and the startup world down here in argentina.
here, the majority is focused on helping the community rather than the individual. i must say, it’s a nice model. they’ve got their priorities in order because there’s a baseline expectation of making a positive societal impact. that isn’t to say that the startups in the us aren’t thinking like this, many of them are. the difference is that i don’t see a general push toward using technology to systematically progress the social and political standings of a community.
the first example that comes to my mind is a project that we’re working on now: Desarrollando América Latina (DAL – Developing Latin America). it’s a hackathon to end all hackathons. it’s an epic month long meeting of the minds. we’ve got developers, designers, scholars, students, journalists, and pretty much every other type of expert from 15 different countries coming together from all over Latin America. the goal? make an app, something live and functional that seeks to solve a social problem. that can mean anything from education to health to safety. the general idea is to hone in on finding an answer to a problem we see everyday. it starts this thursday, the 18th and ends in november. unfortunately, i won’t be here to see the final products, but i don’t really mind. all that I really care about is being part of something that is moving the world I live in in the direction I want to see it going.
i figure 2 months is a good amount of time in a city. of course, i want more time. of course, I want to see more of the city than 2 months will give me. with one month already gone, i know this second one will fly by even faster. but i figure if I can help make something like DAL happen and get to see even a part of it go down, that to me would mean this was 2 months well spent.