Zuckerberg Provides Opportunity for Potential ConnectorsAndi DeFonce |
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the launch of Internet.Org Free Basics in Mexico. The one-half of the population there who are unconnected will have free access on the Virgin Mobile network to Internet services: education, health, jobs and communication.
Back in September, at a United Nations Forum, Mark Zuckerberg exemplified the Connecting piece that the Internet provides, exclaiming:
Research shows that about one person gets lifted out of poverty for every 10 people who get access to the internet. By connecting more people in developing countries, we have an opportunity to create more than 140 million new jobs, lift 160 million people out of poverty, and give more than 600 million children access to affordable learning tools.
This is significant because Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.Org Free Basics initiative is giving individuals the opportunity to become Connectors. In the Connectors Project, Global Insights defines Connectors as the players who provide access to the elements of economic inclusion: capital, knowledge and employment.
In order to journey along the spectrum to prosperity, it’s necessary to remove, or avoid, the barriers, and for that you need a Connector. Internet.Org is providing people who were once unable to access the internet in several developing countries the opportunity to be connected and have access to capabilities that were once not possible.
The Connectors are: The Mentor, The Migrator, The Role Model and The Business Influencer. It is important to note that The Connectors, because they are archetypes, rather than individuals, and because they can be assumed on the part of anybody with access to capital, knowledge and employment, are scalable as Public Private Partnerships (P3s) seek to attain points of contact in individual markets.
The Connectors Project provides a framework for NGOs, financial, intuitions, governments and private companies seeking to uncover and provide smooth pathways to inclusion in the developing world. In order to leverage “Connectors” the Insights team provides (5) recommendations:
1. Promote education and training programs that are linked to job opportunities With the internet, Mexicans now have the opportunity to connect with others in their network or surrounding networks to find or promote jobs, and have the opportunity to take online classes.
2. Establish incentives and social support for women to participate in education. The access to internet affords women the opportunity to join online social groups to support each other and stay connected in farther geographic regions.
3. Build trust with women who are financial managers and role models in the community. Financial managers and role models in the community have the opportunity to promote and market initiatives, while sharing their values on the internet so others know who they are and what their contributions to stewardship.
4. Offer simplified banking products that include both saving and payment functions as an entry point to financial services. Mexicans have the opportunity to bank Online and learn about products and services that they might not have known about or have the opportunity without internet to keep up with.
5. Build trust with financial literacy. The Internet can provide Mexicans whom once had no access to the internet the opportunity to research and educate themselves on the payments system.