MobileActive08 interview: Matthias Wevelsiep (Plan Finland)

This week’s video from our MobileActive08 interview series features Matthias Wevelsiep, who is originally from Germany, but currently works as Senior Program Manager for Human Rights and ICT at Plan Finland. Plan Finland is an NGO that has projects in Africa, Asia and the Americas, where they work together with children, families, communities, and local organizations to develop programs at grassroots levels in fields such as health and education.

In the interview below (this week in German), Matthias talks about the impacts of digital technologies on social movements. He raises the interesting question whether the focus of such research is on digital social movements or on social movements who also employ digital channels. “I believe that that the social movement will totally naturally use digital channels more and more,” says Matthias and gives some examples, where Plan Finland was involved, such as the African Movement of Working Children and Youth. They operate in different countries and adapting digital communication and organization channels from country to country represents a big challenge.

Matthias concludes that the introduction of new technologies is not necessarily important, but that development rather happens on a different level, since existing technologies are often used in other ways than imagined or intended. – “People like to say, ‘well if it doesn’t work in Finland, why should it work anywhere else?’ but if you look closer, you would be surprised to see how well and economically things actually work, just in slightly different ways,” he says.

This is the 18th interview from our MobileActive08 video podcast series, shot at the conference in Johannesburg (organized by MobileActive and sangonet).

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MobileActive08 interview: Matthias Wevelsiep (Plan Finland)
was published on 23.03.2009 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under sub saharan africa
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