Critical thinking at the bottom of the pyramid

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Can information and communication technologies (ICT) foster critical and entrepreneurial thinking at the bottom of the pyramid? This was one of the key themes that emerged from the GK3 conference last month.

Take for example the One Laptop for Child initiative. Interestingly, the debate did not center around the long-term sustainability of the project, but whether it can help move education systems in emerging markets away from the hierarchical, rule-memorizing approach.

Once you start seeing users of ICT in developing countries as creative contributors, a whole new world of opportunities emerges. Backed by InfoDev, the Equinox project allows teachers, trainers and companies in emerging markets to build and share e-learning curricula.

The Locus Project aims at "making the production of computer games as easy as blogs." It would allow Indigenous communities to produce game-based animations to document their oral history, and – should they decide to do so – generate new revenue streams from the content they produce.

Promoting entrepreneurial thinking is an obvious extension of the ICT. The ILO's Know about Business program and the Walmart and Microsoft-backed Omar Dengo Foundation are two different examples of the type of partnerships that ICT projects can generate to bridge the gap between education and employment at the bottom of the pyramid.

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