By Santiago Martínez
The Internet has become an equalizing tool in many respects all across the globe. One of the big effects it has had is that ordinary people with great ideas have a platform to communicate in a relatively easy manner. You don’t need a big budget, nor a studio production, in order to build a programme. You just need a smartphone with recording capability and a computer to upload it to.
The social enterprise sector has taken advantage of this as new voices with projects, tips, interviews, blog posts and analyses have risen to give a sense of what the landscape looks like. As with every social movement, social entrepreneurship rides the wave of new ideas coupled with a revolutionary technology, like the Internet, and Latin America has hopped on as well. New podcasts, blogs and YouTube channels have been popping up from Latin America, as Spanish is the second largest language spoken globally, and thus has given the opportunity to connect all these potential listeners.
Here are 5 digital media platforms that give a voice to this new movement in Latin America.
Kunan TV (Peru)
Kunan is a media platform that has 3 lines of action: serve as social enterprise incubator, connect social entrepreneurs through social media, and inspire through communication. Kunan TV is the result of the latter. While it is relatively recent and has only 5 episodes under its belt right now, it gives an in-depth look at projects that are changing the social landscape of Peru.
Maud Gurundian, the host of the show, goes and visits a specific project, whether it’s saving manatees in the Amazonian jungle or teaching entrepreneurial skills to poor communities, and interviews them while watching them in action. Furthermore, they give tips after every show of how to help the particular project. Kunan TV has a great production design, which makes it very accessible as a communication platform. Click this link if you want to subscribe in YouTube.
Disruptivo started as a podcast conducted by Juan del Cerro in which he interviews entrepreneurs with a social impact. During his 73 programs, he has interviewed people from all over Latin America, especially Mexico, that address all kinds of issues, whether it is education, women’s empowerment, poverty, etc. His clear manner of speaking, as simple and as inviting as possible, makes it very accessible for not only social entrepreneurs, but the general public as well.
However, after growing its audience and vision, Disruptivo became a whole media platform called Disruptivo.tv. On this website they publish videos, blog posts, event invitations and news alongside the podcasts. As an objective, Disruptivo.tv seems to become a central digital media platform for the Mexican social entrepreneurship landscape.
EmprendeSocial (Latin America)
Founded in 2011 by Andrea Maria Cornejo, EmprendeSocial is the first publication dedicated exclusively to social entrepreneurship efforts across Latin America. The main objective of the publication is to create a community and culture that revolves around social entrepreneurship as it begins to gain ground around the region. It thought of as a journalistic effort to bring to light efforts, conferences, workshops, events and other stories.
The organization is comprised of an international team that comes from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and the United States. Their writing style evokes simple, yet highly informative, snippets that revolve around what is going on the social entrepreneurial landscape. They often promote interesting conferences and events, or giving a detailed profile of some projects that have had high impact.
While the content might take a while sometimes to get out, a similar website called Pulso Social with a more tech/entrepreneurial focus, has a more persistent publishing schedule and has an English version. Click here to see it.
Nexso (Latin America)
Nexso is more than just a communication platform, but literally a place of connection. First and foremost, the website is dedicated to people in the medium that are looking to other stories and solutions for inspiration. Its objective is to create a vibrant community of entrepreneurs through the free market of ideas that the Internet provides. Nexso does this through three strategies: providing challenges, having a catalogue of solutions and a blog space.
The latter two are the ones that are part of this movement of social entrepreneurial communication. In the catalogue of solutions, thousands of inspiring efforts that have been done in the past at a local or regional level. There you can find solutions such as generating digital content for kids using local cultural identity, or using bio-digestive technology to transform waste into fertilizer.
The blog takes exceptional stories of these solutions and projects and gives them a voice through a writer in the community. They also provide information about news and events that are happening in Latin America and Spain.
Ashoka México, Central America & the Caribbean
While this is not an alternative media source, per se, but the YouTube channel of the Ashoka chapter in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the content of this channel is consistent and diverse. It provides users with insightful interviews, helpful tips, discussions on social problems, talks, enterprise profiles, etc.
The strength of this YouTube channel is how it provides a landscaped view of the Ashoka community in the region. As part of digital media platform, it is a great way to know the medium, to connect with other Ashoka fellows, and to understand some issues that are crucial to tackle. Also, it is accessible enough so newcomers can understand the basic concepts of social entrepreneurship and be inspired by some projects.
Social enterprises are often credited with being the gears towards social impact; however, digital media has an important role to fulfil. Through communication and inspiration, social media has the possibility to instil ideas, something so powerful that can bring about action.