The importance of technology and innovation became clearer with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Far from each other in the physical sense, the connection, at least in the virtual sense, was more than important regarding that context. During Digital Trustbuilding Week, Sanja Stojković from the New Social Initiative and Blerta Thaçi from Open Data Kosovo spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of technology and innovation, their importance.
Technology at the time of the pandemic
“It was during the pandemic that it was proven that technology and access to real-time information and good information were very important for all of us, especially when it comes to the health and well-being of our loved ones“, Thaçi said.
She adds that she is aware that technology has certain disadvantages in normal circumstances, and not always the good side in “human aspect and interaction”, but on the other hand, if it is used for innovative, creative purposes and educational purposes, its importance is more than visible.
The most difficult and most challenging part in this period was for young people, she points out.
“Especially for those of much earlier years who did not have access to information. Their parents did not have information on how to care for and educate their children during the pandemic,” said Blerta Thaçi.
The importance of technology is also visible in terms of institutions – said Thaçi.
“As ODK, we promote digitalization in terms of access to information for institutions, because it is very important that all decisions, conclusions and recommendations are based on data,” she explained, adding that changing the political situation and confidence in good governance is possible by increasing access. data, information that facilitates the understanding of certain processes.
“I would agree, because only last year we realized in these new circumstances how much innovation and technology mean, because everything was moved to the online space and that was the only way to implement activities,” Stojković added.
The importance of technology
“In that sense, innovative technology has played an important and large role in keeping the world afloat. The Internet, with all its shortcomings that are now most visible, such as spreading various theories and misinformation, has had an impact on informing the population around the world,” said Stojkovic further.
He points out that thanks to the internet, technology and innovations, it was easier to communicate, exchange opinions and experiences during the pandemic.
In the example of the importance of the availability of information, Thaçi spoke about young people and their decision about their future profession. While young people used to focus on consultations with friends and family members in preparation for college, today, thanks to access to information, the process is both easier and more detailed.
“Two years ago, we worked in that direction, offering a digital solution that collected information that points to that gap, that is, the space that students can prepare at universities that offer courses in programming, or computer science, in Pristina or Kosovo. We then analyzed that there is a very large space where this could be improved to meet the requirements compared to the requirements of private companies that could potentially employ these young people, ”she said, referring to thefutureworkplace.org platform.
Stojkovic explained that as far as Serb communities in Kosovo are concerned, the demand for certain technology and innovation profiles is met through non-formal education.
“Because student programs at the Technical Faculty in northern Kosovo do not currently offer a program where they can prepare students for the skills sought in the IT market. But this gap is filled by NGOs only through non-formal education, offering training to young people in the field of IT,” she said.
Technology and trustbuilding
As an example of good practice when it comes to innovation and technology and building trust, Thaçi cited the Kosovo Trustbuilding Platform, which she points out is specifically results-oriented.
“The KTB platform has a very positive approach in this regard, offering a space where different organizations, representing different communities, come together in one place and young people have access to information at a specific address. It presents success stories and stories that are interesting to read. And in that way, we present ourselves with the same good intention from the very beginning,” she said.
She points out that this is why intention is very important when it comes to technology:
“If the intention is good, technology will have a positive impact.”
Stojković points out that due to the progress of technology, people are certainly more connected than before, that the quality of interests is higher, but also that we should definitely pay attention to the spread of hate speech.
She also points out that young people, users of social media, and special influencers should be more careful when it comes to sharing content.
Using this text is allowed with a clear indication of the source and linking to the source of the text or the home page of the platform.