Freedom and the Power of Our Imagination: How Digital Innovation Can Help to End Modern Slavery
Imagination is key in converting mathematics into philosophy. Since the first ever imagined version of a “computer” in the 19th century, it took Ada Lovelace’s poetic inheritance to envision Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine and Analytical Machine as more than mere calculus instruments. She detected infinite possibilities of data control, where numbers became information. That was the first vision of what “hardware” could accomplish with “software”, if you will. Certainly something way ahead of its time, but just a snap away evolution-wise.
Nearly two centuries apart, and now with a myriad of digital applications within reach, we have more autonomy than ever, influencing the very way we live as a global society. We have never had so much power of choice. What we study, what we eat, how we invest our money, how we move, how we travel, how we shop; everything is being done digitally, and decisions are made by increasingly conscious minds. But what matters most in the digital revolution is that, not only are we individually assisted by these applications, but also, the level of our current connectivity encourages mass behaviour shifts and empowers social movements. “Regular Joes” like you and me have never been so close to making a change.
Progressively, we see the rise of digital projects that create awareness and drive collective social innovation. There are critical issues to be addressed, and we now have a chance to work together to address them. Human rights, climate change, world hunger, child labor, racism, corruption, are just a few of the issues at stake, and technology developers with brilliant imagination, talent, and great hearts, have been giving us novel weapons against the oppressive hand. It takes creativity to draw public attention, but once that is achieved, social impact is organic. What it takes is to inspire the transition towards change, and to present the means to do so.
Audiences are empathetic by nature, and are spontaneously inclined towards solidarity. Give people the power to make a change, and they will most certainly be inclined to participate in building the success story. @Razõesparaacreditar (Reasons to believe – in Portuguese) is an example of what storytelling and solidarity can achieve. The Brazilian Instagram profile showcases numerous human stories of those in need of support, which were successfully able to raise funds, for positive and inspiring end results. With this approach, what started as a small project, currently engages over 3 million followers, including local celebrities, in supporting individual social causes to change lives for the better. This was the case for Matheus Pires, a food courier in Valinhos, São Paulo, who was racially harassed while doing his job. @Razõesparaacreditar published a video denouncing the incident, along with a call to action to help bring dignity back to the worker. In a matter of weeks, the campaign raised around $50K CHF and even a new motorcycle for Pires. Furthermore, the awareness raised through the platform led him to be offered a new job in a renowned marketing agency. Talk about a game changer!
It is to this line of human rights advocacy, solidarity and collective change, that slavefreetrade has been making our contribution since 2018, to put an end to the evil of modern slavery. Yes, there is no one easy approach for such a complex problem. But slavefreetrade’s most recent innovation aims to provide a critical part of the solution. We are developing a revolutionary App that will empower consumers and amplify their role in the global movement against modern slavery. Through the Freedomer App, every one of us will be able to demand that brands and companies take action to improve labour conditions, and mitigate all violations of human rights in workplaces, hence making a stand to end modern slavery. Do you know who decides how a market works? That’s right, consumers. Consumers are markets’ most valuable assets. When we demand change, markets follow. It is as simple as that.
The Freedomer app is currently in the last mile of development, and we at slavefreetrade have launched a crowdfunding campaign to be able to finalise and release the app by the end of the year. You can find out more about how you can join us in being a force for change here. Do you want to see a world without slave labour? Imagine what we can achieve together. All it takes is to have the vision, just as Ada Lovelace did. With your support, each one of us can become a Freedomer, working together towards ending modern slavery and building a more sustainable world. Let’s make a world Made in Freedom happen!
This article was authored by Andre Kavalieris, Content Developer at slavefreetrade.