On this page, you will find some of my writings (scientific, philosophic or poetic) registering my journey on the field and through science. 

January 24th 2024

Will the Metaverse reach vulnerable and marginalized societies like Meta did?

In the past few years, I have been working with digital technology appropriation and development in the #GlobalSouth, paying careful attention to tensions that emerge between micro level economies and cultures in the boundary with Big Tech organizations and global market trends. Along my journey, my attention has been drawn to a myriad of questions such as: (1) how does online disinformation impact digital media independent entrepreneurs in #Cameroon? (2) how does digital device usage plays a role in #Amazonian remote communities? (3) what is the key impact from media and information literacy for young #Nigerian artists to secure international funding? (4) how can #Senegalese youth build an African AI? … and the list goes on… which means that I have been traveling a lot for the past 10 years - maybe I am what they call a Globe Trotter…

Interestingly enough, in all these countries, I have to find my way in - buy a SIM card, find a house, and understand how these many environments that welcome me work. In this process, a few trends emerge, and among them - one is unanimous: as soon as I turn on my phone with a local SIM card, Meta tells me, “Good news, you don’t have to use your bandwidth to access WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, we offer it free of charge with your phone plan.” So I decided to do a test and get different phone companies with different plans and countries, and to ALL OF THEM, Meta offers me its apps free of charge, breaking the principle of Internet Network Neutrality. Now I ask, what is the hidden agenda there!? And the first one that comes to my mind is Data Extractivism at a large scale, deliberately targeting marginalized societies.

We should pay more attention to this. To systems that are focusing on the construction of colossal data bases with vulnerable citizens’ data and even sensitive information. And most importantly, how can we respond to this? 

January 10th 2024

The Baobab 

Happy 2024, everyone! 🎊

From my side of the world, the winter is theoretically here, but in reality, it is warm, dry, and desertic. #Holidays happen only for a few humans in Africa, those who can spare a day or two from the arduous working days. Nevertheless, when looking into people’s eyes, they offer kindness and a smile, commodities that are not in shortage here.

In #Africa 🌍 , we must learn to find inspiration in the most minor things during our journey. Recently, I found true inspiration in observing Baobabs, the trees of life. The #Baobab 🌳 has massive trunks; one can spot them from very far away. However, their trunks are hollow, allowing sometimes up to thirty people to go inside.

And why the three of life?

1. It #feeds us. The Baobab fruit [in French called Pain de Singe or in Wolof Bouye] is highly nutritious, offering a number of vitamins, protein, and carbohydrates. When you break the Baobab fruit [hard like a coconut], its interior is like a powder that can be conserved for many weeks at many temperatures. Plus, it is delicious, sweet, and sour at the same time.

2. It #hydrates us. Inside the fresh hollow trunk, there are water streams, which locals [especially in desertic areas on the border with Mali and Mauritania] use to collect water as it is a safe source [also rare in Senegal].

3. It #protects us. As a hollow trunk, you can go inside a Baobab through a hole in the bottom, and in times of civil unrest and colonization, entire villages would leave their houses and shelter inside the trees. This technique has saved millions of lives for centuries.

4. It #blesses us. For animist cultures, the Baobab trunks are burial devices in which communities would mummify deceased bodies, put them inside the trunk, and make days of celebrations around the tree to guide the soul to the next step of light. They say that “the Baobab is so tall that it can touch the sky.” This activity was forbidden in 1960, and today [in the inability to use the trunk as a burial device], they hold funerals in the shadows of the tree.

5. It #cures us. The Baobab leaves, and wood makes powerful medicines against flu, food poisoning, and malaria. Known to be a powerful medicine, it hosts much more healing than the Western culture can grasp.

In challenging times, I hope you all may also be able to find your Baobabs to encounter #inspiration.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

December 20th 2023

Digital gap and inclusion in Senegalese countryside

I present you the #iPhone17

These last few days, I had the chance to visit the region of Sine Saloum in the South of Senegal 🇸🇳 , at the border with Gambia 🇬🇲. In the middle of the Saloum River, there is an island called Mar Lodj. When arriving in Mar Lodj, first by boat and then by horseback riding, the local guide told us that they had the #iPhone17 to show us.

Intrigued, we ventured into the village, where the central square, shared by a Mosque 🕌 and a Catholic church ⛪️, revealed a hut with a tamper inside—unveiling the #iPhone17. The guide elucidated that this unique device, crafted from Cedro and Baobab fibers, serves as an effective, loud, and precise means of communication. Decoded messages are played when communicating with neighboring villages, surpassing the need for multiple messages as required by conventional phones.

When I inquired about the choice of the term "iPhone" and not another phone or device, the guide responded, "Because, today, we communicate precise, real-time information through phones with internet access. The #iPhone symbolizes something everyone desires but cannot possess. And this tamper is a communal asset —a powerful instrument of persuasion capable of conveying messages comprehensively. No individual can own it, Mar Lodj owns it.”

Amazing that the newest iPhone would be #African and something that no one can never have as an individual.





November 15th 2023

Language learning and mathematics

I am a devoted fan of Duolingo. Over the past two years, I've diligently used the app, maintaining an impressive (in my opinion) 912-day streak (and counting).

My dedication stems from a genuine passion for languages. I fluently speak Portuguese 🇧🇷, English 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, Italian 🇮🇹, French 🇫🇷, and Spanish 🇦🇷, and I'm currently in the process of learning German 🇩🇪, Swahili 🇹🇿, and Sateré-Mawé 🇧🇷. This journey is not just about my love for languages but also my affinity for logical thinking 💡 .

I've always believed that Duolingo's approach to learning is incredibly logic-oriented; it goes beyond just grammar. And recent developments have only validated my perception. Duolingo has ventured into the realm of mathematics with its new course, humorously proclaiming, "Duolingo's Math course makes learning easy as pi(e)." So, alongside language acquisition, you can now sharpen your math and algorithmic skills. But how do these two seemingly disparate fields relate? The connection is profound.

At its core, language learning is an exercise in grasping narrative logic. It entails memorizing grammar and vocabulary (a task that German, in particular, has proven to be a formidable challenge), but it goes further. It's about comprehending how different cultures and ethnicities think and express themselves. It unveils unique ways of storytelling, conveying facts, and honing the art of rhetoric and argumentation. This intricate interplay between language and culture bears a remarkable resemblance to mathematical learning.

In fact, my father, a mathematician and computational scientist, has often stressed that in the early stages of learning, the majority of human skills can be enriched through a combination of math and language acquisition. He might just be right about it.

What are your thoughts on this? I'm curious to know about your Duolingo day-streak as well!

October 25th 2023

Reflections for future research

Today marks my official departure from the #Amazon #Rainforest 🌳, and it may be some time before I can return to this enchanting land, brimming with mysteries and challenges. As I leave, my heart is filled with #joy, my mind with #ideas, and one unwavering certainty 💡: this is just a small step toward greater undertakings. We, as the international community, must turn our attention to rural villages, native territories, and the #Amazonida #youth. We must (i) heed their calls, (ii) embrace their ingenious ideas, (iii) learn with them and (iv) amplify their voices to drive meaningful change. Several insights spring to mind:

1️⃣ #Challenge the colonialist perspective. As outsiders in the #Amazon, our primary duty is to learn, unlearn, and relearn the wisdom and practices of the local people before we impose our own viewpoints, even when well-intentioned.

2️⃣ Embrace, acknowledge, and support local authors and their #knowledge. Many #Ribeirinha and #Indigenous communities have eloquent spokespersons and dedicated scientists. Our mission is to discover them, absorb their wisdom, and when we invite speakers, prioritize them.

3️⃣ Cultivate #attentive #listening and active participation: This is self-evident, but we must be wholly and profoundly engaged with those we interact with. These communities not only face challenges but also hold the keys to their solutions. Let's acknowledge and appreciate that.

4️⃣ Foster #local #institutions rooted in the region: A significant portion of the research conducted in the Amazon is not sponsored or executed by the Amazonida people or their institutions. When we fund projects, programs, and research, let's prioritize local involvement.

5️⃣ Give due consideration and prominence to #women and #girls: Frequently, women may not hold formal leadership roles, but they consistently possess insights into what the community needs and how to thrive, even in adversity.

6️⃣ Make an effort to communicate in non-dominant #languages. While Brazil predominantly speaks Portuguese due to its historical colonization by Portugal, the country is home to 274 native and indigenous dialects that continue to exist and deserve our support.

7️⃣ Recognize the river's significance: We, the international community, must wholeheartedly acknowledge that the #river is the linchpin of #Amazonida lives, and that water management is a fundamental skill. 

8️⃣ Prioritize #cooperation over #competition. In the realm of science, we often tend to compete rather than collaborate. This is a grave error. Each one of us holds value, and together, we can be indispensable and unassailable.

9️⃣ #Value #diversity. When you look at the trees in the forest (photo 📸) or observe native assemblages, it is possible to realize how beautiful and rich diversity is, and how much it can help us grow. 

These nine insights are just the #beginning. Let's join forces and co-design a brighter #future where everyone can #thrive.

October 12th 2023

Rivers: the common denominator of Amazonian life

I'm in Manaus, the capital of the Amazon Federal State in Brazil 🇧🇷, preparing to depart for my next field expedition 🎥🎒. It has been pouring rain for the past hours, and the city has descended into chaos with flooded streets, car accidents, and power outages. However, this rain is a welcome relief after more than 20 days of drought, which has taken a toll on the citizens and the rivers 🌊. The water levels are critically low, contaminated, and the fish 🐠 are dead or contaminated as well, making it impossible for communities to rely on the river as they have for centuries. And to apply their traditional knowledge practices, for example, looking for Vitória-Régia plants (photo 📸) to identify locations with clean and clear water. 

Today, while in Manaus, I had conversations through Chat Message Apps with many of the people I've been in touch with over the past few months, and they are filled with hope with this heavy and chaotic rain ☔️ . Since the end of August, I've been traveling to communities along the Amazonian rivers, and among their diverse demands, requirements, concerns, and solutions, there's one common thread that unites them, whether they are indigenous or ribeirinha assemblages: the river, the water, and the fear of a future without this lifeline.

In fact, many of the materials from indigenous ethnicities like the Sateré-Mawé and Baré, despite my inability and iliteracy to understand their languages, emphasize the importance of knowledge connected to specific river branches. This is a profound connection that we, in Western society 🌎, often struggle to comprehend. It may be the root of our misunderstanding regarding the true priorities for these communities.

After extensive travels and interactions, I'm beginning to grasp the real struggles and concerns of these communities: if the rivers disappear, these people will vanish with them. So, the conclusion is clear; whether it's education, prosperity, the future, science, literacy, technology, entrepreneurship, or heritage preservation in the Amazon Rainforest, they all share a common denominator: the river 🌊.

Realizing this, I now feel somewhat obtuse; it was right in front of me all along, but my Western perspective blinded me to it. I feel now finally able to see 👀. These months of fieldwork and ethnography have taught me more than my entire life. The clash of different worldviews enriches us, and I invite fellow scientists, colleagues, and friends to embrace this experience. It's challenging, painful, and uncomfortable, but it's absolutely worth it.

October 1st 2023

Field reflections

After spending a month in the field 🎥, immersed among #Indigenousand #Ribeirinha Assemblages in the #Amazon #Rainforest 🌳🛶, we've already gained profound insights 💭. And we are ready for more. 

💬 We've learned that #native #communities are eager to preserve language and cultural heritage and foster them to young generations. 📚

💬 We've come to realize our heavy reliance on the #internet, and the immense challenges it poses when a reliable #connection or #electricity is absent. 🛜

💬 We've observed how digital apps impact the intricate micro-economies of #remote #villages. 📲

💬 We’ve learned that despite the arduous journey to #school, the children and youth display remarkable resilience and dedication to their education. 📓🛶

💬 We were touched by how people exhibit genuine concern for the #quality of #water and #rivers due to #deforestation and #climate#change. 🌊

Now, it's time for action 🎬. We are still in the field and, so far, we've held numerous meetings, collaborating closely with the communities we now deeply cherish. The photo captures one such meeting on our river boat during a nine-hour #voyage ⛴️. We've brainstormed and aligned our goals, forging a path to co-create and co-design meaningful solutions. Thank you for the partnership and friendship Paula Helm, Roanne van Voorst, Ph.D., Adriano Clayton da Silva, @Josias Sateré, @Freyzer Oliveira e @Marina Magalhaes. I really appreciate having you on my side in this journey. I learn more and more from you every day.

September 26th 2023

River expeditions

On the road again… or better saying: on the river again 🛶😅 

After intense and work-full days in the indigenous ground Sateré-Mawé, we now depart towards Valeria, a #Ribeirinha (“By the Water”) community by the #Amazonas River. We will learn with local people about their nomadic and extrativist history and how does digitalization plays a role in their prosperity and future assessments. Can #Amazonian assemblages teach us a more sustainable way to interact with technology? How do #Ribeirinhos see #digital #transformationand data literacy? Come with us to find out!

We are honored with all the welcome and support we have received so far! A heartfull thank you to all humans involved in this life changing research. 

Also special thank you to Paula Helm, Roanne van Voorst, Ph.D., Adriano Clayton da Silva and Marina Magalhaes. I am so grateful to share all of this with you!

September 20th 2023

Fieldwork is more than scientific production: is an experience of true connection

What do negotiations over boat prices ⛴ and diesel fuel have to do with scientific research? Well, everything if you're ready for fieldwork! 😜

This week marks a significant milestone in our research as we embark on a journey to indigenous settlements and assemblages along the Andirá River in the heart of the Amazon 🌳.

After weeks of meticulous planning, we are poised to delve deeper into the study of #digital #appropriation, this time from the vantage point of marginalized communities within the #Amazon #Rainforest. In this phase, we aim to glean insights into how indigenous wisdom can illuminate a path toward a more sustainable digital transformation and responsible tech consumption in Western societies. We anticipate spending several days with the Sataré-Mawé people, learning about their practices, and gaining a greater understanding of ourselves in the process.

It promises to be an exhilarating adventure 🎒, and I can hardly contain my excitement to share the discoveries and experiences with you upon our return (expect photos 📸). A heartfelt shout-out to Professors Adriano da Silva and @Marina Magalhães de Morais, representing the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, and to @Josias Ferreira de Souza, the indigenous leader from the Ponta Alegre settlement, for their invaluable support. I'd also like to express my gratitude to Paula Helmand Roanne van Voorst, Ph.D., for joining me on this scientific odyssey 🎒🔬, and to the University of Amsterdam for making this project a reality.

August 28th 2023

Life is an ongoing metamorphosis; you must either adapt or risk falling behind. 🦋 

Today, I find myself in the midst of yet another transformation - not just personally, but professionally 📑 and… in terms of my address. 📬 🌳 

After years of teaching at the university 🏫 and spearheading projects in the third sector, I've embarked on a profound journey, deep diving into science 🔭 . It's a humbling experience to have been selected by European governmental grants and esteemed institutions to lead a life-altering research project I have been designing for the past years. This project is part of the "Prosperity Framework for Digital Local Protagonism and Education," which seeks to explore the intricate connections between #digital #transformation and #appropriationacross #individual and #cultural #diversity, to ultimately co-drive and co-design tech decolonization strategies across the globe.

This undertaking will comprise numerous phases, and today marks my initial destination: the heart of the #AmazonRainforest, in #Parintins. I'll keep you updated on my upcoming stops worldwide. I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the scientific and excellence-driven institutions that have joined me on this extraordinary journey and the governmental fundings that recognized the potential in what once appeared to be a crazy idea but has now evolved into a groundbreaking and innovative endeavor [#eureka]. 

Special thanks to University of AmsterdamDAAD German Academic Exchange Service, University of Tuebingen, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, among others, whom I will acknowledge further with the development of my research.

For further information, follow my page here and my website. I'll keep a detailed travel diary there, too [].

Ready? Let's go! 🎉 

April 30th 2023

Publishing a book is a huge personal milestone!

There is a saying in Portuguese: "Everyone should at least plant one tree and write one book in life." Now I can officially say that I have done both. 

In the last few days, the printed copy of my book published by the University of Tuebingen finally arrived. We who work in Academia always see our publications on the screen, in journals. But it feels different once you have it on paper in your hands. It feels real. It feels concrete to pick up your own book on your personal library shelf. 

My book, "Abstraction Clusters to Understand Digital Development: introducing the SETA model," is based on my Ph.D. thesis, integrating some of my recent work to comprehend educational technology innovation and application in developing countries. Here I present the "Social Technical Model for Educational Technology Application" (SETA model) for the first time. And why is there the Greek goddess Artemis on the cover? Well, you'll have to read and see!

I am truly grateful for all the support of the University of Tuebingen, USP - Universidade de São Paulo, UCL, and Sapienza Università di Roma. Also, to the people in my life who made this possible. 

Soon, the book will be available on Amazon, and when it is, I'll let you know. For now, time to celebrate Christmas a bit earlier around here. 

Cheers everybody!

August 25th 2020

"Amazônia Contra o Covid-19" Campaing

Today our chapter from HILA Alliance (GAPMIL UNESCO) in Latin America completes 50 days of “Amazonia Contra o COVID” campaign. We have offered food, information and hygiene kits distribution and provision for over 1000 families that live in the Amazonian region in Brazil. 

In such uncertain times, with so many things falling apart and the pandemic still on its course, it is nice to see that something good is still happening. I feel so grateful to be part of managing this campaign with the Federal University of Amazon, specially with Prof. Dr Thiago Franco and Prof. Dr. Sueyla Rodrigues.

Many thanks to all people who donated to the campaign and made this dream possible. Also to those who worked as volunteers and brought hope to many generations to come.

When we do research in academia we always wonder - how can we share our knowledge with those who has no access whatsoever with the academic environment? This is an example of how you can do it. 

Together we can do more! We are the change. 

#sdg17 #techethics #unescoyouth #informatioliteracy #youth#educationservices #milsmart  #ecology