Collaborating with Cibervoluntarios in a tech volunteer programme

Joan Llop News&References

BBVA AI Factory has collaborated with Fundación Cibervoluntarios in a volunteer programme that has trained 55 people in digital skills. The initiative is part of BBVA AI Factory’s CSR strategy. 

Remote meetings have now become a fundamental part of our daily work routine, allowing us to synchronise tasks and maintain contact between different team members. However, in the last few months, we have also participated in some slightly different sessions. On the other side of the screen of one of these sessions, young people from the municipality of Laviana (Asturias) connected their cameras and headphones ready to learn a little more about how to deal with the management of procedures in e-Government. In short, to learn a little more about how to use technology in different areas of our daily lives.

At BBVA AI Factory we believe in the transformative power of technology, both in its role in building a fairer society and bringing opportunities to all, and in its potential to address the challenges of sustainable development. But to follow this path, it is essential to make technology a feasible tool for everyone, whatever their situation and context.

In this sense, and within the framework of the development of our responsibility as a company, a few months ago we decided to collaborate with Cibervoluntarios, an international Spanish NGO whose objective is none other than to promote the use and knowledge of technology as a means to alleviate social gaps, generate social innovation and empowerment in citizens, favour their rights and enhance their opportunities. Without a doubt, it was a match at first sight.

From April until now, we have participated in five online training and capacity building activities in different areas, such as security in social networks, prevention of fraud and scams on the internet, or promotion of digital skills for employment, among others. Our modest role in these sessions consists of offering part of our time and knowledge to people in a situation of digital exclusion.

But the learning is mutual, as the BBVA AI Factory colleagues who have participated in the talks have also learned to convey ideas and concepts clearly and to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes in order to communicate effectively. We have to understand that our reality regarding technology is not the same as that of many other people, and we are aware of the need to make it accessible so that our work has a greater impact on society.

A moment during one of volunteer sessions

According to Roberto Maestre, program manager and senior data scientist at BBVA AI Factory, “participating in these sessions has allowed me to learn about society’s basic demands on technology and to convey concepts that can help reduce the digital gap, while at the same time I have been able to interact with my colleagues in a different context, delving into the more human aspect of relationships”. “I think that those of us who work in this field have a very important job to do in terms of disseminating information about the usefulness and risks of technology. In the end, the important thing is that we can all get the best out of it,” adds María Hernández, senior data scientist at BBVA AI Factory.

With the session held with the young people of Laviana we end this collaboration project with Cibervoluntarios. It has undoubtedly been a very positive experience for those of us who are part of BBVA AI Factory, and we hope it has also been useful for all the people who have participated in the talks throughout these months.