What’s the design in a nutshell?
Potrero Digital, meaning digital paddock in Spanish and a Diseño Responde Finalist, is a network of digital trade schools aiming to include, educate and support low-resource people over the age of 16. Starting out in Argentina in 2018, they’ve quickly scaled during the pandemic and expanded into a 100% virtual modality.
Why is it needed?
While filming the movie ‘Metegol’, Director Juan José Campanella was stunned by the lack of resources and skills within his own country to do the animations for the movie. This inspired him along with collaborators, and later on Fundación Compromiso, to launch an educational service that would teach and provide local youth with digital skills to help them secure a stable future. Targeting kids from low-income households in Buenos Aires, the first physical school opened in La Juanita in November 2018 and was followed in September 2019 by a school in Morón.
Due to Covid-19, Potrero Digital converted its courses and classes into a 100% virtual learning space. Their network guaranteed access to quality education tools for those suffering the hardest from the global pandemic. Through an incredible collaboration with municipalities, strategic partners and non-governmental organisations, they started their 2021 school year with scholarships for 2,200 students.
How does it work?
The education programme consists of differentiated courses within the digital sphere: marketing, programming, e-commerce and robotics are just some of them. But the school not only seeks to teach its students valuable technical skills and knowledge but also lower inequalities within their country through technology inclusion. For this reason, there are two pillars to the solution: training in itself and follow-ups, so teachers can stay in touch with their students' learning and social situation.
After graduation, the students aren’t left to their own devices either. Through the Compromiso Digital initiative, alumni receive guidance and support to further their careers, enter their first jobs and even consolidate their own businesses.
"Potrero Digital has welcomed 3090 participants and produced 1300 certified individuals."
How does it improve life?
Since 2014, the number of unemployed young people in Argentina has been steadily increasing. Reaching 26.8% in 2020, the country ranked fourth in highest youth unemployment rate within the G20 countries. Argentina has also been severely affected by the pandemic, resulting in the poverty rate hitting about 46-47% in June 2020. But even before that, it was at a considerable high, landing at 35%.
Educating and providing youth with opportunities to get out of poverty, secure jobs and thrive within a digital world is exactly what Potrero Digital is addressing.
What’s the impact to date or projected impact?
Since its beginnings in 2018, Potrero Digital has welcomed 3090 participants and produced 1300 certified individuals. They now have 35 teachers and experts teaching courses and 500 of its graduates are now employed. Today, they have eight learning hubs and are also operating in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.