María Elena Estavillo

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Podcast - Trend-iMexico

Elena Estavillo is a top trusted expert in the digital ecosystem, country and region wide. As one of the first commissioners in Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute, she contributed to building a solid regulator that is a model for other countries. In her positions, she has promoted inclusion and gender equality.

She co-founded and is a chairperson for Conectadas, a World Summit on the Information Society Champion (WSIS) in 2020, and founded Centro-i para la Sociedad del Futuro, a think tank that works to collectively construct a digital and technological future in an ethical, responsible and inclusive way. She recently received the 2020 Information Society Champion Award from the International Telecommunication Union, in the ethics category. Elena is considered one of the "100 Women of competition" by the Global Competition Review 2016 and one of the "Most Powerful Women" by Forbes Mexico in 2016 and 2017. She is also a member of the International Women's Forum (IWF) Mexico.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Podcast: Trend-i

Trend-i's goal was to explain in a simple, friendly and colloquial chat format, the potential offered by 5G to improve Mexico’s competitiveness and to close the digital, gender, economic and social gaps. It is important to improve the population's knowledge on issues related to the digital ecosystem and exponential technologies. The podcast aimed to reach the general public in Mexico, but it extended to other parts of Spanish-speaking Latin America.

The podcast aimed to bring these issues closer to the population in a simple and fun way, so it:

-Motivates people to understand information and communication technologies, so that they can profit from their advantages.
-Promotes interest, involvement and vocations in STEM issues.
-Explains the risks that come with these technologies and how they must be addressed.
-Contributes to the digital literacy of the population.
-Establishes plural dialogues that approach the issues from different perspectives.
-Disseminates good practices of firms that have carried out their digital transformation, how SMEs or citizens can learn from them and be motivated to enter the tech ecosystem.
-Encourages critical reflection from different perspectives around the digital ecosystem and exponential technologies.

Dr. Estavillo’s podcast season consisted of 12 episodes between 18 and 35 minutes long, produced by a team of five members. They had 12 expert guests from Mexico, Spain and England, from organizations like CISCO, Ericsson, UNAM (National University of Mexico), IFT (Federal Telecommunications Institute of Mexico), and others. For each episode the team conducted several street interviews of Mexican citizens. They asked about their level of interest and knowledge about each week’s topic, in order to include non-expert voices. About 5 interviews were recorded per episode for a total of 60 people. As of early February, the podcast had 94 listeners, and numbers are rising.

Listen to the Podcast: Trend-i on Spotify, Trend-i on the Website

“At present, the technology is a necessity for all, women and men, poor or rich, with or without disabilities. We must help so that the benefits of technology reach everyone. For this reason, I focus my efforts on promoting initiatives like this podcast.” - Podcast listener

IVLP Exchange Experience 

María Elena was a participant in the IVLP Project Opportunities and Risks of 5G Networks in 2021, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Her exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "It was a great experience to be deeply immersed with different authorities and organizations related to the digital ecosystem in the US and have a better grasp of the institutional architectures around this vast issue."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually

San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX

Country: Mexico

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