Martin discusses the economic and health implications of linguistic exclusion on more than half the world’s population, and how in today’s digital age, ‘language equity’ can open new opportunities to achieve international development goals. Martin Benjamin was raised in the rural American state of Vermont. As a teenager, he visited India, witnessing deprivation on a scale he never imagined. This experience led him to Tanzania as an economic anthropologist, examining the relationships between development agencies and aid recipients deemed ‘the poorest of the poor’. Learning Swahili was paramount for him to be able to interact with his village neighbors, but few resources were available. Unable to create better tools alone, the Kamusi Project was born as an early cooperative effort to learn from a language’s speakers and share that knowledge online. Kamusi is a non-profit NGO that now aims to compile data on myriad languages around the world, and deploy and apply this knowledge in creative technology. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
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