sexta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2007

Entrevista com David Cavallo

Fiz uma entrevista com David Cavallo, principal representante da OLPC no Brasil. Na entrevista ele fala da influência do Brasil no desenvolvimento do modelo de tecnologia na educação defendido pela entidade, sobre a licitação para compra de 150 mil laptops educacionais (vencida pela Positivo Informática), nossa política de desenvolvimento, a concorrência contra os monopólios de tecnologia e o futuro da entidade sem a ampliação da experiência brasileira.

Abaixo está a transcrição do original. A tradução eu publiquei na forma de artigo na Coluna Educação e Tecnologia do Dicas-L.

Jaime Balbino - The Brazilian government was the first to be interested in into practice the ideas of Prof.. Nicolas Negroponte to provide a computer for each child in developing countries. President Lula could even be considered a kind of patron of the foundation OLPC. In addition, many educators Brazilian confirmed the progress brought by the model developed by the Foundation and even the edital the auction incorporated many of the ideas developed by OLPC, which shows how the Brazil considers this ideas advanced.
So what went wrong? Were the high taxes for Brazilian import? Lacking experience for the OLPC and his partner in public bidding, there was delay in the realization of a better bid, the R$ 104,5 mi is even to the limit of offers, lacked audacity?

David Cavallo - We are extremely grateful for the initial enthusiastic support and work from the government, including Pres. Lula, his advisor Cezar Alvarez, and the project coordinator Jose Luis Aquino. The response of the Brasilian government gave credibility to the overall initiative. We witness that since 2005 the concept of olpc (the idea, not the organization) has gone from being questioned to being implemented globally.

I personally believe that things went somewhat astray for a variety of reasons and that the structure of the governmental purchase request led to a result no one seems to be satisfied with. We are a non-profit. Our price to any country, including Brasil, is the cost of the laptop itself. Uruguay purchased the laptop for USD$197. They also purchased in a way that brought connectivity to homes and communities. We will not bid above our costs. We cannot bid below our costs, as a for-profit might do in order to make profit by charging more for other products and services, or to lock out competition and raise prices subsequently.

So the huge price differential was because of the extraneous conditions imposed upon price for the bid. This includes local assembly (NOT PRODUCTION OR FABRICATION, for which conditions do not exist at this time in Brasil), various taxes, shipping (of components which also raises costs), and a 3-year warranty. They also decided to select solely on the basis of price, without consideration of the display, or power consumption, or eco-friendliness, or connectivity in and out of schools.

Dramatic improvement in education remains the highest goal of OLPC. We do have secondary goals of using the project to help economic development in the countries as well as in bringing connectivity to families and communities. The Brasilian government supported these goals. However, a serious policy on economic development in high technology aims to bring real production; real intellectual capital; real contributions not only in simple, low-wage, low-growth, non-sustainable sectors such as assembly (where the evidence in Brasil of the problems in microelectronics when only focused on protecting assemblers is overwhelming), but on design, engineering, and production in other sectors such as display technology, networking, software, content, and services. We offered repeatedly to work with the government to use OLPC to leverage those areas and not merely assembly. This did not happen. So the tax policies and force towards local assembly raises costs without bringing high sustainable benefits. This is a pity.

It creates a direct trade-off between giving laptops to more children, teachers and schools and the government giving a direct subsidy to 1 local assembler. This is not against the assembler. We support it. But it is not a policy that will bring the highest possible long-term benefits to the country.

JB - OLPC only works with laptops educational for national governments. These losses hinder the future development of the platform XO?

DC - Fortunately, other governments, including countries with far fewer resources than Brasil, are going forward and this provided sufficient scale for us to launch. It was our hope that Brasil would continue to lead the way for other countries, taking advantage of the many world-class people who work in technology and learning to create the best examples of learning in 1:1 situations, in schools, at homes, and in communities. So the fact that Brasil entered at such a small scale limited this, other countries are moving forward. We will continue on the mission of using laptops for learning for all children, not just the most privileged, and continue to work to bring the price down and machines to more children throughout the world.

JB - Any changes in the XO for the Intel platform, as already disclosed, will end from the world dispute with we see today between Classmate and XO and will enforce the recognized know-how of the OLPC in learning?

DC - We continue to collaborate with Intel on the development of new high-quality, low-cost computers for children for learning. We will also continue to develop our own to keep the pressure on for driving the price down and providing more choices. we will also continue development to improve and expand upon the many advances in technology in the XO (such as the display, the mesh networking, the low power consumption, the ecological friendliness, the software, etc.).

3 comentários:

Nadal disse...

Boa parte das restrições relatadas na entrevista decorre de entraves legais. Feita a licitação sem que os ditames correspondentes fossem respeitados, a conseqüência seria uma só: anulação do contrato firmado, com responsabilização subseqüente dos que deram causa à nulidade.

Jaime Balbino disse...

Sim Nadal, no que diz respeito à licitação eu particularmente a considero plenamente legal e algumas exigências, como a garantia de 3 anos, é um preceito estatal bastante razoável.

Mas acho que David Cavallo vai além da licitação e mesmo quando se refere a ela não a contesta, apenas enfatiza as dificuldades que suas exigências infringiram à OLPC. Ele levanta outras questões mais profundas e pertinentes e tece comentários realmente ácidos sobre a nossa política de desenvolvimento.

Anônimo disse...

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