We boost critical thinking, problem-solving, digital and media literacy and other crucial communication skills and programs in an ever-shifting world
Digital media, fast-paced lifestyle, speed and a large amount of information placement affect how we will consume, use, but also what decisions we will make. Therefore, modern lifestyles and new digital media require us to be digitally and media literate. We talked about this with Darko Sokovic Managing Partner of Strategy and Development at Propulsion.
What is the new literacy?
We are acutely aware that the new reality emerges: studies show that the “new norm” in reading is skimming, where the brain spots individual words and browses through the text, samples the first line, and then word-spot through the rest of the text. While this unique shift in literacy is taking place, we live in a more and more diffused world, with information scattered all over the place, narratives created and spread by different actors from different sides—the media, politicians, corporations, marketers, bloggers, influencers.
Couple this with the unprecedented times we live in due to the pandemic, and we’ve got a global context within which no one—our youth, media, businesses, schools, public administration, every single one of us—is fully able to comprehend the complexity of it, let alone find their full meaning and purpose. A new literacy in a new world is needed.
Serbian society should remain open, committed to understand, produce, and seek accurate, timely, and verified information.
What the Propulsion organization does?
That is the reason we started Propulsion back in 2011 in Belgrade and Sarajevo. As a full-service communication organization, we specialize in social impact campaigns and projects. Today we are the leading supplier of social impact communications in the Adria region and wider, working with brands, developmental actors, and governments on transformative campaigns worth more than 1 million dollars a year. We boost critical thinking, problem-solving, digital and media literacy, preventing radicalization, and other crucial communication skills and programs in an ever-shifting world.
The pinnacle of our efforts is the program “Media Initiatives and Partnerships Support”, where we partner with the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ministry of Culture and Information, CeSID, Digital Serbia Initiative, and others.
What does program “Media Initiatives and Partnerships Support“ mean?
The program relies on a new, yet so logical reality that we resolutely introduce: we invest huge effort and resources in understanding the people we address, their habits, needs, ideas, values, how they get informed, how they mourn, and how they celebrate. To that end, we constantly conduct a series of comprehensive research on which we base all of our programmatic decisions. The results are also regularly published at novapismenost.rs because we believe that verified information on the basis of which the right decisions are made must be available to everyone.
In the next four years, we will support boosting critical thinking and media and information literacy in parents, teachers, public servants, influencers, and business leaders alike by tailoring custom-made manuals, pieces of training, and campaigns. These will be systematically embedded in the existing systems and curricula, while new approaches will be created, too. In 2021, the program will support more than 750 schools to strengthen their digital capacities, while also connecting the students with some of the trailblazing companies and their leaders. It is important that our youth sees the future that is actually happening today in Serbia, in school and outside of it so that they are ready for everything this century will bring.
Do you have any other partners you cooperate with?
Our partners from the Government are committed to helping make these topics mainstream. We are proud of the fact that the Serbian vice-Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture and Information Maja Gojkovic and His Excellency the U.S. Ambassador Anthony Godfrey have recently stressed the importance of this initiative not only for the cooperation of the two countries but also for the transformative potential it has. Serbian society should remain open, committed to understand, produce, and seek accurate, timely, and verified information. Our partners understand and cheersih this.
And a great deal hangs on our adopting of this “new literacy”: the ability of citizens in a vibrant democracy to try on other perspectives and discern the truth; the capacity of our children to appreciate and create beauty; and the ability in ourselves to go beyond our present glut of information to reach the knowledge and wisdom necessary to sustain a good society.
Propulsion’s purpose is to design impact, and that is one of the hardest endeavors.