Joshua Salazar Mejía

2022 2022 Winner | Science Engagement Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

Joshua Salazar Mejía is an Ecuadorian free software activist and PhD student in physics at the University of Vienna, Austria. He grew up in the outskirts of the capital city, Quito, where he became aware of the digital divide in rural zones in Ecuador. His passion was learning about the mechanics of the universe, so he chose science as a career. His research experience is related to Materials Science, using Density Functional Theory, and he currently focuses of Micromagnetics for magnetic sensors design. While getting involved in research activities, he started to share his passion through science communication talks in rural areas. This experience further developed into founding OfflinePedia, a project focused on reducing the digital divide in vulnerable populations without access to internet or computers.

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Ecuador (Quito)

Today, access to the Internet remains impossible for almost 4 billion people in the world, and even having a standard computer is very complicated for many. OfflinePedia is a volunteer and social action project that aims to redefine access to the encyclopaedic and academic content available in the different branches of the Wikimedia project for rural communities.

For this purpose, we bring academic content to remote areas where there is no internet connection or the possibility for using traditional computers. A computer, based on Raspberry Pi and Kiwix, has been developed at low cost and with recycled components, such as CRT televisions, containing the fully downloaded Wikipedia, hundreds of Project Gutenberg world literature books, didactic simulations and varied academic content accessible without the internet.

You can watch this video to discover our first experience with OfflinePedia in Ecuador.

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