Skoll Foundation


Center for Digital Inclusion

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Rodrigo Baggio
Award Year: 2005
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity

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Rodrigo Baggio had his first contact with computers at the age of 12 by his father, an information management specialist. During his adolescent years, he volunteered helping street children and mobilizing workers for a day nursery in the slums. At that time, the technology revolution was having a tremendous impact on Brazil, yet, instead of creating opportunities for all, it was creating another social divide. Rodrigo dreamed of how he might combine his desire to improve the lives of the poor with his passion for technology. In 1995, with a collection of secondhand computers and volunteer teachers, Rodrigo founded the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) to teach people how to use technology to improve their communities and their lives.  CDI has been working with marginalized and disenfranchised communities for 16 years, demonstrating that information and communication technology can empower people to make positive change and stimulate entrepreneurship.


  • CDI has produced 87,876 graduates in information and communication technology (ICT) and active citizenship courses across 821 CDI Community Centers in 13 countries.
  • CDI has empowered 250,000 users of ICT-based services including e-gov, e-health, e-learning and Internet access.
  • CDI has launched 4,800 cyber cafés, which have become centers of digital inclusion with socially impactful services.
  • TechCrunch ran a story on the very effective work that CDI is doing with communities in the challenging environment of Brazil’s favelas.
  • CDI has built 780 digital inclusion spaces in 13 countries, giving more than 1.54 million people access to the Internet, many for the first time. Members of the community run the centers, which focus on teaching marketable skills.
  • CDI has received many awards over the past 18 years, including from UNESCO, UNICEF, CNN, Time Magazine, World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative and others.



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