Rosa Wang's remarkable book takes readers to the last frontier of the mobile/digital revolution. While much has been written about breakthrough technologies and early adopters who live where roads are good and smart phones are affordable, this book explores the largely undocumented journey of how digital technologies are entering the lives of those in extreme poverty-people, often women, often illiterate-who live without electricity or running water.
With powerful stories, Wang brings you to the front lines of the revolution-to join meetings with small-holder farmers in raucous town halls in remote parts of Tanzania, and to sit on dirt floors alongside non-literate women in rural India. The book chronicles the exponential trajectory of the mobile phone through the arc of the author's own journey, an Asian-American woman from Mississippi navigating male-dominated environments and cultures, while changing the digital world without a background in technology. Readers will learn of the challenges that come with life on less than two dollars a day, and in that world, the transformative power of digital technologies: to give identity, improve finances, and to bring some degree of empowerment.
Along the way, the author introduces memorable individuals and guides them on their journey across the digital divide to join the mobile generation. These people, poor in monetary resources and literacy, are rich in social connections, warmth, and wisdom. Their day-to-day lives seem implausibly hard, and their resilience humbles at every turn. This book is about them. At its heart, this is their story.