Jul 02 2014

Zero Project Accepting 2015 Nominations

The Essl Foundation’s Zero Project is now accepting nominations for Innovative Practices and Policies for Persons with Disabilities that fall under the chosen topic for 2015—Independent Living and Political Participation. The project, which recognized F123 last year, will allow nominees to be submitted through this Friday, July 4. Winners, selected by a panel of internationally renowned experts, will be featured in the 2015 Zero Project Report and invited to speak at the Zero Project Conference next year in Vienna, Austria.

Submitting a nomination is easy and open to the public, and the application is available in eight languages. For more information or to nominate an innovative project, go to the Zero Project website here and download further instructions.

Jun 24 2014

F123 gets reinforcements from Yale University

O estagiário Zachary Kayal sorri em frente ao letreiro azul do F123; crédito: Divulgação

Intern Zachary Kayal in front of a blue F123 marquee

Zachary Kayal, 18, has swapped summer vacation in the United States to train with F123 in Curitiba. “I was very excited to help,” he said after discovering the social enterprise through Yale University.

At university, Zak hopes to major in Global Affair and explained that F123 caught his attention with its focus on developing low cost technologies for persons with visual disabilities in the developing world. “I think that it’s extremely important to contribute to a company that works for broader inclusion.”

In the U.S., Zak described, “though the government’s efforts to foster more accessible physical spaces and attempts to equalize educational and employment have helped, many initiatives have not been fully realized.”

“At my university in particular, I have noticed that there is a striking lack of diversity with regard to students with disabilities, and many of our buildings are inaccessible.”

The intern used his skills in writing and social media to translate the F123 site. “He is making a big difference in the day to day work of our team,” said Flavia de Paula, co-founder of the social enterprise and former master’s degree student at Yale.

“If we had three or four trainees like Zak, we could conquer the world in 18 months,” she jokes. F123 constantly opens up new internship opportunities for software development and research. If you are interested in applying, you can find more information on this page.

May 21 2014

Open registration for the FINEP Award and a speech about F123

The FINEP Award, an important recognition of innovation in Brazil, has open registration until August 7.

There are two stages–regional and national–and several categories, such as Micro and Small Enterprise Social Technology, Innovative Inventor, Sustainable Innovation and Assistive Technology. Large or small companies, institutions, and even individuals can apply. The awards, divided among the first regional and national winners in each category, will amount to R$8 million

From the left, Fernando Botelho and Flávia de Paula, of F123, receive the 2013 FINEP Award from President Dilma Rousseff in December 2013; photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR

In 2013, F123 was the winner of the Assistive Technology category in both the regional and national stages. Fernando Botelho, co-founder of the group, said the award has opened doors: “The funding has enabled the development of a product that will be launched soon, and the visibility of our FINEP victory has given us possible contacts for future partnerships, in addition to giving a wider reach to our software.”

On June 11, Botelho will talk about the impact the award has had on F123.

The event is free. For more information, contact Iago Lopes by phone (41) 3271-7791 or by email at iago.lopes@pr.senai.br.

May 20 2014

F123 participates in the Ribeirão Preto Book Fair

Fernando Botelho in the Curitiba garden (PR); photo by Na Lata

On May 21, the co-founder of F123 Fernando Botelho participated in the 14th National Book Fair in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo.

Botelho was part of a panel with the theme of inclusion, alongside Mano Down founder Leonardo Gontijo; specialist in special education Dall’Alba Lucena; and journalist and columnist for Folha de S.P. Jairo Marques.

The entire day of May 21st was geared towards persons with disabilities, with lectures in translation on Libras, a performance by a visually impaired choir, signs posted in Braille,  and basketball games played in wheelchairs. The fair, which ran through the 25th, also discussed new civil rights.

The event was attended by actors Rita Pokk and Ariel Goldenberg, who spoke about their experiences and the feature film in which they star, Colleagues. The comedy covers the life of three young men with Down syndrome who are passionate about cinema.

Apr 04 2014

Magazine story highlights management of social businesses

The cover story of the latest edition (nº 103) of HSM Management magazine, written for executives, focused on social businesses. Subscribed by journalist Sílvio Anaz, the magazine says that this type of business “creates models for the future by combining the generation of profit with positive social impact” and cites F123 as a company that operates with this mentality and is willing to confront serious social issues. Still, the story notes that “Brazil is still lagging in the move to social business.”

At left, Fernando Botelho, of F123, in HSM Management magazine; photo reproduced

According to the report, a study of Ashoka and the Walmart Institute shows that social business, which both creates profit and benefits society, is emerging as a major trend among administrators. This study also indicates that, in Brazil and other developing countries, these organizations emphasize market initiatives aimed at poverty reduction and increasing social inclusion.

Interviewed by the magazine, Professor Marcus Nakagawa of the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) points out the lack of adequate legislation to regulate this type of company. “The majority of social businesses in Brazil choose to be NGOs because there are better managerial and legislative references for them. In social business, there remains uncertainty as to whether and when profit may be withdrawn from a firm,” he says.

Mar 27 2014

Cofounder of F123 talks about accessibility and innovation

The cofounder of F123 Group, Fernando Botelho, is one of two speakers today at the International Conference on Accessibility – CREA – PR. In its third year, the conference´s theme is “Accessibility – A professional responsibility.”

The event runs through tomorrow at the Blue Rook Auditorium in the health sciences sector of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) in Curitiba and is expected to attract 500 people to its discussions.

The program of speakers for the conference includes the municipal secretary of Curitiba working on the World Cup, Reginaldo Cordeiro, who will speak about the competition´s legacy of accessibility; Teresa Costa D’Amaral, of the Brazilian Institute of Disabled Persons, who will talk about the rights of disabled persons; forestry engineer Antonio José de Araujo, who will give a presentation on trees and accessibility in the urban landscape; Michele de Souza, of the Sabrina Belon Institute, who will speak on social technologies; and minister of the High Court of Justice Sérgio Luiz Kukina, who will lead a discussion of the legal rights of disabled persons. Fernando Botelho, who won the 2013 FINEP Innovation Award with F123, will give an address on digital inclusion.

A presidente Dilma Rousseff entrega troféu do Prêmio Finep de Inovação a Fernando Botelho e Flávia de Paula, do F123; foto de Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR

You can follow the conference here.


Tomorrow, March 27th, Botelho is the guest of the 9th Meeting on Good Practices in Innovation at Senai in Curitiba. The event is free, but registration is limited. The event will be a mix of lectures and workshops on the topic.

The meeting takes place at Senai on ave. Comendador Franco, 1341, Jardim Botanico, Curitiba, from 8:30 to 12pm.

More information: 0/xx/41/3271- 7402 or  maisa.silvestrin@pr.senai.br

Mar 18 2014

F123 featured on the Project Generosity site

F123 was the subject of a report on the Project Generosity website last week. The report recounted the story of F123 Group and explained how people who are blind or who have low vision benefit from our software.

Project Generosity, part of Editora Globo, aims to reveal and reflect on good actions and people promoting wellness in Brazil. See the full text of the article here.

Feb 25 2014

Founder of F123 participates in jury for the Global Mobile Awards

The GSM (Global System of Mobile Communication) Association announced the winners of the 19th Global Mobile Awards today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Fernando Botelho, one of the founders of F123, was a judge for the awards, along with 175 analysts, journalists, academics, and independent specialists from around the world who participated in the selection process.

There were more than 680 nominations of innovative products and services in eight principal categories, making this the most competitive year for the award, according to the organizers of the event. Check out all the winners here: http://www.globalmobileawards.com/winners-2014.

The GSM Association represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide and is present in over 220 countries, uniting nearly 800 mobile operators across the globe.

Dec 20 2013

F123 presents project at event on innovation in the US

On December 11, the F123 Initiative was one of the invited guests participating in the “Innovation is Everywhere” event in the United States. The host of the event is the Interamerican Development Bank´s Innovation Lab, a platform focused on the exchange of innovative ideas to resolve problems impacting the lives of people often excluded from regular society.

According to the organizers, the purpose of the event is to promote good solutions: “There are stories that we think can inspire new ways of thinking.” Besides F123, seven others presented proposals for diverse issues ranging from education to affordability and access to drinking water.

Dec 19 2013

Fernando Botelho is subject of documentary on blindness

In a report on Thursday, Folha de. S. Paulo reported that Fernando Botelho, co-founder of F123, will be featured in a new documentary about blindness.

The film, which is 52 minutes in length, will be directed by Christiana Bernardes and already has a name—With Eyes That Do Not See. Its release, with audio description, is planned for 2014.

Read the full text of the documentary at the link: http://folha.com/no1387362
If you prefer to read the text directly on the newspaper page, the link is http://bit.ly/1bTBClR

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