As part of our interview series with Digital Media thought leaders, we talked to Hector Pantazopoulos, Vice President and co-founder of SourceKnowledge.com, a fast growing online media agency specializing in SEO, SEM, display advertising and social media. Pantazopoulos talked to us about Film Annex's initiatives in Afghanistan and shared his ideas about digital media, technology, and education. Film Annex is currently building Internet classrooms in Afghanistan with the mission to improve the Afghan education system and the economy of Afghanistan. Last week, we opened our first classroom, and the construction of a second one at the Houz-e-Karbas High School has already started.
Film Annex: What do you think of Film Annex's initiatives in Afghanistan?
Hector Pantazopoulos: It's a wonderfully creative way to support the education system in Afghanistan. I think business is at it's best when it includes some form of philanthropy.
F.A. Digital and social media have changed the political scenarios of several countries in the last two years. Can they also affect the educational and financial landscape? If yes, how so?
H.P. I think access to the Internet should be a basic human right. It facilitates the sharing of ideas and makes communication easy and affordable, but it also increases access to educational material and boosts entrepreneurial activity.
F.A. Is digital media the most efficient source that can educate the Afghan youth?
H.P. I don't know enough about the current education system in Afghanistan to speak to what would be the most efficient source of teaching children, but I can say that access to online teaching resources and exposure to digital media on the whole should play a role in the classroom.
F.A. Can digital media and advertising sustain financially upcoming countries like Afghanistan and their educational system?
H.P. In my opinion, digital media and online advertising is a great opportunity for developing countries to participate in the world economy. There are few barriers to entry and your country doesn't need to be rich in a particular natural resource to compete on the world stage. It's really just about access to education and online resources.
F.A. How can digital media serve the emancipation of women and provide them with an independent education, connectivity, and financial freedom?
H.P. In my opinion, the more people around the world work together and share ideas (whether for education, politics or otherwise), the better off they are in all areas of their lives. As the old adage goes, "Knowledge is power".
F.A. What is your opinion on investing in the education of the Afghan youth and women by building schools in Afghanistan?
H.P. I think this is a wonderful initiative that should be celebrated and encouraged.
F.A. Our goal is to increase the average yearly income in Afghanistan from $900 to $8000. How long do you think this will take?
H.P. I don't know enough about Afghanistan to comment about this objective. I hope you can achieve the goal.
F.A. Veterans have a prominent role in the Film Annex initiatives in Afghanistan. What is your opinion on (G.I.V.E.) - Global Initiative for Veteran Entrepreneurship and building veteran business opportunities?
H.P. Encouraging veterans to be entrepreneurs and helping them build new skill sets such as SEO is a great initiative. However, connecting veterans with civilian projects in Afghanistan is a brilliant way for soldiers to use their experiences in a positive way and give back to the Afghan community.
More about Hector Pantazopoulos: Pantazopoulos co-founded SourceKnowledge.com in 2009. He has over eight years of experience in the online advertising and marketing industry in a business development role, and has developed an expertise in search advertising, affiliate marketing, and online retail.