Gerdau, the largest producer of steel in Brazil, this week announced the launch of Alamanque Miguel Burnier, the first digital implementation of Alamanque Brasil developed in partnership with Instituto Elias Andreato and Holonomics. The educational app helps to develop a sense of place, belonging and self-esteem in the local community while at the same time bringing more global educational content in relation to Brazil’s national heritage, culture and natural ecosystems.
(Gerdau’s press release in Portuguese can be read here).
The initiative is the realisation of the dream of the late Elifas Andreato, one of Brazil’s most highly respected illustrators and plastic artists, to transform the quality and accessibility of education in Brazil by preserving its the history, culture and traditions.
Everything started with the Almanaque magazine which was created in 1999 and published until 2015. In this period eighteen million copies were published, reaching 72 million people. In addition, the Almanaque television programme on TV Cultura and TV Brasil resulted in fifty-two episodes and five books being published between 2005 and 2017.
In this trailer of Painter of Sounds, a documentary celebrating his life, he explains how his vision of Almanaque Brasil has been central to his career.
The vision of Almanaque Digital is the result of a meeting between Elifas Andreato and Maria Moraes Robinson and I, when we met him in São Paulo in 2018, giving us a chance to discuss our vision of regenerative design and our work with Holonomics and organisational transformation, deep tech and ESG impact.
Elifas Andreato passed away in March 2022, shortly before the launch of the application. However, speaking about Almanaque Brasil in an interview he gave for our book Deep Tech and the Amplified Organisation, he said that “Almanaque Brasil has been my life mission. That we are now able to make Almanaque available through applications and a digital platform is a source of great joy for me, as the digital environment is now so critical for our educational and entertaining content to be able to reach young people.”
Sponsored by Gerdau, the application was developed together with the community of Miguel Burnier, and was supported by Vai na Web, a movement that offers advanced education in digital programming to young people living in vulnerable communities in Rio de Janeiro.
With games, quizzes and educational content inspired by the local natural ecosystem and well-known members of the Miguel Burnier region, the application is able to help develop a sense of place and self-esteem in the local community in addition to promoting entrepreneurism to help stimulate the vitality of the community and local economy.
By supporting the development of the app, the community of Miguel Burnier themselves thereby created additional authentic and systemic social impact, allowing Vai na Web’s development team to gain valuable design experience and access to mentoring from Holonomics and Instituto Elias Andreato.
According to Bruno Castilho, Institutional Relations and Social Responsibility manager at Gerdau, with a history of 121 years, the company believes that education must be in constant transformation. “Education is the key to a sustainable future and the basis of citizenship. These are important values for us and for those who want to lead the future. Therefore, we are very proud to support this innovative project, adapted for today’s education, with engaging and accessible content for young people”.
Bento Andreato, managing director of the Elifas Andreato Institute stated that this new digital era of Almanaque Brasil has created the opportunity to reach people living in rural communities, many of which are often impacted by industrial activities, creating the opportunity to raise the self-esteem and sense of belonging of those people who need it most. “By helping people across the entire country to get in touch with the great riches that Almanaque Digital can bring to them, we can help them to feel that they belong to the larger group of people who have made and are making a difference in the lives of us all.”
For Maria Moraes Robinson, CEO (Brazil) of Holonomics, Almanaque Miguel Burnier is a wonderful example of the impact that a truly genuine ESG initiative can achieve. “By including members of Miguel Burnier, the director and teachers of the school and members of Gerdau in its development, we have been able to create a very unique digital educational solution that combines the profound depth and range of content that Almanaque Brasil brings with stories from the community, illustrations and games created in a totally customised manner.”
Our vision of Deep Tech which inspired the app is one where technology is developed to be inclusive, empowering and accessible to everyone. Almanaque Miguel Burnier represents a way of designing curated and illustrated content in a manner that can be personalised to individual communities and designated groups, thereby helping them to develop a deeper sense of belonging and gain access to education which is aligned with the dynamism of the digital world. Through the support from Gerdau, all of those involved in this project have been able to create a solution that provides people with a sense of place through social, historical and cultural education and helping communities learn how to flourish and thrive locally.
With 121 years of history, Gerdau is the largest producer of steel in Brazil and one of the main suppliers of long steel in the Americas and special steel in the world. In Brazil, it also produces flat steel, in addition to iron ore for its own consumption. In addition, it has a new business division, Gerdau Next, with the objective of undertaking activities in segments adjacent to steel. With the purpose of empowering people who build the future, the company is present in nine countries and has more than thirty six thousand direct and indirect employees in all its operations. The largest recycler in Latin America, Gerdau uses scrap as an important raw material: 73% of the steel it produces is made from this material. Every year, eleven million tons of scrap are transformed into various steel products. The company is also the largest charcoal producer in the world, with more than 250 thousand hectares of forest base in the state of Minas Gerais. As a result of its sustainable production matrix, Gerdau currently has one of the lowest average emissions of greenhouse gases (CO₂e)—0.90 t of CO₂e per ton of steel—which represents approximately half of the global average of the sector—1.89 t of CO₂e per ton of steel (worldsteel). In 2031, Gerdau’s carbon emissions will decrease to 0.83 t of CO₂e per ton of steel. Gerdau’s shares are listed on the São Paulo (B3), New York (NYSE) and Madrid (Latibex) stock exchanges.
About Instituto Elifas Andreato
The mission of Instituto Elifas Andreato is to honour and expand Elifas Andreato’s legacy for Brazilian culture and education, based on citizenship and human rights. His career as an artist spanned fifty years, conscious of the wealth that culture brings, while as a citizen always willing to face the problems of inequality in the country. The institute’s work focuses on carrying out sociocultural projects and activities dedicated to culture, art and education, recognising these areas from the same multi-coloured perspectives as Elifas Andreato.
Holonomics is a business consultancy that supports organisations in their transformation processes based on the New 4Ps – Platforms, Purpose, People and Planet. Its mission is to elevate enterprises through our consultancy, scale knowledge globally through Holonomics Publishing, and amplify impact through our Deep Tech Network. The company specialises in the areas of strategy, customer experience, employee experience, deep tech, cultural and digital transformation and the design and delivery of high-impact ESG initiatives.