A holiday weekend is sometimes quite demanding, especially when you’re dealing with a toddler. Everything has about five seconds attention spam, so innovation is key. After playing football for about an hour and chasing balloons for another five (minutes), I was out of ideas. But I live in a village, so there’s always someone close with a zillion of suggestions. This time, it was my neighbour.

Have you seen the playground? he said to me while I was holding the baby in one hand while trying to fetch the ball with the other. Playground? I thought to myself. Have I really missed the playground? I must be living in a parallel universe where there are problems  without solutions.

Once I got there, I could see why I missed it. Or, maybe, preferred not to see it. “It is a prison, not a playground”, I said to my neighbour who rolled up after me. “You have to see the positives”, he replied. “He’s not able to escape at least”. He was right. There was definitely no was out for anyone.

That was certainly true. The thing was like a gulag – a place where you wouldn’t send your enemy. Let alone your child. My son was confused, looking at me and clearly thinking: “mummy, why did you bring me here and how do I get out?”.

I couldn’t stop myself from asking what had actually happened. It turned out that it was a fairly common phenomenon forSouther Italy. Someone was trying to win the election, donated the playground and then the council didn’t bother maintaining it. And the result is what we see in front of us.


For me, this is the trickiest questions of technology. Can we do anything about these things, and if we can’t, what’s the point of tech anyway? If we can’t provide for our future, isn’t “tech” just buried in the past?

Even if I were to implement blockchain on the funding, the story would end with the donation and the answer to all my questions would be quite simple: “we ran out of money”.


So the only way I can solve this problem is to put old school pressure. Why don’t we make a English playgroup, where we have volunteers coming to Sicily and teaching kinds English in a broken playground endorsed by Instagram live stream?

So, do you have an Instagram account? Do you want to come to Sicily? Do you want to make a difference? Let me know. Our broken playground is waiting for you.

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