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"a person becomes human through others"
Social Entrepreneur & Innovation Advisor.
Former OpenIDEO Co-Lead.
Previous stints in strategy, innovation, brand management, marketing, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, nonprofits, & education with organizations like IDEO, Bain & Company, Procter & Gamble and Harvard Business School.
Always striving to combine caring, creativity, and community to make a positive impact, regardless of role, title, or sector.
With a couple inspirations pointing out the potential for using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to gather information from hard-to-access areas to prevent atrocities, just wanted to explore the possibilities of this a little more.
A San Francisco startup, Koozoo, is creating a network where people can use their smartphones to create livestreaming video feeds. You'll be able to use an old smartphone as a 24 hour stream, or your current smartphone for this purpose as needed.
How can you provide healthcare for 250,000 people over a 100 miles radius, with only 2 doctors? Through 500 community health volunteers, who receive basic training & a health kit, and stay connected to a central clinic through Frontline SMS Medic
CEWARN is a collaboration of 7 countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Eritrea) to empower stakeholders to prevent violent conflicts, focusing on cross-border pastoralist conflicts such as land/water use and livestock theft.
Watch the video to see how this project combined satellite evidence of destroyed villages on the ground, mobile video filmed by assailants, and in-person interviews/documentation to gather multi-source verified evidence of wrongdoing.
Check out https://maps.google.com/?ll=40.744506,-73.954516&spn=0.001829,0.003659&t=h , for a simply created marriage proposal visible by satellite and, through Google Maps Satellite View, discoverable by Internet users around the world.
Mbaye Diagne was a UN military observer during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. He disobeyed the UN observer rules of engagement at the time, in order to save likely hundreds of potential victims (including the children of the slain Rwandan Prime Minister).
PeaceTXT, is a text messaging service that sends out blasts of custom pro-peace messages (often written collaboratively with community members themselves) to specific people and areas when trouble is brewing.
When CeaseFire was launched in the most violent community in Chicago at the time, it reduced shootings by 67% in it's first year. It's model has since spread everywhere from New Orleans to New York City, London to South Africa.
During a visit to a Darfur refugee camp, two Human Rights Watch representatives gave children paper and crayons while their parents were being interviewed. View the video (also in the challenge resources) to see what they drew.
Carl Wilkens was a humanitarian worker in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide who had to make a hard, heart-wrenching decision: stay at an orphanage to try to protect 400 people seeking refuge, or physically leaving this site to try to get more help.
The Fowler Center is off to a great start in cataloging innovations for world benefit: http://worldinquiry.case.edu/bankFullList.cfm . How can we scale this up further, to identify, celebrate, & inspire business innovation for world benefit?
Ever had trouble finding out what to do with an item you own once you could no longer use it (i.e. a mobile phone that's been replaced, clothing that a child's outgrown, or a television that broke down)? Was the item ultimately reused or recycled?
When you got a new cell phone, what happened to your old one?
Have you ever meant to recycle/donate/safely discard/etc something, but months later it's still lying around (or even thrown out), because you never got around to it?
The Startup Genome Compass allows you to track your progress on key startup goals, compare to peers at the same stage, and figure out what's important to work on next based on indicators on Customer, Product, Team, Business Model, & Financials.
Lean Startup, Agile Development, Discovery Driven Planning, Design Thinking, etc....though these emerged from different areas (biz, tech, design), they share the same core: creating from chaos. There's much possibility for cross-fertilization!
Entrepreneurship isn't simply having an idea, it's about making it a reality.
Many skills are needed to bring a venture to life.
For web startups, hacking/coding/developing/programming is a fundamental building block.
If we're already filing our taxes with the government online, & even entrust the security of our $$$ through electronic (ATMs, credit card scanners, bank records) & online/mobile (banking, bill payment,shopping,investing, etc.) means, why not voting?
"Tommy Edison has been blind since birth and [is] now producing videos online that reveal a glimpse into his life and the funny challenges that he faces daily. "
-from his website.
Entertaining & insightful. Well worth the ~2 minutes/video.
What's it like to use a computer if you're impaired by blindness? Screen readers are often used to facilitate activities like reading and web surfing. Learn how it feels to use a screen reader by watching this video.
Detroit's ~100K vacant lots are a reinvention opportunity. Could some be salvaged for community centers; others cleared for urban farming; & old building materials reused for furniture? Could "Reclaimed in Detroit" become a mark of Motor City pride?
Black Friday in the US is the day after Thanksgiving when retailers open extremely early in the morning (3:00 AM, 12 midnight, or even jumpstarting at 10:00 PM Thanksgiving night) with large sales to kickstart the holiday shopping season.
Was talking to a friend the other day. He's a talented, socially conscious artist whose work's been honored with awards, and used by globally known brands & musicians. Anyways, he's come to a point where he's looking for something different.
As many inspirations show, public holidays, festivals, art, & other shared experiences, can all build & showcase vibrancy.
Thought it'd be interesting to do a comparative case study on how a common communal experience, fireworks shows, can vary.
Having moved around every 2 years basically my whole life, one place in particular stood out to me as being particularly vibrant due to its amazing level of diversity: a Shanghai district I lived in for a bit under a year.
Rockford, IL is one of the worst hit US cities: unemployment reaching nearly 16 percent. The NY Times compiled audio interviews/photos of 24 people there: assembly worker, CEO, police sergeant, teacher, military recruiter, small business owner, etc.
Around the world, from the Arab Spring to Chinese Anti-Corruption Campaigns to African Crisis Mapping to Occupy Wall Street, people are using mobile phones & online social networks/media to become activists & communicate important information.
Applying tech to petitioning can make it more accessible, effective, & powerful; even helping protect petitioners (who're petitioning against injustices like others unlawful detention) themselves from unlawful detention & other human rights abuses.
As many people have experienced some level of fear & powerlessness associated with a dentist visit, thought this might be an interesting way to empathize with detainees, and consider what would help improve these situations.
In human rights, certain authorities are often seen as the enemy that needs to be watched, reported on, & fought against. There's truth to this, but are there also opportunities to work with the authorities to voluntarily track & improve behavior?
The Dalai Lama planned to visit fellow Nobel Peace prize laureate Desmond Tutu for his 80th birthday. But, South Africa refused to issue a visa, perhaps pressured by key trading partner China. So, they used Google+ Hangouts to meet & broadcast li
Have you ever been in an unfamiliar place? One where you weren't used to the customs? Didn't understand the language? My wife & I found ourselves in this situation, and next thing you know, we were running away from the police...
When China cracked down at Tiananmen, they also placed General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, who advocated dialogue, under house arrest until his death 16 years later. Incredibly, his memoir of smuggled out, piecemeal, 6-minute recordings is now available.
So far, challenge sponsors have mainly consisted of large nonprofits, corporate philanthropy departments, public organizations, & celebrities, which is to be expected, given that being a challenge sponsor costs ~$50K (based on the quote Jennifer Davi
Our generation is passionate about contributing to make our world better. And, at least from my experience, there are many who have the drive to start new projects & programs, once they find an idea worth pursuing, worth believing in.
OpenIDEO's "Realization Phase" is mainly being utilized to share updates on realization efforts by challenge sponsors/OpenIDEO. This is great, yet there's the potential to be so much more! What if the "Realization Phase" also facilitated implementati
When considering, designing for, and evaluating social impact, it's important to take both depth & breadth into account. We aim to 1) significantly improve people's lives, and 2) broadly reach as many people as possible.
Been very impressed with various system-level contributions on OpenIDEO. They help us get our minds around large amounts of complexity & quantity, ensure we're exploring a range of complementary avenues for impact, and spark new connections & ideas.
Many amazing inspirations & concepts have emerged from OpenIDEO. There is so much potential for positive social impact if we can successfully spread & implement these ideas. 1 example of timely implementation of crowd-developed ideas is Quirky.
When seeking investments for Social Businesses, it’s important to remember that the wealthy are not the only ones who can help. In fact, while a wealthy individual can donate a higher absolute amount, studies have shown that those with average means
The current level of economic inequality is one of the starkest things that stood out from the inspiration phase & our video chat with Grameen Caldas: Colombia has the most unequal distribution of resources in Latin America (Gini coefficient of .587
Social issues are complex, multi-faceted, & interconnected, so 1 actor, or a single-dimension intervention, is unlikely to easily solve a problem. Thus, coordinated efforts between different organizations are important to broaden & deepen imp
Student social businesses: 1) help raise education funds, 2) promote learning by doing, building entrepreneurial skills, & 3) benefit the community, while raising student social awareness. Video below profiles some of these efforts in Africa.
Telenovelas are a television drama form that is quite popular in Latin America, including Columbia, & beyond. In fact, "Betty la Fea" (aka "Ugly Betty"), a popular Columbian telenovela, has been adapted for >30 networks around the world.
PSFK's Future of Health Report provides inspiration on 15 global health/wellness trends, with much potentially relevant for improving health in Caldas & other low-income communities including decentralized affordable healthcare, mobile, & off
Social Business is 1) "social", driven by social good, rather than profit maximization, & 2) a "business", aims for financial sustainability (& perhaps growth) based on income generation, rather than being reliant on continuous donations/taxation.
A gel is being tested in South Africa that both helps prevent HIV transmission & increases sexual pleasure. Combining long & short-term benefits can increase uptake, as demonstrated by Trojans' Her Pleasure condoms.
Just came across these while browsing the Holistic Social Business Movement of Caldas section on the Grameen Creative Lab website. Thought it might be helpful for our inspiring & concepting to highlight what's currently being done and considered
At the start of this month, Stonyfield Farm, the world's leading organic yogurt maker (also makes smoothies, ice cream, & milk), launched a campaign to build momentum for organic food. The focus is on encouraging people to share the reasons behind wh
Herbie the Hairy challenges kids to give it a full set of hair, using a fun planter pre-filled with compost, easy-to-grow herb seeds, & simple instructions/info for growing, cutting, & eating hair. Kids discover agriculture, cooking, nutritio
Want to eat fresh food from your local farm, but worried about figuring out how to use the mystery box of produce that arrives weekly with your typical CSA (community supported agriculture) share (and which you often have to supplement with additiona
Interested in growing some of your own food, but doubt you have the time, knowledge, or skills required? Food Landscapers help you turn your yard, balcony, window, or even rooftop (name a place, and we’ll find something to grow on it!) into beautiful
In China, I've bought fresh & prepared food from underground subway stations complete with groceries & restaurants; produce & food vendors lining busy streets/sidewalks; & even bikes with attached barbecues darting around to wherever
Neighborhood Fruit (http://neighborhoodfruit.com/) helps people find & share fruit grown on public land & private yards through a website & mobile app. It already has >10K registered trees.
Anvil Knitwear provides an interactive site (& soon a "Shirt Scan" mobile app) that enables you to type a shirt label # or scan a QSR code to track and learn about your shirt's journey and environmental impact.
This concept seeks to rebrand "bone marrow donation" to "life saving stem cells" in order to provide a more accurate picture and drop the prevalent but outdated perception that by registering, you're basically guaranteeing yourself a very painful & s
This campaign would be run at mass/spectator sporting & entertainment events where participants willingly subject themselves to tough conditions (for pride, the thrill of the challenge, camaraderie, to make a difference, etc.), and are supported and
This concept aims to address the sad fact that ~50% of bone marrow donor registrants decide not to donate when they are actually asked to. This can be heart breaking & life-threatening to patients when this decision reversal occurs late in the proces
This concept aims to virally create ripples of awareness of and registration for bone marrow donations through the world's social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Kaixin, RenRen, etc. To spread the word, you simply change your profile picture
Hate waiting forever at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)? What if, when you are filling out your car registration or driver's license application(which often includes opt-in or mandated choice questions for organ donor & voter registration), yo
How many of you have experienced the discomfort of a blood test? I've often thought, "If I need to feel a little pain anyways, why not just leave the needle in longer & donate some blood too?"
Consider that much of the blood donation process overl
This concepts seeks to harness a family's (including the father, in-laws, etc.) concern for producing a healthy baby to improve the wellbeing of the unborn child and mother. Through mobile-facilitated group funding, it aims to recruit both financial
The Red Cross surfed the vampire craze to increase blood donations, including partnering with Hollywood on joint blood drive campaigns/new vampire show & movie launches featuring tv ads & blood drives at hundreds of colleges/high schools.
This concept focuses on making nutritional intake convenient, attractive, and culturally-relevant to improve maternal and infant mortality and morbidity (direct improvements on anemia, neural development, infection, low birth weight, premature delive
Just following up on posts about viral Facebook status by Joris, Jaskeerat, and others. These types of updates have also successfully created ripple effects in various social media around the world such as the recent protests/revolutions (Tunisa, Egy
How many of you have experienced the discomfort of a blood test? I've often thought to myself as the needle pricks my arm, "If I need to feel a little pain anyways, why not just leave the needle in longer and donate some blood too?"
23andMe provides a personal genome service that helps you understand your inherited traits & ancestry (for example, learning of a genetic propensity towards high cholesterol, can help you decide to proactively manage your diet and exercise.
Imagine if a mom to be could simply call or text to choose from a list of qualified, experienced moms in her community for a meet up in a public place (like a market). The mom mentor would share her own personal story & advise on how to have a health
Just trying to better understand the goals & nature of this marrow donor challenge. As we're ultimately trying to increase the # of completed donations to save lives, are there other impactful angles to approach beyond simply registration volume?
A STD test is being developed in the UK which will allow people to simply pee or spit onto a card, and then receive their diagnosis within minutes (sort of like a pregnancy test, but for STDs). The vision is to eventually distribute these for ~$1/eac
When someone suddenly faces a medical emergency such as a heart attack, generally the first actions are 1) bystanders asking “is there a doctor here” and 2) calling 911. In many cases, immediate response within minutes is critical for the success rat
LifeSpring Maternal Hospital, a joint venture of Acumen Fund (US Social Venture Fund) and HLL Lifecare, LTD (Indian government-owned enterprise), is an Indian hospital network that specializes in high quality maternal healthcare for low-income women
SquareUp ( http://www.squareup.com ), co-founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is a small credit card reader that can be plugged into a cell phone's audio/mic jack, enabling anyone with a phone to accept credit card payments (SquareUp charges a
Dr. Devi Shetty, who was Mother Teresa's cardiac surgeon, worked with the government of Karnataka, India to develop a health insurance for poor farmers that only costs them $3/year. ~3 million people are covered by this insurance. This model is enabl
A $100K Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Exploration Grant was recently awarded to a university team to test their low-cost, portable, durable, and easy-to-use ultrasound in Africa. It has already been tested at the university medical center and is b
A Swedish startup has created a chamber pot that is comfortable to sit on that also doubles as a tightly sealed, odor-containing watering can. By diluting the urine with water, the resultant fertilized can be used to increase plant growth/crop yields
When are people most likely to relate to others’ sanitation problems? When they’re feeling the urge to relieve themselves of course!
Imagine if awareness/action-raising stickers/posters were placed on the inside of public toilet stalls in the deve
This builds on Larry’s concept of “Gold Medal Service”. Imagine if public toilet users could transparently tell whether a facility consistently met high standards for hygiene and disposal. This could become a reality by leveraging government sanction
The PeePoo is a brilliant project that addresses existing “flying toilet” behaviors through a single-use sanitizing toilet bag that improves hygiene and creates fertilizer. As the project has been field testing (well worth a look: http://www.peepoopl
As the elderly population in Japan increases, companies there have developed technology that turns adult diapers (and child diapers) into sterile, odorless, concentrated, portable pellets that can be used for fuel and construction (http://news.cnet.c
This concept is directly inspired by Alessandro’s call to “imagine that people would not have to pay anything to use the bathroom, but that these bathrooms were small factories that produce gas and fertilizer”, as well as by the many other OpenIDEO c
Studies show that GDP growth, after passing the point where basic needs are met, produces diminishing returns for our actual life satisfaction and happiness. Other factors, like social relations, health, meaningful work, freedom, caring for others,
This concept is inspired by the following article “Toilets are being converted to bedrooms in Kumasi “ (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=165948), as its direct commentary on the toilet situation in Kumasi (the region t
This builds on the observations by the OpenIdeo Ghana Field Team that “in just about every home there [were] cell phones (one or two per family member)” and Andy’s remark that “there’s more cell phones than toilets in Africa”, as well as building com
Please view the included media that illustrate this concept and the need for it. By slightly modifying the pre-existing pay public toilet system and nudging users through signage placed inside and outside the toilet stall, this concept aims to build
Dog poop is disposed of in various ways including simply being left on the ground (in volume, can spread disease, contaminate water supply, and emit greenhouse gas), bag & trash (plastic bag & contents don't decompose and take space in landfill), flu
Building on Anna's "Fund it with Advertising" inspiration, Charmin toilet paper has been sponsoring public restrooms in the US as a marketing activity for years, rolling up to big public events with their luxury freestanding and mobile restrooms. For
The Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/milleniumgoals) were agreed to by all members of the United Nations, as well as >20 other international organizations. As about 2/3 of the time has passed from the launch of the Millennium Developme
Johan's nice overview of European automatic washing/sanitizing reminds me about the Japanese take on the modern sitting toilet: special toilet slippers for use in the bathroom, automatic cleaning and drying down below, re-use of handwashing water for
Have had ample experience with squat toilets, due to travelling and living in places where they are prevalent. Though I prefer sitting, there are benefits to squatting as well. In fact, I have friends who, when using a sitting toilet, will always use
These Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/milleniumgoals) were agreed to by all members of the United Nations, as well as >20 other international organizations. As about 2/3 of the time has passed from the launch of the Millennium Develop
Following up on Shana's inspiration about local government engagement in San Francisco, there is an opportunity at all levels of government (from individual towns to international organizations like the United Nations) to increase public participatio
Each student brings their parent (or other relative) to class for 1 hour each semester (or class visits parent on site for contextual learning), during which the student & parent jointly teaches the class about something related to the parent's work
Carrot Producers have invested $25 million in launching a multi-faceted campaign to promote baby carrots vs junk food including convenient packaging, vending machines, scarrots (for Halloween), a video game, social media, & tv ads. Check out the atta
Akanksha, an Indian NGO founded by the CEO of Teach for India when she was 18, utilizes after-hours office & school space as learning centers for slum children, as well as community teaching volunteers (college students, Teach for India, working peop
DonorsChoose.org improves US public education by empowering people to fund teacher-posted requests ranging from pencils to computers. It’s already raised >$50 million for classrooms & >60% of projects get fully funded. By expanding this model to the
After I checkout at supermarkets, I often scan the receipt totals to see how much I've saved vs. spent. It's becomes a game to maximize this %, and I've even had a friend call just to report a "high score". Imagine if grocery receipts included simple
This builds on Smriti’s inspiration about matchboxes having the most pervasive distribution network/deepest market penetration in rural India. As matchboxes have unused but visible print spaces, perhaps this space could be used as an educational oppo
The Mobile Learner makes it easy for students & teachers to create, share, & interact with educational content like books, tutorials, flashcards, & quizzes. The Mobile Learner consists of a re-purposed mobile phone loaded with a free educational soft
Building on Chris’s “Zones on Plates” & Max’s follow-up, color coding is applied to lunchboxes & trays, encouraging kids to eat balanced meals and simplifying/nudging assembly (for the likely busy adult). The inside of the lunchbox lid mirrors the co
Herbie the Hairy challenges kids to give it a full set of hair, using a fun planter pre-filled with compost, easy-to-grow herb seeds, & simple instructions/info for growing, cutting, & eating hair. Kids discover agriculture, cooking, nutrition, & new
>1 million 0 rupee notes (having upload problems so linked: http://india.5thpillar.org/zrn/hindi_front.jpg) are in circulation in India to combat corruption: when asked for a bribe, the note is handed over (http://5thpillar.org/~pillar/india/category
Terracycle (a company that upcycles waste), has been producing/selling these small Kids Vegetable/Herb Growing Kits. The planters are made from Stonyfield Yogurt cups filled with compost, seeds are embedded in the carboard, and growing instructions a
Neighborhood Fruit (http://neighborhoodfruit.com/) helps people find & share fruit grown on public land & private yards through a website & mobile app. It already has >10K registered trees. This increase access to & decreases wastage of fresh, season
Health insurers have a vested interest in ensuring their members are healthy (lower costs to reimburse) and thus provide education & incentives for eating healthy. For example, my health insurer gives rebates for joining a fitness club and for comple
Building on Smriti's observation about the ubiquity of matchboxes, and the potential for information to be printed on them. You'd be surprised how much can be conveyed in a small space. The attached image is an example of Bazooka Joe comics that wer
Produce for Kids (www.produceforkids.org) promotes healthy eating of fruits/veggies (& supports kid's causes) through supermarkets (display, recipes), online (games), school materials, etc. Started & mainly funded by the produce industry, it has a pr
The Kids Table in Chicago aims to get kids to love healthy food through cooking classes & products to get parents and children cooking together. Its tagline is “where healthy food is fun!”. Cooking areas & tools are kid-sized; ingredients are natur
Just thought these stats for India might be helpful in thinking about potential access & reach. These are 2010 figures from the CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html), except where noted. M = mil
Citizen Schools, pairs volunteer adults, w/ expertise/experiences, & school children to explore new areas, build practical skills, & create hands-on projects (from farming to programming), increasing active engagement of both students & adults in edu
Student social businesses: 1) help raise education funds, 2) promote learning by doing, building entrepreneurial skills, & 3) benefit the community, while raising student social awareness. Video below profiles some of these efforts in Africa. For exa
Charter schools are independently run schools that receive public government funding, dependent on meeting certain accountability criteria. Although mainly in the developed world, charter schools were/are extensively used in Chile, which is in the mi
Part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, the Apps for Healthy Kids competition has many submissions for tools/games to encourage children to eat healthy. Check them out at: http://www.appsforhealthykids.com/application-gallery
When I think holidays, I think food: e.g. in the US Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Dinner, July 4 Barbecue, Halloween Candy, Easter Egg Hunt, etc. Perhaps an opportunity for awareness, education, & behavior modelling? With all the excitement, maybe i
Food Pyramids seems like a decent way to illustrate food groups and the balance between them. For those ideas, involving measuring progress on an app or website, filling in the sections, seem to be an intuitive way to provide visual feedback. What ot
S2H (http://www.s2h.com) motivates people, including kids, to exercise through wristwatches that reward physical activity. Although this is for exercise, perhaps some of the principles used would be applicable for motivating healthy eating behavior.
Steve’s onto something w/ ColaLife , shipping ‘social products’ in drink crates.
For education though, physical shipment may not be needed. Coke now has touch-screen, Bluetooth, & audio-enabled, vending machines. It’d be a waste just to sell soda.
Mobile phones, compared to computers, are low cost & have high penetration in developing countries (in Africa, penetration is ~50% for mobiles vs. ~10% for internet). So, there’s a large opportunity to deliver appropriate educational technology/cont
DonorsChoose.org improves US public education by empowering people to fund teacher-posted requests ranging from pencils to computers. It’s already raised >$50 million for classrooms & >60% of projects get fully funded.
By expanding this model to t
Thought you might be interested in this new Google X Initiative on "Balloon Powered Internet Access": http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/google-x-announces-project-loon-balloon-powered-internet-for-rural-remote-and-underserved-areas/
Might be relevant/helpful in pursuing realization.