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July 20 2011


Stop Human Trafficking in Russia: Video your App Idea and Enter the Challenge

NetHope, in partnership with USAID, GBI, and DNA, recently launched the Stop Human Trafficking App Challenge. This contest draws upon the thriving culture of innovation in Russia to respond to one of today’s most pressing development challenges – sex and labor trafficking. The contestants are invited to compete in a skills-based challenge to design and build innovative and functional mobile applications.

Target a Human Trafficking Issue

The application should be used to raise public awareness of trafficking, educate at-risk people, or provide services to victims and survivors. This contest is specifically designed for residents and organizations from Russia and Eastern European countries. To see the full list of countries and learn more about the eligibity criteria, visit the NetHope website. You can also follow the twitter hashtag for the challenge (#StopHTapp) to monitor challenge progress and engage in discussions around it.

Participate in the Challenge

The challenge participants are asked to

  1. Come up with a new mobile phone app idea
  2. Fill in the application brief
  3. Upload a two-minute video that demonstrates the functionality of the application

Work for Change and Win Big

One winning application will be implemented by an organization working to combat trafficking in Russia. There are also two cash awards for the winning apps. The grand prize equals US$15,000. The winner of the first prize will receive an amount equaling US$15,000. In addition, both winners will travel to the Annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York in September 2011.

We keep our fingers crossed for you!

July 17 2011


Get inspired by the last week’s Social Innovation Camp in Sarajevo

Last weekend on June 9-10 in the city of Sarajevo activists and social innovators from the Central and Eastern Europe region and beyond got together to create tech projects driven by social needs. The event was organized by Internews and Transitions Online, and it was based on a Social Innovation Camp model.


Social Innovation Camp “brings together ideas, people and digital tools to build web-based solutions to social problems – all in just 48 hours.” The event  provides a setting for talented individuals to solve social challenges in new ways - by bringing together ideas and digital tools to create web-based innovations. SICamp gathers designers, social entrepreneurs, and web developers - in addition to marketing, legal, advertising, social needs experts and other specialists - to work on potential start-ups that can bring about change. The 48 hour sprint finishes with a competition to determine the winning projects that will receive further start-up support. This particular Social Innovation Camp, known under the name of Sicamp Internews (#sicampin), aimed to jumpstart a “digital activist” movement across Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia.


Seven different projects were created during the intense 48 hours. They were judged based on four main criteria:

  1. Is there a demonstrated social need?
  2. Is the proposed technology solution feasible?
  3. Does it have a community?
  4.  Is it sustainable?

The show and tell event, which took place in a newly-opened Sarajevo art house cinema called Kriterion, contained of presentations of projects and prototypes, as well as a question round for each team. The winner of the competition, as chosen by the jury that I joined, is:

This project focuses on the information needs of pregnant women in Belarus. As a research of the project’s mastermind showed most of the pregnant woman in Belarus do not have information about their rights and the state support which they are entitled to. That problem further translates into them not only lacking information access, but also not being able to share their experience with other mums-to-be.  NovaMama! project creates an online space for this offline community to connect. It also invites specialists, such as lawyers and doctors to collaborate and pass their knowledge to those woman. NovaMama! has been created as a Belarusian project. It might be easily adaptable to different national reality if a need arises though.


Another issue that regional activists recognized to be shared across the region, is that  of young people (age 16-24) now knowing how and where they can entertain themselves in their own city, and, specifically, in their own neighbourhood. One of the Social Innovation teams came up with as crowdmap answer to this problem. As explained during the show and tell: “Map4Youth is a quick way of finding out where to do the things you love, right now!” The map allows youngsters to add their city favourites to the map, and build up points to exchange for some popular brands offerings. The target group of the project is a particularly difficult one to tackle, also the potential for the project’s growth is likely to cause sustainability issues. Nevertheless, the idea is simple but appealing.Originally the map covers the territory of the biggest Balkan city - Belgrade.  

3 out of 7 projects drafted and created during the camp focused on  journalism in it’s local and international scope. One of them - Newsify was honoured with the people’s choice award.


Congratulations again for the NovaMama! team and good luck for all the projects development along the way! NetSquared is looking forward to highlighting the real social change that those projects will drive in the region. It was an amazing experience to be a part of the outstanding jury team, and to learn from the amazing and passionate group of participants.

Thank you guys, we are keeping our fingers crossed for you! “Yes, you CAMP!”


To read, listen and watch more materials connected to the event visit the Social Innovation Camp Internews blog.

July 06 2011


Apps4Russia Calls for Open Data and Transparency Based Application Ideas

Apps4Russia is a contest that's been initiated by Ivan Begtin, founder of OpenGovData.ru and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation's (OKF) Working Group on Open Government Data.

The contest welcomes web and application developers to create projects based on the foundation of using open government data for public benefit and nurturing more transparency in government.

It is great to see an increased engagement with data in countries around the world.  Again, we in the NGO sector need to be thinking seriously about how our data is included in these sets so that they are a part of the apps and a part of the useage and decision-making around them.

Marnie Webb, Co-CEO of TechSoup Global, Apps4Russia is looking for a few good ideas

Projects may be submitted in a variety of forms including desktop, mobile or web based application. Please note your project should not be associated with any political party or movement.

The contest offers prizes to the top three projects including a first place prize of 100 thousand rubles. Apps4Russia is already underway (having kicked off on June 30st 2011) and will run until October 1st 2011. The winning ideas selected will be announced on October 15th 2011.

Apps4Russia is a great example of what countries can achieve by calling for action through the use of open data to address local issues, encourage change and unleash solutions to common problems.

Learn more about Apps4Russia in Russian or English
Have an idea to submit? You can submit an application here

June 15 2011


TechSoup Webinar: Requesting a Donation Part 2

Trying to determine which donations your organization is eligible for? Join us for a quick webinar that focuses on eligibility requirements for the donation and discount programs through TechSoup, and the online tools you can use to check your eligibility. Register now, space is limited.

This webinar is suited for staff at nonprofit private schools in the United States interested in learning more about registering their organization with TechSoup. Register now, space is limited.


May 31 2011


Join Hack for Change, June 18 & 19 in San Francisco

Can you build a socially responsible app in just 24 hours?

That is what Hack for Change challenges participants to do. Hack for Change encourages developers to use their coding skills for social good encouraging the development of web and mobile apps for social change.

Not only is this an inspiring and unique event, but the top-rated app creators will win $10,000 to help continue the success of their vision. The event will take place Saturday, June 18, 2011 and Sunday, June 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Registration is free.

Participants can register solo or with a team, each member must register individually. The organizers also want participants - or anyone with an idea - to submit ahead of time. This will give participants a list of suggestions for possible apps to develop over the weekend. Of course you can also create apps based on your own idea at the event. You can submit an idea here.

If you're a socially conscious developer, then this the perfect event for you. Learn more about Hack for Change and register to attend.

Follow Hack for Change on Twitter

Good luck!

May 27 2011


Register Now for OpenGov NYC

OpenGov NYC is an exciting unconference to be held in New York City. This one day event will provide an opportunity for a variety of civicly engaged participants to foster conversations regarding the relation between participation, transparency, and efficiency.

This is third event in a series of annual events hosted by the Open NY Forum. These convening forums are a way of creating a positive and productive space for government workers, technologists, entrepreneurs, and citizens to come together and engage with one another.

The event will be held on Sunday, June 5, 10am to 6pm at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. 

The day will revolve around three primary questions:

  • Where is "local" Open Government going?
  • How can we deepen the knowledge of what Open Government can be?
  • What are the social and technical tools affecting Open Government's development?

This is a must attend for anyone passionate about technology, transparency, and government. Tickets are $15 and you can register here. Be sure to follow OpenGov Camp creators Open NY Forum on Twitter.

May 26 2011


American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketing Conference

OnPointPlease join us for the 2011 Nonprofit Marketing Conference in DC, July 11-13.
The line-up is amazing, the presenters an incredible mix of nonprofit marketing experts.

Here are a few of the tech-related highlights:

    Social Media Success for Nonprofits

    More than three-quarters of surveyed nonprofits in 2010 said that social media works best for “enhancing relationships with existing audiences.” But, are there more benefits coming with evolving use? Should nonprofits be using one networking site or more? Are there any strategies to managing the time it takes to grow social networks? And, how will services like Facebook and Twitter be changing in the future?

    Register for this three-hour, pre-conference workshop with renowned social media expert, Blue State Digital, the company that has crafted and implemented powerful social media campaigns for dozens of issue organizations and cultural institutions. We'll talk about some tactics that have worked well for BSD clients (like Obama for America, the NAACP, the Jewish Federations, Share Our Strength, US Soccer, and the It Gets Better Project) and others. We'll discuss where the biggest bang for the buck is for nonprofits, and where the risks are. We'll have a special conversation about prioritizing staff time in an era of limited resources. And, we'll reserve time to discuss your own programs and challenges.

    Lead presenter Rich Mintz will be joined by other members of BSD's communications team to talk about social media programs they worked on, why they made the decisions they did, and what results they achieved.  

    This is a hands-on session. Bring your laptop or mobile device!
    Presenter: Rich Mintz
    , Vice President, Strategy, Blue State Digital

  • All a Twitter July 12
    A recent study shows that 78% of nonprofit organizations find Twitter to be the most effective social media tool for reaching new supporters. This interactive session will focus on the future of social media and Twitter as they are being played out in the nonprofit sector and will include:  

    ·         Twitter best practices for nonprofits

    ·         Successful nonprofit campaigns on Twitter

    ·         Fundraising/membership on Twitter

    ·         Tools and tricks to use with Twitter

    ·         How Twitter benefits your integrated marcom strategy

    Bring your laptop or mobile device for hands-on practice!
    : David Neff,Senior Digital Strategist, Ridgewood: Ingenious Communication Strategy, co-author, The Future of Nonprofits: Innovate and Thrive in the Digital Age

  • Nonprofit Customer Acquisition and Retention: Traditional vs Digital Methods for Maximizing ROI

    July 12
    In order for nonprofits to survive and thrive, they need to continually acquire/recruit new donors, members, supporters, clients, and volunteers. Once they're in the door, however, attrition rates can soar without a sound stewardship and engagement program to retain them and grow revenue.

    Presenters: Allyson Kapin, Founder at Women Who Tech, Partner, Rad Campaign; Eric Rardin, Director of Nonprofit Services, Care2

 Get the earlybird discount of $100 if you register before June 11! There are group discounts, too, for nonprofits sending three or more employees. Click the image to find out more! JUST BE THERE!

May 25 2011


Attend the 8th Annual Games for Change Festival

The Games for Change Annual Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the only international event uniting creators of games for change, the public, civil society, academia, the gaming industry, and the media. The event will be held June 20-22 in New York City.

Entry fee for the festival ranges from US$60 to US$520, depending on your demographic (student, nonprofit, or general public) and preferred type of access (pre-festival summit, the festival, or access to all events).

Festival highlights include Al Gore’s keynote speech, the Award Gala, and the Demo Spotlight.

  • The Festival Awards recognize excellence in games that address current pressing social issues. The four  categories are: Direct Impact, Learning & Education, Transmedia, and the Knight News Award, which focuses on news games.
  • The Demo Spotlight is an opportunity for game developers to present their projects to an open panel of designers and funders on the festival’s main stage.

You can find the complete list of the nominees, speakers, and the full agenda at the festival’s website: http://gamesforchange.org/festival2011/.

Don't miss out on the workshops, keynotes, and networking opportunities! You can still register for this year’s event.


Intro to Twitter for Nonprofits and Social Enterprises: #VirtualNet2 Slides, Audio, and Wrap-up

This post outlines how Net2Camb hosted it's first livestreamed event, provides information about how view the slides and listen to the audio, and overviews our future plans for providing more live and recorded Netsquared Local event content in the future.

About the event

Participants at Net2Camb Event. Courtesy Andrew Entecott.

Ellie Stonely graciously offered to share her experiences using Twitter with our NetSquared Local group in Cambridge, UK. The topic was Intro to Twitter for Charities and Social Enterprises. In the talk, Ellie led a strategy-based conversation sharing case studies, lessons learned, and first steps for people and organizations that are interested in trying Twitter for the first time. 

The event was held on 24 May 2011, at Cambridge Online. You can read a few excerpts from the event on Storify.

About the livestream

A few weeks ago I got a note from Steven Flower, the NetSquared Local organizer in Manchester, asking if the group I help manage in Cambridge wanted to collaborate in real-time from 130 miles away. His email started: "Just a random thought, but we too have our Meetup scheduled in Manchester on the SAME DAY! Right now, we haven't a speaker or anything, so here is my crazy idea". The email went on to outline a way to stream content over the web to provide an event speaker in both cities simultaneously. I love crazy ideas and I knew it would add value to our efforts, so of course I said YES!

Now, I'm no techie, but Steven had been testing out a tool called Ipadio for streaming and sharing audio within his group. He suggested that we could upload the slides before the event and use Ipadio on a mobile phone to stream the audio live. We could also share ideas and feedback in real-time with virtual participants using the #virtualnet2 hashtag as a twitter backchannel.

His plan worked a charm!

For anyone else intersted in using this solution for their events, here are a few of my lessons learned:

  • The speaker needs to give an audio cue to the virtual participants every time she changes slides. We did this by having someone other than the speaker flip through the slides, which gave the speaker a reminder to say "next slide please". We also tweeted out (using the event hashtag) which slide we were on in the room.
  • The speaker needs a microphone. An easy way to do this is to clip a headset/mic that comes with many smartphones onto the blouse of the speaker, and ask her to put the phone in her pocket after you log in. No need to plug the headphones in her ears though - it's a one-way channel!
  • Test the audio before the event. Make sure it's not too echoy or quiet. Make sure you know how to log in.

It's not too late to participate!

Ellie Stonely Speaks at Net2Camb Event. Courtesy Andrew Entecott.

While we did a lot to provide an interactive experience in real-time, if you missed the event you can still access the content to review in your own time. Here's how to access it:

  1. Open or download Ellie’s Slides
  2. Open the audio stream
  3. Use the #virtualNet2 hashtag to share ideas on Twitter. The speaker is @e11ie5 and the host group is @Net2Camb.

The future for #VirtualNet2

This wasn't the first NetSquared Local event to be streamed online and it certainly won't be the last. The Philladelphia NetSquared group, for instance, have been pioneers at streaming Local content and have inspired much of our thinking for the Cambridge-Manchester event.

In the future, we plan to make it easier for people interested in participating in events virtually. Soon, we'll be launching a Virtual NetSquared Local option "officially" but if you'd like to be automatically notified of future events you can go ahead and sign up on the Virtual NetSquared Local meetup page today.

Thank yous

The first big THANK YOU goes to the community and event participants in Cambridge, Manchester, and aroudn the world. Thank you for bearing with us when things didn't go quite to plan (for instance when the slides were posted about 5 minutes before the talk!) and thank you for encouraging us to make the event happen - both online and in-person.

To the fabulous Ellie Stonely. For providing excellent resources, ideas, and conversation. Your situation yesterday wasn't ideal, but you really pulled through!

To Andrew Entecott and Cambridge Online. For being our gracious sponsors of the event, even during this rough time.

To Steven Flower. Thanks for the hard work, inspiration, publicity, and friendship.

To Manchester Net Tuesday. You guys rock and I can't wait to have another event where you stream to us!

To James and the other folks at Ipadio. Thank you for your technical support!

May 20 2011


Participate in a Virtual NetSquared Local Event: Intro to Twitter for Nonprofits and Social Enterprises

Join us May 24 at 7pm GMT in-person or online to learn about using twitter for non-profits and social enterprises.

I’ve been talking with several NetSquared Local organizers recently about the potential for streaming events in real-time to allow virtual participation around the world, and several groups have already been hosting mixed offline and online events for some time now. So, when I got an email from Steven Flower (@StevieFlow), our Manchester Net Tuesday organizer, asking if we could stream the Tuesday’s NetSquared Cambridge audio to the group up there, I knew we had to do it.


Twitter for Non Profits and Social Enterprises

The event we’ve been planning in Cambridge is centered around introducing Twitter to non profits and social enterprises. Ellie Stoneley (@e11ie5) will be take the lead and share some of the twitter experiences she has had in numerous non profits from the UK to LA and to Madagascar and India. Learn more about the topic.

Who’s connecting?

The Manchester Net Tuesday group: The group up north will meet as in person, but instead of having a speaker in Manchester, they’ll hook up the audio feed and slides and share the presentation in-real time. They’ll also have their own networking time before and after Ellie’s presentation. Here are the details for attending in person.

Anyone in the world: Anyone around the world can connect from the comforts of their own homes. The event will be streaming live, and should also be available after the event is over. 

How to connect?

When: 7pm GMT, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

(If, like me, you struggle to figure what time this is where you are, then I find this useful:http://www.timeanddate.com/)


Whether you are participating in Cambridge, Manchester, or anywhere else in the world, we hope you’ll join the conversation online using the #virtualNet2 hashtag on Twitter. The Cambridge event is fully booked for in-person attendance, but there are still some spots left in Manchester. Here are the location and RSVP details.

Here’s how to get involved virtually:


  1. Open or download Ellie’s Slides (link coming soon!)
  2. Open the live audio stream
  3. Use the #virtualNet2 hashtag to share ideas on Twitter. The speaker is @e11ie5 and the host group is @Net2Camb.

DJ > VJ > Story-J!

Storify helps you mix content to make a story...

We plan to use Storify during and after the event to mix together the content together created around the discussions across social media to leave a record and narrative. If you haven’t started to use Storify yet, then do! If you have, then tell us how you have!


This event is a small experiment for us in terms of building the NetSquared Local community. With like-minded folk getting together in cities and towns across the world, how can we utilize social media to share and exchange our stories, skills and experiences? Answers and questions at #virtualNet2 tweetcard please!

Live Link Ups Can #Fail

Here at NetSquared Cambridge, we’ve never done a livestream before. We’re pretty good with this technology malarky, but please bear with us if we have some technical difficulties! 


A special thanks goes out to Ellie Stoneley for her enthusiasm to broadcast her presentation and to Steven Flower for making the virtual aspect of this event a reality.


May 05 2011


Social Innovation Camp 2011 in Sarajevo

Social Innovation Camp brings together ideas, people, and digital tools to build web-based solutions to social problems — from hacking together software to working out how you'd sustain an idea — all in just 48 hours.

Do you have an idea you want to work on? Or maybe a particular technical solution that could be used for good? Social Innovation Camp Internews in Sarajevo is looking for inspiring ideas and committed people. The call for submissions will be closed Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

This year’s event will be held in Sarejevo on July 9-10, 2011 and organized by Internews and Transitions (TOL). The focus of Social Innovation Camp Internews is to jumpstart a “digital activist” movement across Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia that uses information and communication technologies for positive social change.

Anyone from across the world — including people who work for NGOs or the media; who are public employees, web developers, business or marketing types who are enthusiastic about a social cause — is invited to attend the event as experts, volunteers, and developers. Travel grants are available for the priority countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

To apply for participation fill out this form.

Read more about the Social Innovation Camp Internews in Sarajevo: http://www.sicamp-internews.org

April 19 2011


What do librarians know about apps? Plenty.

Today I had the great pleasure of sitting in a room--a small room--with the FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, as he announced a new project in collaboration with the Knight Foundation: Apps for Communities. This exciting new venture will put $100k of prizes in the hands of folks who dream up creative and useful ways to capitalize on existing public data and connect local folks to local data that solves local issues.

While Chairman Genachowski likely didn't have librarians in mind when nurturing this idea with the Knight Foundation, my first thought was: librarians! You might be thinking, "but I'm not a coder," and that may be true, but you have ideas. And you know your community. And you're crafty, innovative, and smart. What does your community need?

From the FCC:

This challenge is an effort to drive the great technical skills we have in our country out into our local communities. A particular goal is to build new applications to improve access for people who struggle with accessing information and services online: Seniors, non-English speakers, people who are uncomfortable with technology, and others. This contest seeks to bring the value of broadband to people who are, up until now, less likely to be online."

These people are in your library, using your library's services. What do they need? Do they need access to information during a disaster? Do they need to know where urgent care facilities exist and how to get there by public transportation? These were just two ideas shared during the press conference and discussion, but you likely have better, more focused ideas because you know the patrons who walk through your doors.

But what to do with your idea? Well, here's an idea:

One of TechSoup's projects, NetSquared, holds monthly offline events for anyone interested in technology and social impact. These local gatherings are an opportunity to share ideas, learn from one another, and collaborate on projects to create real world impact. What's more, they take place in 80 cities around the world, and if one doesn't exist near you, you can start on AT YOUR LIBRARY! How cool is that? Perhaps this FCC/Knight Foundation challenge is just the venue for you to share your idea with folks who could really make it happen. Try it. Or let me know why not. Or share your idea in the comments. Or just plain get in touch.

April 14 2011


DonorsChoose.Org Competition: Enter to use technology to improve education

Are you a data analyst or a developer interested in improving public education in the United States? Submit your ideas and you can get to work with the DonorsChoose.org Hacking Education Competition!

To get a chance to work with DonorsChoose.org you would have to be chosen from the top finishers in each of the seven categories: Data Analysis, Javascript, .Net, PHP, Python, Ruby, Wildcard.

To participate:

Deadline for the submission is June 30, 2011, Midnight PST

Even if you don’t become The Big Winner, DonorsChoose.org still offers awards in each category. Remember to focus on apps or analyses that have the greatest potential to engage the public and impact education.

Since DonorsChoose.org was founded, it has enabled more than 165,000 teachers at 43,000 public schools to post over 300,000 classroom project requests, inspiring $80 million in giving from 400,000 donors. To further improve public education in the United States, DonorsChoose.org wants to build a community of data crunchers and developers. Launching this contest is one way to do that.

Learn more about the competition  here: http://www.donorschoose.org/hacking-education


We’re Hiring! Global Community Builder (CEE)

We’re currently looking for a veteran community builder with experience growing and managing community-driven projects in central and eastern Europe and around the world.

Here’s a quick summary of the role:
The CDI Global Community Builder will inform and implement the design and ongoing management of all CDI programmatic activities across the region, including grant-supported projects. Specifically, the Community builder is focused on growing participation and connections across TechSoup’s web properties and partner sites via implementing a social media strategy, supporting offline events in the region, facilitating workshops and/or trainings, and managing the launch and development of web-based challenges in the region.

Our dream candidate is naturally curious, inspired by the potential of the social web, and has already demonstrated their ability to bring diverse groups of people together to get things done. Bonus points for previous involvement in the NetSquared or nptech community.

Does this sound like you or someone you trust? Check out the full details including application instructions!

Note: Our team is distributed, but we’re particularly interested in candidates in Poland or elsewhere in central or eastern Europe.

April 12 2011


Three Pioneering Projects Win Coveted 2011 Vodafone and Mhealth Alliance Wireless Innovation Awards

Three Pioneering Projects Win Coveted

Vodafone And Mhealth Alliance Wireless Innovation Awards


$650,000 Competition Recognizes Projects with Most Potential to Solve Critical Global Challenges


The Vodafone Americas Foundation and mHealth Alliance today announced the winners of the third annual Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ and second annual mHealth Alliance Award. The winning projects include a device to diagnose eye disorders, a wireless system that identifies high-risk pregnancies, and a solar-powered apparatus to monitor patients’ medication and relay the information to their local health workers.  The projects will be awarded $650,000 in cash and prizes to further develop their projects for implementation and adoption. Team members from the winning projects will accept their awards together at the Global Philanthropy Forum conference in Redwood City, CA on April 14, 2011.


The 2011 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ and the mHealth Alliance Award winners are:


First Place Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™:

NETRA ($300,000)

From the MIT Media Lab, NETRA is an inexpensive mobile visual testing tool, which is a clip-on eyepiece for mobile phones that can instantly screen for eye conditions and transmit data to an optometrist, allowing for early treatment of common refractive eye disorders and cataracts. The device exploits emerging high-resolution screens of mobile devices and a software that analyzes the patient interaction. It will lead the way to addressing the most common, treatable visual impairments that, because of a lack of access to technology, disable more than half a billion people worldwide. (More at http://eyenetra.com


Second Place Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ and

Additional mHealth Alliance Award Winner:

Smart Diaphragm ($200,000 plus $50,000 in mHealth Alliance Award benefits)

From University of California, San Francisco, the Smart Diaphragm is a wireless monitoring and early warning system for high-risk pregnancies that can be cheaply and easily administered by a patient. Around the world, one in ten babies are born prematurely – leading to death and lifelong disabilities, however, pre-term labor is often preventable or can be delayed with early detection and treatment. The Smart Diaphragm detects decreasing levels of collagen in the cervix – an indicator of impending pre-term labor – with results transmitted to a cloud database monitored by physicians.


In addition to the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™ prize, as the winner of the mHealth Alliance Award, Smart Diaphragm also will receive prizes worth $50,000, including strategic and networking assistance from the mHealth Alliance. 


Third Place Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project™:

CoolComply ($100,000)

This inter-disciplinary collaboration involves the Massachusetts General Hospital, Innovations in International Health at MIT, and an international NGO, the Global Health Committee. CoolComply is a solar-powered wireless detection system that monitors the doses and the temperature of the medication, relaying readings via wireless to the local healthcare workers to track treatment and intervene when necessary. CoolComply provides patients undergoing treatment for Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and their caregivers with the proper monitoring to ensure they are meeting the standards for their treatment.  The number of MDR-TB cases is growing and, while curable, the treatment is extensive – 18 to 24 months – and complex, involving temperature and time sensitive doses of medicine.   


 “It is heartening to see that the caliber of entries continues to grow for the Wireless Innovation Project,” said Peter Barry, President, Vodafone Americas Foundation.  “The entries for this year’s competition were very inspiring and extremely competitive.”

This year, nearly 100 Wireless Innovation Project™ applications were received with the potential to help solve critical social issues across a variety of fields including healthcare, education, access, economic development, environment, connectivity and disaster relief.  Due to the growing collaboration between Vodafone and the mHealth Alliance, there was a significant increase in mHealth applications compared to last year. 

 “Our goal with the mHealth Alliance Award is to spur wireless innovation to solve global health challenges, especially in developing countries,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO, United Nations Foundation, which hosts the mHealth Alliance.  “Cutting edge technologies like the Smart Diaphragm will be critical if we are to succeed at reducing maternal and child deaths and help meet the Millennium Development Goals.”

Eight finalists representing the fields of education, environment, healthcare, transportation and Internet access were selected from a large and diverse applicant pool to travel to San Francisco to personally present their projects in front of the judges.  The other finalists were:

Cellphone-Enabled Tricorder – A compact wireless device to monitor subjects with sleep apnea and infants at risk of SIDS.


mobileVision – A community healthcare worker-centric hardware and software mobile platform to perform low-cost eye exams and check-ups and transmit the results to a remote ophthalmologist or optometrist.


PocketSchool - Enabling and tracking highly interactive learning and training instances through a hybrid (i.e., cellular & wi-fi) ad-hoc mobile learning network designed for the neediest and most remote corners of the world.


TUBE-ing Over Digital Divide – A software system that computes and delivers congestion dependent pricing for mobile Internet access, enabling an extremely affordable wireless data plan where users can leverage low-congestion and low-price time slots. 


Wireless Green Patch – A low cost wireless device to monitor the integrity of civil and transportation structures as well as energy efficiency in buildings.


The awards for the Wireless Innovation Project™ and mHealth Alliance Award will be presented at the annual Global Philanthropy Forum conference.  The Global Philanthropy Forum, with a mission that complements the goals of both the Vodafone Americas Foundation and the mHealth Alliance, is building a community of donors and social investors committed to international causes and aims to inform, enable and enhance the strategic nature of their work.  The Global Philanthropy Forum conference provides an ideal venue for the Wireless Innovation Project winners to receive their awards, providing the opportunity for them to meet people in similar fields and to develop international partnerships and collaborations.


Through its foundations, Vodafone has long recognized that wireless technology has the potential to make the significant impacts in the world – particularly in developing countries.  Vodafone Americas Foundation™ launched the Wireless Innovation Project™ (http://project.vodafone-us.com/) in 2008 to foster creativity and fund the most promising innovations with the potential to solve pressing issues around the globe. In addition to the Wireless Innovation Project™, Vodafone and its global network of 27 foundations are helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world lead better, fuller lives through more than $60,000,000 in grants and contributions.


Open to NGOs, universities, nonprofit and mHealth organizations, each year, the Wireless Innovation Project fosters three winners to advance their projects through the next stages of development. Vodafone provides additional – and invaluable – support by integrating the winning projects with the foundation’s vast network of social entrepreneurs, NGO’s and international agencies.  Previous award-winning projects have already begun to show impressive results. Last year’s second place winner, FrontlineSMS: Credit, is building an application to enable easy enterprise use of mobile payment systems to bring financial services to the entrepreneurial poor, and will be beta testing software in East Africa this spring.


The expert judges for the competition represent a mix of expertise and backgrounds in the fields of wireless telecommunications, health research, and advocacy.  Each judge is a recognized leader in business, government, academia or international development.

The 2011 panel of Judges includes:


Dr. James Kahn, Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco

Richard J. Lynch, Executive Vice President, Verizon

Peters Suh, CEO, Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)

Katrin Verclas, Co-Founder and Editor, MobileActive.org

Jody Ranck, DrPH, Director of Thought Leadership, Policy and Advocacy at the mHealth Alliance/UN Foundation


About the Vodafone Americas Foundation™

Vodafone Americas Foundation™ is part of Vodafone’s global network of foundations. We are affiliated with Vodafone Group Plc, the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with ownership interests in 30 countries and Partner Markets in more than 40 countries. As of March 2010, Vodafone had approximately 341.1 million proportionate customers worldwide. In the U.S., our foundation directs its philanthropic activities towards the San Francisco Bay and the Metro Denver Areas where most of our employees live and work, and where we strive to make a positive and enduring impact on our communities. The Foundation is driven by a passion for the world around us. We make grants that help people in our communities and around the world lead fuller lives.


About the mHealth Alliance
The mHealth Alliance (mHA) mobilizes innovation to deliver quality health at the furthest reaches of wireless networks and mobile devices.  Working with diverse partners, the mHA advances mHealth through research, advocacy, and support for the development of interoperable solutions and sustainable deployment models.  The mHA sponsors innovation challenges and conferences, leads cross-sector mHealth initiatives, and hosts HUB (Health UnBound), a global online community for resource sharing and collaborative solution generation. Hosted by the United Nations Foundation, and founded by the UN, Rockefeller, and Vodafone Foundations, the mHA now also includes PEPFAR, HP, and the GSM Association among its founding partners. For more information, visit www.mhealthalliance.org




TechSoup Webinar: Social Media for Volunteer Managing and More

Are you exploring new and innovative ways to build and sustain your community of volunteers? Curious about social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – and wondering if it could be an effective way to connect with future and current volunteers?

Attend this free webinar to hear Jayne Cravens from Coyote Communications and Erin Barnhart from Effective Altruism discuss tips and strategies for effectively using social media to find, communicate with, and build community among volunteers. This webinar, in recognition of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, is ideal for staff at any nonprofit or library who are interested in exploring how social media and other technologies might be used to strengthen their current volunteer program.

In this webinar you will:

  • Review best practices for finding and retaining volunteers
  • Learn how social media can be an effective tool for recruitment and communication
  • Assess if and how social media might benefit your volunteer program
  • Discover additional websites and online tools to explore


April 11 2011


Enter to Win the European Open Data Challenge

Are you interested in using open data for good in Europe? The Open Data Challenge is designed to encourage interesting ways of reusing public data for the benefit of European citizens.  The competition encourages anyone from programmers to non-technical idea-makers to help create a useful app using public data.

Do you have a great idea? Here's how you can get involved:

  • Ideas – Anyone can suggest an idea for projects which reuse public information to do something interesting or useful.
  • Apps – Teams of developers can submit working applications which reuse public information.
  • Visualisations – Designers, artists and others can submit interesting or insightful visual representations of public information.
  • Datasets - Public bodies can submit newly opened up datasets, or developers can submit derived datasets which they've cleaned up, or linked together

The Open Data Challenge is open between now and June 5. Enter your ideas to win one of several cash prizes!

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