Tech Innovations That Will Change the Developing World

As the Internet began to develop and expand in the early 1990s, we were confronted with the issue of the “Digital Divide” with Internet access limited to those with costly equipment and connections.

We looked at libraries and community centers as the short-term answer to at least create a public place for those wanting access to the new technologies and information sources we were developing. It was a battle to get the funds and create the spaces, but what we did then is now being repeated on a much broader scale, thanks to the reduction in equipment prices, but also the financial interests of those bringing mobile finance to the developing world.

Virtual Banks and ATMs are a major driving force behind the explosive use of Internet tech by the poorest of the world citizens. These new resources and connections will have an amazing impact on health care and other services as the applications and necessary funds are brought to those in need over the next few years. At the same time, new freedoms and awareness we be enjoyed by those using the devices below, and more to come…as I’d change the title of the article below to “…Will Change the Developing World.” …Frank Kliewer

5 Tech Innovations That Could Change the Developing World

October 12, 2011 by Zoe Fox12 


Across the developing world, new technologies are helping to distribute resources for education, connectivity and health far and wide. Innovators are finding ways to make technology cheaper and therefore accessible to millions previously excluded by high costs.

Affordability is often the greatest hurdle to overcome in products from sanitation devices to tablet computers, mobile phones to solar panels.

Take a look at these five tech breakthroughs and how they are helping to level the playing field in developing countries.


1. Inexpensive Tablets


One week after Amazon released the Kindle Fire, the first tablet computer to present a serious threat toApple‘s iPad, another historic tablet was released. On the other side of the world on October 5, India launched the world’s cheapest tablet, Aakash, priced at just $35 for students with government subsidies or $60 in stores, which the government hopes will reduce the digital divide between rich and poor.

If that price — roughly one-tenth the cost of the cheapest iPad — doesn’t sound accessible enough, the Indian government is distributing the first 100,000 units of the Android-powered tablet to college students for free, Reuters reports. “The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide,” said Kapil Sibal, India’s minister of communications and information technology.

The tablet was developed by DataWind, a small British company, with researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology. In addition to fitting the price to the budget of middle class Indians, the device was tested playing two hours of video at 118 degrees Fahrenheit to replicate the oppressive heat of northern India’s summers.


2. Inexpensive Laptops


One Laptop Per Child‘s XO and Intel’s Classmate PC share a common mission: Bringing children access to education through computer ownership. Both programs distribute rugged, affordable laptops to schoolchildren across the developing world.

Inexpensive LaptopsIntel developed a suite of educational software to accompany the little blue laptop, which costs between $400 and $500 each to distribute. These programs enable teachers to communicate with their students through web-based applications. The computer features a swivel screen, essentially converting the laptop into a touch-tablet. Its durability was tested by baking it in an oven and placing it in a freezer.

Similarly, One Laptop Per Child donates rugged, low-cost laptops that don’t even require an electric outlet. The $200 computers are distributed to students between ages 6-12, so that they are integrated into their early education. Take a look at the video above to learn more about the non-profit’s work.


3. Inexpensive Mobile Phones


As mobile phone ownership rapidly spreads across the developing world, many have tried to create the world’s cheapest cellphone — even Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez.

Today, Vodafone 150 can claim that title, selling a mobile phone for just under $15. While the phone is not feature-rich, it offers voice calling, text messaging and mobile payments, and it will have an enormous impact on those who have never before connected by mobile. A slightly more expensive Vodafone 250 model is available with an FM radio and color screen.

The phone was launched in 2010 in India, Turkey and eight African nations. Of course, entering into these new markets meant a lot of work to extend the mobile coverage area by the provider.


4. Alternative Energy


SunSaluter: $10,000 Winner of the EcoLiving 2011 Student Leadership Award from Scotiabank’s EcoLiving on Vimeo.

SunSaluter, winner of the Startups for Good challenge, aims to bring solar panels to villages in the developing world that have never had access to electricity. While solar energy is a hot topic across the world, its expense has prevented deeper penetration. Eden Full, a mechanical engineering undergraduate at Princeton University, developed solar panels that optimize energy collection as they rotate to face the sun for as much time as possible each day. The system costs just $10 and uses 40% fewer panels than typical solar energy thanks to its rotations.


5. Improved Sanitation


Bill Gates emphasized the importance of sanitation improvements when he pledged to reinvent the toilet for the developing world.

The computer innovator has a point. According to water.org, one billion people don’t have access to clean water, and 2.5 billion people don’t have improved sanitation. So it should come as no surprise that improving sanitation is key to the progress of developing countries.

Safe WaterWhile cheap laptops and tablets are certainly exciting, some of the life improving technologies in the developing world don’t even require electricity. Last year, India’s Tata Chemicals released the Tata Swach(the Hindi word for clean), an affordable water filter (priced at around $21) that uses nanotechnology, requires no electricity and meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s sanitation standards.

The filter is made of rice husk ash (the natural byproduct of making polished rice) and fine nano-silver particles to prohibit bacteria growth. Using the filter prevents against waterborne bacteria and viruses. When Swach was released, Tata said only 6% of urban households and 1% of rural households in India were using water purification devices.

Originating Post:

http://mashable.com/2011/10/12/tech-developing-countries/

How well are nonprofits socially networking

(Note from Frank Kliewer: The following article summarizes the angst that many nonprofits are going through over the use of social media. Sarah Todd points out that while success is spotty, it is time to get over the waiting game, social networking is here to stay so you might as well jump in and learn the ropes. I do believe that organizations need to develop their own brand of social communication to keep their network engaged with them and not allow their valuable base to waste time on the larger sites seeking a meaningful conversation.)

How well are nonprofits socially networking

Posted: January 7, 2012 – 12:14am

By Sarah Todd

The benefit of using social media to promote your nonprofit is taken as a given today by most of us. Many nonprofits are in their sixth or seventh year of using social media to promote themselves and engage with communities. More than 85 percent of nonprofits are experimenting with social media (Neal Shaffer, WindMill Networking).

Late or non-adopters are still unsure whether social networking is a fad and whether the current tools will change on them, wasting precious time and resources.

In the Nonprofit Quarterly, Christine Durand and Kristen Cici acknowledge that while the tools may and will change, social media is here to stay as an important public relations and engagement tool.

Their advice is that nonprofits should invest in the concept of being social organizations rather than becoming stuck on a single tool.

Some of us are still unclear on exactly why the social network is so important.

Bottom line, it’s the online version of word-of-mouth advertising. And that’s not the same as self-promotion. It’s getting other people talking about and engaged in your organization. Then you can reach out more personally, engaging donors, volunteers and more.

Many nonprofits doing social networking are missing opportunities and making beginners’ mistakes.

A few of the most common, from a useful list provided by Fundraising Success magazine, are failing to post social networking icons on your web site so people can easily get to your social networking links and too much self-promotion instead of real engagement through conversation.

A third major failure is not blogging because this is what brings fresh content to your site on a daily basis, and that fresh content helps in many ways.

Most of us are intimidated by the idea of blogging or put off by the many inane blogs we encounter. We’re fearful it will become a deep sinkhole of time with little to show for it. If not done well, that could be right. But that excuse has lost its potency because there’s so much wisdom available online on how to blog well.

In a fall 2011 Huffington Post article, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark revealed the results of a survey his team undertook to discover the social networking results of the top 50 highest earning nonprofits.

Metrics such as the number of Tweets over the two-month survey period and the number of Facebook fans and posts and comments received during the period were used to define effective. The survey results are available at Huff Post Impact online.

The Craigslist team found top earning nonprofits do not necessarily have either the best visibility or the most meaningful activity in the social media arena. Though 92 percent of the 50 nonprofits on the highest earnings list use social media, some of the most social-media-savvy organizations were the lowest among the top fifty.

In our own community, where the average income for nonprofits is much lower than these top fifty, how can smaller nonprofits — short on time and people — effectively use social networking?

Begin with just one or two social networking sites, like FaceBook and Twitter. There are now a number of highly useful and not overly technical books on how to get set up with each of the major social networking tools.

After reading, create a plan before you jump in. Decide who will work on it and how much daily time they can afford to spend. If you are on more than one site, link them so you can more efficiently get news out.

This technique does not allow you to customize your responses to these two audiences, so just do it while you’re getting settled into a routine with your social networking and analyze how effective it is for you.

Finally, you can do fine as a beginner with one post a day or even a few times a week. What’s important is not to be inconsistent about how often you post and to respond to posts in a timely manner to help retain your followers.

With all the great information resources available on social networking, I think 2012 will be a year when many adopters get much better at it and most of the rest of us finally jump into the pool. If we always keep in mind that our purpose is to create meaningful, engaged conversation, we can’t go too far wrong.

Sarah Todd is director of development for Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia and the founder of Change Pioneers. Sarah can be reached at 912-224-2120 or changepioneers@gmail.com.

Link to original article:

http://savannahnow.com/exchange/2012-01-07/how-well-are-nonprofits-socially-networking#.TwhNkdTOzHQ

Former Mariner’s charity helps families coping with disabilities

Former Mariner’s charity helps families coping with disabilities 

by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

In many of our Making a Difference stories, we tell you about little-known heroes in the community. But this story in about someone you probably already know, former Seattle Mariner John Olerud.

He was an All-Star at the top of his game in 2000. Money, fame, and adored by his hometown fans. Olerud had it all, but that same summer he and his family were hit with a devastating disorder.

John’s daughter Jordan was born with an incredibly rare chromosome disorder leaving her unable to walk on her own, or even speak.

“It was definitely an eye opener that things don’t always go the way you’ve planned,” he said.

The Lundquist family knows that same heartache of broken plans. Their son Koby suffered a severe asthma attack in 2010, and a lack of oxygen left him permanently brain damaged.

Woodinville's Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Ranch
Woodinville's Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Ranch

While their struggles are similar, there is one glaring difference — the Oleruds have the means to put their daughter through special therapies, like those offered at Woodinville’s Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Ranch, helping Jordan make great advances.

The Lundquists couldn’t even properly bathe their boy because he was too big to lift in and out of the tub, and they couldn’t afford the $2,500 for a special shower. Even worse, both parents lost their jobs within 6 months of the asthma accident.

“There are some days it just bowls me over,” said Saroeun Lundquist, Koby’s mother. “If I dwell on it, it just chews me up.”

It’s that sort of inequality that inspired the Oleruds to do what they figured their daughter would want them to. They established The Jordan Fund, to help families with special needs children meet those needs.

“The help that we need just caring for her, feeding her, all the therapies — it’s just the realization that, wow, this is really tough,” said Olerud.

So, with the help of the Jordan Fund, the Lundquists got their new shower. Olerud says this isn’t about him as much as it is kids like Koby and Jordan who inspire others to make a difference through their quiet daily courage.

The Jordan Fund has donated more than $1 million to 130 special needs families and organizations.

Update: Dan Lundquist found a new job since Koby’s brain injury and the family’s financial situation has stabilized.

Do you know someone who’s making a difference in your community? We’d like to hear your stories about people going above and beyond to help others.

Original Story:

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Little-Bit-Making-a-Difference-136778798.html

Woodinville’s Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Ranch is a wonderful organization to support — Frank KIiewer

Fund for Margaret Anderson who was slain in Mount Rainier National Park

A fund for donations has been established for the family of Ranger Margaret Anderson

Posted by  on January 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM

The News Tribune in Tacoma has posted an item giving details on how to donate to a fund that’s been set up for the family of National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson who was slain Sunday in Mount Rainier National Park.

Here’s their post:

An account in Anderson’s name has been established at KeyBank.

  • To make donations by mail, send them to KeyBank: Margaret Anderson Donation Account, P.O. Box 159, Eatonville, WA 98328. Make checks payable to Margaret Anderson Donation Account.
  • To make a donation electronically, contact your bank and asked to have the money sent to the address above.
  • Donations can be made in person at any KeyBank branch nationwide.
  • KeyBank cannot process donations over the phone.
  • Donations in lieu of flowers have been requested from those wishing to express their support of Margaret Anderson’s family, Mount Rainier National Park spokesman Kevin Bacher said Tuesday night.

Anderson is survived by her husband, Eric, and 3- and 1-year-old daughters.

 

Please feel compassion for the surviving family members who will grieve this senseless tragedy for the rest of their lives. —  Frank Kliewer

Strong Words of Wisdom

Strong Words of Wisdom

As we think about how we are going to improve our life experience this year, simple, yet strong wisdom has the best chance of sticking and making the needed impact.

So, I worked up a poster for above my computer that combined a simple quote with a public domain photo of the person being quoted, Albert Einstein. He is noted for many memorable bits of wisdom, but this one seems to have particular value now, as we all grapple with the mess around us, and try figure out how to do better in the future. Here is my new poster and the quote:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

These few words offer the notion that a radical change is needed if we are indeed going to truly move past our current problems. This is not to say we won’t find other problems to replace them, but sometimes a change of scenery does us a world of good.

Here’s wishing you the courage and strength to think differently,

Frank Kliewer

 

Moment by Moment Intuition Vs. Goal Setting, Which is More Important?

Moment by Moment Intuition Vs. Goal Setting, Which is More Important?

Some say that you need goals to push you to achieve greater accomplishment than could otherwise be realized. I think it is more important to feel intuitively what the right thing to do might be at a given moment, and maintain an openness to respond appropriately.

I realize it may be a little scary, or seem unprofessional, or even seem lazy to some to depend on the faith that if you do the right thing, good things will happen. But, it isn’t even about that. Perhaps it is more about just doing the right thing because it is the right thing, with no ulterior motive to get something back.

Perhaps it could just be about being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right people is enough in itself, without a set in stone goal for what it should accomplish. Out of all that rightness, you might achieve a result that you could never imagine or carry out by setting up an otherwise artificial goal, and then working backwards to the numbers you must do each day to finish the goal.

It seems to me to be particularly out of balance to sign up for another person’s goals in particular. Isn’t life about being in harmony with who you are, and not trying to force yourself into a mold that is uncomfortable at best?

As doing the right thing becomes natural, you can begin to trust your intuition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can automatically go from A to B and keep going, never stopping. You can connect with like-minded people or help others searching for the help you might give. Or, just be a bit provocative to get people thinking out of their box long enough to either reinforce their best thinking or begin to try a new path.

Life happens. The question is . . . are we flexible enough to shift into the right action to immediately maximize our traction and move us forward toward the necessities and joys of life?

Blessings to all,

Frank Kliewer

Compassion Overflows To Fire Victims

From Channel 9 News site, Chattanooga TN:

December 27, 2011 4:56 PM

by John Madewell

Compassion has poured out for a Reliance, Tn. family that lost everything in a Christmas morning fire.

This afternoon, a stranger showed unique kindness to Justin Taylor and his family. Larry Eustice continues to “pay it forward” from a personal tragedy he suffered 46 years ago; a house fire that wiped him, his wife and two children out.

Eustice drove 90 miles one way to make an incredible donation to Justin Taylor. Eustice, a retired veteran, got out of his truck and walked with the assistance of a cane to meet Taylor.

The personable man made the introduction and set the mood. He extended his hand to the 30-year-old Taylor and said, “The reason this is is because I’ve been where you’re at.”

In 1965, a fire took everything Eustice owned. He and his family had no insurance and he had been out of work for a year.

That’s the only difference; the Taylor’s had insurance, but still lost everything in this Christmas morning fire. The Taylor’s built this house from the ground up and watched it burn back to its foundation.

That touched Eustice’s heart. While standing underneath a slight rainfall, Eustice reached into his pocket and pulled out 10 crisp $100 bills. “I felt your pain. Here’s you a $1,000 and you can just do what I know it will help.”

Taylor started tearing up and reached out to hug the man he just met. “I’m putting back every little bit I can.” Eustice finished the exchange, “There you can have it.” Taylor responded, “I really thank you, I really do.”

An immediate bond formed. Eustice not only lived the loss of fire, but also felt the warmth of a stranger’s compassion way back in 1965. “He didn’t bring me used stuff, and that has stuck with me all of my life.”

Eustice met the rest of the family; Taylor’s wife Candace, 9-year-old son Colby and two daughters, 4-year old Kinsley and 3-year-old Kali. All of them are living in Taylor’s parent’s house. It’s overflowing with donated clothes and toys.

And today’s visit will never leave him. “You know he broke my heart, to get out of that truck with that walking stick and want to come 90 miles to give a $1,000, it meant a lot.”

Before Eustice left, an idea popped into Taylor’s mind. His father, Roy Taylor, carves walking sticks in his spare time. Justin Taylor nodded to his father to finish one for the retired veteran with a huge heart. Taylor got Eustice’s information and a custom walking stick will soon come his way. And Taylor told Eustice once he got back on his feet, he would follow Eustice’s example.

And the compassion didn’t stop there. Bill Lehmkuhl, of Chattanooga, saw this story and felt compelled to start an account to help the family. It’s called the “Family of Justin and Candace Taylor” account, available at any Regions Bank in the area.

The Taylor family has also opened an account named “Jennifer Taylor FBO Justin Taylor” at First Volunteer Banks.

Copyright © 2011 Freedom Communications

 

 

Compassion

Detailed awareness of world conditions is needed now more than ever. And from this awareness, the needed compassionate action should flow.

Let us all thank God for the gift of life by giving of ourselves to aid other people around the world who desperately need the help each of us is capable of providing.

For instance, here is a picture of Frank’s brother Bill Kliewer in Ethiopia gathering a sense of what help was needed by many in desperate conditions. He then gave his life’s energy to create programs that would sustain the needed flow of assistance.

How many of us are willing to go and see the need and then create programs like Bill has to help those dying from a lack of basic essentials?

Showing compassion brings a person great joy.

Visit Bill’s Book and Blog Site: Bill Kliewer Group

 

Thank you very much for stopping by here,

Frank Kliewer

The official authorized Internet site for F D Kliewer and Associates, LLC. Frank is a consultant, artist, innovator, developer, manager, teacher and persistent gardener.