Currently Browsing: Social Good

Phoning it in: 10 mobile apps for social good

Everyone concerned with increasing social impact should welcome every attempt to make it easy for people to give. That’s why we should thank the army of techies for using their immense powers for social good – and for developing ways to make giving efficient.

Technology is best when it brings out the best in us, which is we love to see smart ways to improve the giving and responsible lifestyle at 10 mobile apps for social good.

Active givers can donate by texting using mGive, donate by shopping using CauseWorld, and donate food from a smart phone using MobileRice. Check the list because there are several other fantastic apps with more complex selling propositions (ever hear of “micro-volunteering“?).

The upside of growing market of apps that enable givers the power to improve the world with their smart phone is that it is easier. Little windows of down time on the bus, in check out lines, or during boring lectures can not be giving time.

If there is any downside it’s that technologists do not offer their apps on all platforms. It’s bewildering why an app would only be available on iPhone when Android phones are so common.

That’s a small complaint. All things said we’re happy to see it as a good thing when donors are “phoning it in.”

Make sure your social business gets the “business” part right

The is a great article in the Washington Post detailing steps that social entrepreneurs need to consider.  The very first point is a great one…

“Too often, social entrepreneurs go right to the solution. As the complexity of social problems continues to rise, it is critical for would-be change agents to understand the underlying cause of the social issue they want to address. In doing so, they will create a more effective solution and achieve their goals more quickly.”

SOCIAL GOOD: Ruma offers turnkey microfranchise to empower the poorest communities

According to the Ruma site:

RUMA empowers the poor and the poorest in Indonesia with pre-packeaged and proven business opportunities – complete with the equipment package, a strong brand, marketing materials, initial training, ongoing mentoring and access to a supply chain.

SOCIAL GOOD: Sustainable design meets the handmade movement in Bangladesh

What do the words “green,” “kids,” and “school” mean to you when strung together? If you are in Bangladesh it might mean that you have created a handmade, sustainable, beautiful school out of mud.  This project is one finalist for the Curry Stone 2009 Design Prize.

Three projects in Bangladesh bring to light a new handmade approach to sustainable building. These projects emerge organically from local materials and needs and are built by hand by local laborers who learn new construction methods, offering an elegant alternative to the trend toward buildings made from western materials such as cement and steel. These designs for a school, vocational center and single-family homes reaffirm that “progress” can involve improved living standards without sacrificing the ecological and economic integrity of traditional craftsmanship.

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