Mobile Monday Boston

Mobile in Boston

Grassroots

Mobile Monday’s mission is to serve the community, both at home and worldwide. In the developing world, mobile technologies are being used to improve standards of living, share knowledge, and empower people politically.

Here are a few notable projects:

AITI (Africa Information Technology Initiative) from MIT

MIT AITI is a student-run organization at MIT founded in 2000. AITI partners with local African institutions to offer classes focused on mobile phone application development with an emphasis on independent research, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship.

Next Billion Network from the MIT Media Lab

Within the next three years, another billion people will begin to make regular use of cell phones, continuing the fastest adoption of a new technology in history. Soon, this next billion will make its voice heard—and connect to the global information network. This will unleash a wave of entrepreneurship, collaboration and wealth creation, turning the newly connected into a powerful force in the world economy. The kind of world that emerges from this transformation will depend on our ability to recognize it as an opportunity.

Village Phone from the Grameen Foundation

Based on the pioneering work of Grameen Phone in Bangladesh, Village Phone extends the benefits of affordable telecommunications access in a sustainable, profitable and empowering way. Microfinance clients borrow the money needed to purchase a “Village Phone business” – literally, a business in a box.

Mobile Web for Social Development (MW4D) from the W3C

The MW4D Interest Group explores how to use the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Mobile phones as a solution to bridge the Digital Divide and provide minimal services (health, education, governance, business,…) to rural communities and under-privileged populations of Developing Countries.

kiwanja.net

Since 2003, kiwanja.net has been helping empower local, national and international non-profit organisations to make better use of information and communications technology in their work. Specialising in the application of mobile technology, it provides a wide range of ICT-related services drawing on over 22 years experience of its founder, Ken Banks. Non-profits in over forty countries have so far benefited from a range of kiwanja initiatives, including FrontlineSMS and nGOmobile.

FrontlineSMS

A lack of communication can be a major barrier for grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in developing countries. FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind. By leveraging basic tools already available to most NGOs — computers and mobile phones — FrontlineSMS enables instantaneous two-way communication on a large scale. It’s easy to implement, simple to operate, and best of all, the software is free.

nGOmobile

nGOmobile has one simple aim: To help NGOs go mobile. Mobile phone use is spreading through the developing world quicker than a bushfire. This should be great news for the non-profit sector, but not everyone is reaping the benefit quite yet The massive potential of mobile technology, particularly at grass-roots level, has already been demonstrated.

Ushahidi

Ushahidi, which means ”testimony” in Swahili, is a website that was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Ushahidi’s roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The new Ushahidi Engine is being created to use the lessons learned from Kenya to create a platform that allows anyone around the world to set up their own way to gather reports by mobile phone, email and the web – and map them. It is being built so that it can grow with the changing environment of the web, and to work with other websites and online tools.

GSM World Development Fund

Working with mobile operators to accelerate mobile solutions for people living on under US$2 per day. The GSMA Development Fund exists to accelerate economic, social and environmental development through the use of mobile technology. We believe that providing tangible, accessible mobile services to people in developing countries is invaluable to society and can help improve people’s lives. The Development Fund leverages the industry expertise of the GSMA and its members, as well as the development expertise of international agencies and non-profit organisations to accelerate mobile services in three areas: Connectivity, Energy and mServices. Together with our partners we incubate and replicate new mobile services in communities where they can make a positive difference.

Mobile Metrix

We are a market research company that assists the “invisible poor” by gathering data that shares their reality with the world. Accurate data is the first step to solving any social problem. It directs resources and drives change.

Developmental Informatics Laboratory – IIT Bombay

A cross disciplinary group working on research issues in increasing access to internet and communication technologies to rural and small town India. The lab is involved in various projects funded by Media Lab Asia, Ministry of Communications and IT (GoI), Development Gateway Foundation (GoI, World Bank) and Pan Asia Networking (UNDP, IDRC, APDIP, ISOC, APNIC and Microsoft).

Agrocom

Agrocom offers real-time decision-support tools to progressive farmers and organizations supporting progressive farming. Our weather and disease forecasts helped them save between 10,000 to 1 Lakh per acre for an investment of only Rs 4200 a year (Rs 350 per month, min 6 months) per farmer subscriber. Our online aAQUA portal receives queries from 290 of India’s 600 Districts. We help farmer outreach centres estimate their cost of extension and help identify cost effective technologies e.g. sms text to reduce these costs and increase the number of farmers serviced.

MobileActive.org

MobileActive.org is a community of people and organizations using mobile phones for social impact. We are committed to increasing the effectiveness of NGOs around the world who recognize that the 3.5 billion mobile phones provide unprecedented opportunities for organizing, communications, and service and information delivery.