All posts tagged: technology


Loomio, An Open Source Tool That’s Helping People Make Better Decisions Together

You know a product is truly desired when thousands of people flock to use it even before its launched. This is what happened with Loomio. A simple online tool for collaborative decision making, Loomio has thousands of people using it worldwide.  And the product is still in prototype that people are already doing great things with. Developed by a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists from New Zealand, Loomio was born out of a need felt by the Occupy Protesters. The team is currently crowdfunding so they can get more resources to build the real thing – Loomio 1.0​ In 2011 when the Occupy movement was spreading world over, the Occupy protestors in New Zealand faced a challenge. They were not able to arrive at decisions that was reflective of the group. Few loud voices dominated the discussions while the majority were left out. Seeking to find a solution, the protesters approached Enspiral, a network of purpose driven businesses in Wellington, New Zealand. In the absence of good online decision making tools in the …


How To Make Sure Your Non-Profit Doesen’t Get Hacked

The title of this post is misleading. No organization big or small can ever be secured from hacking. Think Edward Snowden and the NSA. That being said, there is a lot you can do to make it difficult and expensive to compromise sensitive information that your non-profit organization or social enterprise collects. And these tips will go a long way to make sure you’re non-profit does not get hacked. Why Non-profits are a Target Non-profits may possess information that is valuable to hackers: Donor details – Your donors and supporters could be high net individuals. If a hacker were able to send an email from your organization to your donors, there is a greater chance they would open them allowing the hacker to target your donor. Personally identifiable information (PII) – Personal information such as social security numbers, email addresses, phone numbers and address details allow hackers to re-create identities which are then sold on the underground markets. Financial and Health information – Credit card numbers, bank account details, amounts transferred, patient data etc can …

This picture is from the Ushadidi website

BRCK – A Device For Uninterrupted Internet Connectivity

Imagine losing power and with that your internet access for a few hours, sounds bad? While most of us could live with no power for a few hours, losing internet access would just make it that much more painful. Spotty internet access and power is a big problem in most of the developing nations and surprisingly in a lot of the developed world too. Ushahidi, a nonprofit tech company that operates in rugged environments believes that reliable internet connectivity is very important no matter where you live and to solve this problem they’ve developed the BRCK. BRCK is a wifi router, plus a battery backup all wrapped up into one portable box that charges itself and provides internet when power is available and maintains your internet connection when you lose power or when your primary internet connection goes down. The BRCK itself gets its internet access using a GSM modem like the ones in your mobile phone. Ushahidi claims the battery would last around 8 hours which should be enough time for power to return and the BRCK …


Be a Part of the Summer of Smart Hackathon in San Francisco

This is my first hackathon as a participant, after attending over a dozen of them in my life. Day one of the Summer of Smart by San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@GAFFTA) included people who came to hear about innovations in the public health and food space. The excitement started with people forming teams to come up with technology to solve problems in food/public health sectors. The mix of people included techie, non-techie, and others – created a diverse group of people who set out to collaborate and create fantastic solutions. The night was filled with people sampling different team and idea options, and heated debates about the future of their teams ideas. A few folks ended up changing their team after midnight, while certain teams stayed together. The team I joined was working on creating an application that could promote the Kijani Grows site for a tweeting garden. The diverse group of people covered developers, idea sorts, business, media, and arts folks, made for the experience unlike any other hackathon I …


A Very Brit Response to the London Riots – Operation Cup of Tea (Updated)

Operation Cup of Tea, an anti riot campaign is asking Londoners to Stay In and Drink Tea. Started by Sam Pepper, some 15 hrs ago, the campaign very quickly went viral on Facebook and Twitter, with over 150,000 people signed-up on their Facebook page and the hashtag #operationcupoftea has been trending on twitter for quite a while today. The campaign asks people to stay in and drink a nice cup of tea instead of rioting. You are also expected to post a picture of your cup of tea on their Facebook page. To learn more vist their Facebook page (Update) – Since we last wrote about Operation Cup of Tea on the 9th of August, (the day it started) a lot has happened. The movement has gone really big, with over 300,000 people participating on Facebook and an equally large number on Twitter. They now have a formal website and are selling official anti-riot tea through their website, 100% of the proceeds will go towards the London riot clean-up. Sam Pepper, the organizer of …


Childline at 15: Watching Over India’s Children

Childline, India’s first free, emergency helpline for children in need of care and protection turned 15 on June 20, 2011. What started as a simple helpline for street kids to call when in trouble in Mumbai has now expanded to 150 plus locations, across 26 states of India including the far south Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Childline processes over 2.5 million calls annually.


Free Empathy, Want to Feel Awesome or Be Heard? The Web Can Help Out

How great would it be to have someone to tell you how awesome you are all the time? Time and again we all need some empathy or just someone to talk to – well how about some free empathy from strangers?

Zachary Burt (ZB) is up to something great on the internet. He founded two unique websites – Awesomeness Reminders and CompassionPit, both of which are doing amazingly well. Each of these sites allow anonymous people to engage in listening and sharing something that makes their days just a little bit better.


Hack For Change Delivers : 17 Cool Apps That Can Change Your World

This past weekend group of designers and hackers gathered at’s San Francisco headquarters to participate in a 24 hours hackathon, called HackforChange. A 100 passionate people put aside their weekend to create 17 world changing apps. The event was not about building the next Fortune 500 company, but rather about creating socially innovative apps that can help make the world a better place. Team GoodNeighbor won the event, and received the 5K USD prize money, with Anonymouse and Findmeapet, taking second and third place. Team Alerter received a honorable mention.


Greenpeace Challenges Facebook to Go Green by Earth Day

Greenpeace has launched a worldwide campaign asking Facebook to ‘Go Green’ by pledging to switch to clean energy, and it wants your help to make it happen. The world’s environmental watchdog has launched a massive pressure campaign aptly titled ‘Facebook: Unfriend Coal’ asking Facebook to commit to becoming 100% coal free by 2021. They also want Zuckerberg to announce Facebook’s commitment to this effect by Earth Day (April 22nd). In February 2010, Greenpeace approached Facebook urging the company to design their new data centers (in Oregon, USA) to run off clean energy. They set a deadline of April 22nd 2011 for Facebook to commit to doing so. Facebook hasn’t made any such commitments so far. So this month, in a well-executed online+offline campaign, Greenpeace is calling upon all its supporters, as well as friends of supporters to comment on their Unfriend Coal Facebook Wall in support of Facebook’s use of friendlier energy sources like wind and solar to power its new data centers. From the Greenpeace campaign website: Facebook announced in February 2010 that it …


Groupon’s G-Team Offers a Great Deal to Nonprofits

Groupon has revolutionized the way people consume goods and services through its innovative daily deals / collective buying model. In just 3 years since its inception Groupon has expanded to over 500 cities in 35 countries and has a subscriber base of over 51 million which it hopes to grow to 150 million by end of 2011. With millions of people getting hooked to their daily deals, Groupon is committed to provide its userbase a great way to discover their own cities and fun and meaningful ways to get involved in bettering their communities. In July 2010, Groupon launched G-Team, their philanthropic initiative which aims to harness the power of their growing subscriber base and their killer business model of ‘collective buying’ for community good. About G-Team G-Team are social action campaigns around fundraising and civic engagement based on the similar collective action model as of Groupon. While Groupon makes it easier for people to get great deals only if certain number of people buy the deal, G-Team campaigns makes it easier to create real …