Much has been made of the Internet revolution, but the genius of communicating ideas across borders does not necessarily require cutting edge technology. In fact, for many people, there's one good old-fashioned technology that has a greater power for change: radio.
Call it hope in a briefcase.
In the event of a major natural or man-made disaster, a region's or even an entire country's communications system can be knocked out. For first-response relief workers this means no ability to coordinate the crucial early efforts to save lives. But these days, the first wave of relief workers arrive with a 4lb briefcase that sets up in twenty minutes to become a fully operative, solar powered, internet-based command center, ready to transmit voice, data and pictures to the rest of the field team and the rest of the world.
You can't solve the world's problems sitting around listening to soap operas. Or can you?
The world's population is growing by 80 million annually. In countries such as Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, the average woman gives birth to between five and eight children. For the poorest families, this can lead to dire consequences and ugly choices; face starvation or give children up to human traffickers.
You've got your organization name, you've got your team, you've targeted your goals. Now all you need is to raise the money. Or, maybe you have been raising money through direct mail or occasional snail mail requests, until now, when you decide to save overhead and paper by doing all your fundraising on the web.
For those activists, journalists, students, and organizations that find it difficult to be heard among the clutter of opinions mounting on the web, the founders of a website called MixedInk.com think the resounding chorus of collaborative expression can be a more powerful tool for making change than the songs of a thousand soloists.
Like many trailblazing solutions, Hilmi Quraishi's wildly popular mobile phone games that teach players about AIDS found success through not just hard work, but a novel idea and a bit of serendipity. The novel idea was approaching education about this very serious problem through the universal language of entertainment and using a widely-accessible technology to do it.
How many times have you whipped out your cell phone and texted a message that could help save the planet? Probably never, right? Well branch out from all those lols and xoxos and send a text to FishPhone.