Social Entrepreneurs in the Making

It is Imagine Cup season! Known as the “Olympics of Technology,” Microsoft Imagine Cup is the preeminent student technology competition in the world. This year, over 300,000 students from 100 countries are vying for a chance to compete in the Worldwide Finals in Cairo and all trying to solve the world’s toughest problems.   The…

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Connecting citizens with government in Indonesia – Team Antarmuka

The following guest post comes from Antarmuka, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from Indonesia. Antarmuka developed a reporting system, Butterfly, which allows users to immediately report environmental problems that they discover via voice, SMS, MMS or alternatively, mobile or web applications. After problems have been reported, Butterfly will classify…

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The Human Impact on Innovation-Kentaro Toyama, Assistant Managing Director, Microsoft Research India

I do research in an area called ICT4D, short for “information and communication technology for development” – the goal of which is to invent technologies that support socio-economic development of poor communities worldwide (http://research.microsoft.com/research/tem). But, the more I understand ICT4D, the more ICT4D disappears. I’ve come to realize that while technology is important, it’s nothing…

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Improving Rural Mass Transit Information in South Africa – Team Smile

The following guest post comes from Team Smile, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from South Africa. Team Smile developed WhereIsMyShuttle?, which uses GPS/GPRS tracking devices fitted to buses to provide daily schedules of bus activities via SMS.  The system also provides an automated notification service to alert riders of abnormal…

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Technology’s Impact to Those in Need—Edward Granger-Happ, CIO, Save the Children; Chairman, NetHope

I’m pleased to be participating in the judging panel of this year’s Rural Innovation Award at Imagine Cup 2008—evaluating the brilliant work of the young students who have created new technology solutions targeted to the needs of the world’s least fortunate citizens.       Technology is a key capacity building service for effective communications,…

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Designing for the Other 90%- Paul Polak

Hello- I’m Paul Polak, one of the judges of this year’s inaugural Rural Innovation Award at the 2008 Imagine Cup.  I’m thrilled to be attending this year in Paris to examine the technology innovations that this amazing crop of young minds has created to help address the most pressing solutions of rural communities around the…

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Addressing food shortages in India– Novices@Work

The following guest post comes from Novices@Work, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from India. They developed a site-specific crop-management system for farmers called Kalpvriksha. The system employs Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) to collect localized data on soil characteristics such as moisture, pH, ambient light and temperature.  Using the data, Kalpvriksha…

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Imagine Cup and the Rural Innovation Award — Michael Rawding

Those of you that follow Microsoft might be familiar with Imagine Cup – an annual student technology competition that Microsoft sponsors. This year Unlimited Potential has worked with Imagine Cup to add a new category — the Rural Innovation Award.   At its core, Imagine Cup is about capturing the creativity of university students from…

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