There is only one day left to vote for your favorite innovators in citizen media. We've made it as easy as pie (pumpkin pie!) to learn more about the 11 finalists — Storify lays out a quick description and a one-minute video about each media solution.
Should we be celebrating the fact that Wal-Mart is considering joining the health care industry? The retail giant made big news last week when NPR learned that it was seeking partnerships with health firms for a major expansion of its in-store medical clinics. According to Wal-Mart’s request, the retail giant wants to “dramatically: 1) lower the cost of health care while maintaining or improving outcomes, and 2) expand access to high-quality health services by becoming the largest provider of primary health care services in the nation.”
Most of the commenters that weighed in for NPR’s article expressed doubts. Ann O’Malley, physician and senior health researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change, said:
"Maybe Wal-Mart can deliver a lot of this stuff more cheaply because it is an expert at doing this with other types of widgets, but health care is not a widget and managing individual human beings is not nearly as simple as selling commercial products to consumers.”
I admit, my first reaction to the news was also skepticism. Wal-Mart’s abysmal reputation for “rolling back” employee health benefits doesn’t seem to make it a frontrunner for becoming the savior for America’s worsening health care crisis.
When you're sick, you see the doctor. When you get a medical test it goes to the lab. When you need medicine, you go to the pharmacy. Or not.
In many places in both the developing and developed world, these basic healthcare steps -- getting from point A to point B -- often don't work. And all the healthcare overhaul in the world is not going to matter much if patients can't connect with the services and products they need to stay healthy.
"We have developed the most miraculous tools for dealing with the health of humankind," according to Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Health Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "But the best tools in the world don't make a bit of difference if they don't get out to where they're needed."
Fortunately, some of the most innovative ideas now emerging are tackling these very basic problems. In southern Africa, for example, Riders for Health is addressing what it calls "the tyranny of distance," by putting healthcare workers -- more than 300 of them -- on dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles in seven countries so they can navigate Africa's remote and rugged roads, travel further, reach more isolated villages, and spend longer with their communities. Riders for Health also ensures timely delivery of diagnostic samples and test results for patients with HIV, TB, and other diseases that require close monitoring and treatment.
Victoria Grant, a member of the Ashoka Team and the Changemakers Initiative “Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learning,” attended the Aboriginal Literacy Symposium in Winnipeg on November 1 and 2 at the invitation of Bruce Lawson, Executive Director of The Counseling Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counseling. She found it an amazing opportunity to meet, interact with, and learn and share with people engaged with Aboriginal literacy.
Ovide Mercredi, a former national chief and the opening speaker at the Aboriginal Literacy Symposium, challenged his audience with this question: What does Aboriginal literacy mean? He spoke deliberately, and his thoughts, which were well organized and researched, were the perfect introduction for the symposium that followed.
Questions that I kept in mind were: Is literacy about understanding what binds us together? Is literacy about participating fully as a good human being with the potential to take care of one’s own needs? Is literacy about the individual spirit to achieve? Is Aboriginal literacy about all of the above, as well as being proficient in one’s own language?
UPDATE: The deadline for video submissions has been extended to midnight on November 20.
What inspires you? If it’s a unique social innovation with a big impact, McKinsey wants you to share it.
McKinsey is asking you to submit one-minute videos before November 18 of your favorite innovations, for a collection of video shorts that showcase solutions to pressing social issues, from new models for water and sanitation, to health and community well-being.
Videos submissions may also highlight what drives your social good organization.
A selection committee will choose ten finalists, to be voted on by McKinsey’s global community beginning on November 23. Winners will be announced on December 5.
The best videos will be showcased on the McKinsey website; the video producers will be honored with exclusive interviews in McKinsey on Society, featured prominently on The Huffington Post, and will be invited to a networking reception in New York City in early 2012.
Shoot your short video quickly! The project entry deadline is in ten days.
Eight winners have been selected from the Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education competition, a search for the most innovative ways to inspire STEM-rich learning in our nation’s classrooms (particularly in high-need communities) by connecting students with STEM professionals.
The competition was hosted by Ashoka Changemakers, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Opportunity Equation. Winners were selected by a combination of open voting on the Changemakers.com website, the recommendations of competition partners, and a rigorous assessment by a distinguished panel of judges including Dr. Bruce Alberts, Tim Brown, Michele Cahill, Caroline Kennedy, Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis, and Dr. Robert Moses.
Let’s meet the winners!
Join Ashoka Changemakers® on November 22, 2011 for an Asia #SocEntChat about Making More Health. From 1 p.m – 3 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time, or 2:30-4:30am EDT), join us from anywhere in the world to participate in a Twitter-based discussion with innovators, social entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts about solutions that will transform health for individuals, families, and communities around the world.
Have you checked out the finalists of the Making More Health competition yet? Do you have an issue to raise about the next generation of health models? This is your chance to share your thoughts and ask leading innovators your most burning questions.
THIS THURSDAY November 17th from 2:30am – 4:30am EST (1pm - 3pm IST) the #socentchat focuses on citizen media in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Far East.
Our citizen media colleagues from Asia get their chance to be heard! So… innovators, citizen journalists, online activists, content-creators, communicators, online media gurus, and lovers of all things technology: If you are in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, or the Far East and have been unable to join previous #socentchats because of time differences – this is your chance.
This chat will build on the previous conversations about the status and future of citizen media. In previous #socentchats, we discussed the general state of affairs, challenges, and success stories. This week, we want to a explore timely and exciting topic: the relationship between citizen media and mainstream media – especially in areas impacted by protests and crisis.
Editor's note: This post was written by Deborah H. Bae, Program Officer at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and originally featured on the Pioneering Ideas blog.
At RWJF, we’re focused on solving the most intractable health and health care challenges in the United States, but we recognize that innovations come from all over the world and that many effective health solutions are emerging with the potential for immediate adaptation, replication and impact. That’s largely because, despite their differences, many countries throughout the world face a surprisingly similar set of health care challenges.
In today’s interconnected world, we have an important opportunity to learn from each other – especially when a new idea has the potential to make a difference in a big way. For example, the New York Times recently released a special section, “Small Fixes,” which focused on low-cost health care innovations to improve global health. The small fixes ranged from simple, self-adjusting eyeglasses for those who don’t have access to optometrists to the sophisticated, Gates-funded “postage stamp” paper to detect liver disease nearly instantaneously—the samples don’t have to be sent to a laboratory to be processed.
Are you a part of the rooftop revolution? It’s never been easier, explains Ashoka Fellow Billy Parish. (Video after the jump.) He is the co-founder of Solar Mosaic, a marketplace that simplifies the clean energy movement by helping communities create and fund their own solar projects.
Join Parish in celebrating Community Solar Day in your neighborhood on November 20.
Occupy a rooftop near your home as a first step into a future where solar investments can create green jobs and local prosperity. Or find a building you’d like to see powered by solar energy and gather a community solar team to make sure your dream becomes a reality.
Molly Katchpole has become an Internet sensation—and a real people’s champion. Katchpole is the 22-year-old who led the charge against Bank of America, which capitulated to a public campaign against a planned monthly $5 fee on debit card transactions, in an about-face on September 29.
“I heard the news about the fee and was like, ‘That is it. I'm sick of this,” Katchpole said. She is a recent college graduate who lives paycheck-to-paycheck in Washington, D.C.
“On the one hand, [Bank of America] is running a business, but on the other hand, it is people’s money they are working with, and some people don't have a lot of money. It's not like they are just selling toothbrushes—it goes much deeper than that."
Katchpole petitioned Bank of America’s president and CEO Brian T. Moynihan to reverse the $5 fee decision. On October 1, Katchpole’s online petition on Change.org had attracted 100 signatures; by the 30th, it had more than 300,000.
The Bank waved the white flag on November 1, surrendering to people power and stating that it will not implement a debit usage fee.
Okay, America, I didn’t know you felt so strongly.
Eleven finalists have been chosen for Citizen Media: A Global Innovation Competition, supported by Google. The competition had a strong turnout of 426 entries from 75 countries, with more than 100 entries submitted in languages other than English.
The finalists represent the most promising innovations for boosting media access and participation around the world. They were selected by Citizen Media’s panel of expert judges, which included Michael Maness, vice president at the Knight Foundation; Esther Wojcicki, vice chair at Creative Commons; and Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas. Now, your vote will determine the four winners of the competition.
Anyone can vote by logging-in to changemakers.com/citizenmedia/vote and learning about the entries. You can also browse the Citizen Media Toolkit, where the work of the finalists and other top entries will be showcased. Or, you can hear directly from the innovators on video.
The top 11 finalists are:
More than 470 entries from all over the world, containing solutions to transform the field of health, have been submitted to the Making More Health: Achieving Individual, Family and Community Well-being competition.
Now, your vote will determine the three competition winners. Thirteen top finalists have been selected by the competition’s panel of expert judges.
Visit the Making More Health competition web site throughout November to read more about the finalists and cast your vote! You can also use our handy Facebook app. Three winners will each receive a prize of US $10,000.
The finalists showed an astounding range of innovative strategies to improve health, from improving slum sanitation and strengthening supply chains for reliable drugs, to fast-tracking HIV and TB diagnoses. They represent solutions that will sustainably increase the well-being of individuals, families, and communities and will go beyond, or improve upon, established health systems.
The Making More Health finalists are:
Recently, I’ve been posting about innovative gadgets (health-related devices last month and fresh water yesterday). We’re experiencing a unique and exciting cultural moment: while design and innovation once trended towards the production of sophisticated, expensive technology, innovators are now creating elegantly simple and inexpensive solutions that have the potential to make a big impact on the world’s problems.
But it’s important to remember that creating lasting social change takes more than just a gadget or technology, no matter how revolutionary. The infamous PlayPump fiasco illustrates the potential pitfalls of models that rely on a new device without seeing the bigger picture.
One-third of all albatross chicks die on the Midway Atoll, often as the result of being mistakenly fed plastic by their parents.
Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®.
As the G-20 summit meeting gets underway and mainstream media coverage inevitably focuses on the economic woes of the developed world, we’re going to focus on some good news. We want to celebrate the members of the Changemakers community who took center stage at last year’s G-20 summit to show the world how to build strong economies through the support and financing of local, small businesses.
Winners of the G-20 SME Finance Challenge, which prompted the G-20 to invest more than $500 million in their projects and others like them, are demonstrating that in a global economy run amok, the investments that do well are likely to be the ones that also do good.
Check out this brilliant video from one of the winners, Peace Dividend Trust, which is revolutionizing the way international aid works by investing on the ground: “What's Wrong with Aid? It's not Local.”
The 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace introduced a different kind of villain to popular audiences: Dominic Greene, the ruthless capitalist with a sinister scheme to take control of Bolivia’s water supply and, under private contract, provide that precious resource to the public—at double the rate.
Editor's note: This post was written by Elisha Muskat, Executive Director, Ashoka Canada.
Ashoka Canada and Ashoka Changemakers invite you to share your ideas or projects that support First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners to succeed, by submitting them to the Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning initiative.
Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.
Medical breakthroughs are going low-tech and back to basics. Since September, the New York Times has been running an ongoing segment, “Small Fixes,” featuring low-cost health solutions that also have a big impact.
The simple solutions range from the use of vinegar to assist in removing pre-cancerous cervical lesions, to folding a sari cloth four times to create a filter that reduces the amount of cholera in water by 99 percent.
The innovations featured in the NYT are remarkable in their simplicity, affordability, and cleverness. (The NYT did, however, include LifeStraw in its featured solutions, which has for the past year come under fire for its controversial incorporation of carbon credits to offset its pricy production costs.)
Because the simplest of solutions can prove to be the most effective (a la Occam’s razor), we at Changemakers have become fascinated with the new wave of low-cost health gadgets, which could dramatically reverse health care’s trend towards the more complex and expensive. Here are five more emerging health innovations--elegantly simple and affordable--to look for on the horizon.
It’s an exciting time in the Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math (STEM) Education competition, hosted in collaboration with Carnegie Foundation of New York and The Opportunity Equation. Solving the world’s most pressing challenges requires innovations in STEM education because these disciplines are at the very center of our quest to improve our lives and the condition of our world. The 24 innovations that were chosen from 265 total entries are now eligible for cash prizes and rewards, and it’s up to you to pick a People’s Choice winner from the ten competition finalists.
The revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa have captured the attention of the world, and have inspired citizens everywhere to speak out against injustice. Yet many of these movements have felt the wrath of the regimes they are speaking out against – through violence, arrests, and massive censorship.
Tiago Dalvi is an Ashoka changemaker who is using his sharp business acumen to help improve the lives of thousands in his home country of Brazil by connecting local producers with established global retailers like Walmart, JCPenney, Whole Foods, and Target.
Voting has opened for the Partnering for Excellence competition! After careful deliberation, 10 top finalists have been chosen from 265 entries, representing the most innovative and scalable solutions for STEM education that best exemplify the goals of the competition.
The Ashoka Changemakers Citizen Media competition (sponsored by Google) has attracted the attention and support of leaders in the citizen media space. One of the competition judges, Sanjana Hattotuwa, has dedicated himself to the complex (and often risky) field of citizen media in war-torn Sri Lanka.
Editor's note: This post was written by Alison Craiglow Hockenberry, contributing editor at Ashoka Changemakers®, and originally featured on the Huffington Post.
We hear a lot these days about innovation and job creation. But when people talk about innovation and jobs, they're usually talking about innovations that may produce jobs -- as opposed to innovations in the way we increase employment.
Transforming inmates into entrepreneurs in Texas — and saving millions of tax dollars
Texas has been the center of a swirl of controversy lately in two very different arenas: the state’s enthusiastic embrace of the death penalty, and Republican frontrunner Rick Perry’s touted track record of job creation. Perry’s history of job creation has come under fire from numerous critics, as well as a new study revealing that Texas’s poverty levels rank the second highest in the nation.
But deep in the heart of Texas, there’s a promising light for real job creation — and for bringing positive change to the criminal justice system.
Editor's note: Evagelia Tavoulareas, Changemakers media mobilizer, was at the most recent [email protected] event which featured some rather remarkable data visualization techniques. Find her rundown of how they can be used to enhance diplomacy, development and foreign affairs after the jump.
A team of emergency medical responders at Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI). EMRI's state-of-the-art call response centers are able to dispatch over 2600 free ambulances across multiple states in India to respond to medical, police and fire emergencies. via
Skyrocketing health care costs are a global problem, but creative entrepreneurs in South and Southeast Asia are figuring out how to do better with less. Changemakers worked with its network partner, The Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), to spotlight four promising strategies that innovators in this region are using to tackle high out-of-pocket costs and simultaneously ramp up the delivery of quality health care.