Cloudhead: Sharing Resources Via Social Media

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Cloudhead: Sharing Resources Via Social Media

Argentina
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Forging education, art and business partnerships between people who in another time and place would not have met.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

It's no secret that countless communities worldwide lack even the most basic of resources. Even in well developed countries, some communities want for food, potable water, clothing and most certainly technology. Because the people in these communities spend so much time and energy attending to basic needs, their history, culture and way of life begins to disappear. These communities tend to be small and generally isolated from the rest of society. They suffer from malnutrition, lack of education and often fall prey to drug addiction and prostitution as ways of coping. Without education, their work prospects remain limited which furthers stymies the possibility of healthy growth. On the other hand, other communities worldwide have moved beyond basic needs. They are well versed technologically and use these technologies to connect with other communities internationally for work, education and more. They often find themselves overwhelmed by the influx of information. These communities suffer from an overabundance of resource from food to bytes. The inability to effectively redistribute these extras means much goes to waste.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We gather and distribute these extra resources via social media, bringing them to local communities in order to develop collaborative art, photography and other media projects that highlight voices who would not otherwise be heard on an international stage. Resources that would go to waste in a developed country help provide education and develop marketable job skills in addition to alleviating the isolation these communities feel by opening an exchange of information between the international community and theirs. Our goal is not simply to provide donations of food, water or clothing. We aim to develop methods by which these communities can create sustainable and long term solutions to support themselves by sharing their cultural identity with the international community through art, writing, photography and video.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

One current projects is called Wichi/H20, working with the Wichi an indigenous community in the Salta province of Argentina. We sent out a call for camera donations via Twitter and Facebook. Our first call, we received almost 30 cameras that we then brought back via volunteers to children in the Wichi community. The children take photos of their lives. We sell their photos at gallery exhibition and all profit goes back to the community. They share their art and culture with the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees through the eyes of a child in a small village in a place and culture few people have had the opportunity to see. We launched our first Wichi/H20 photography exhibit at the Casa de la Cultura in Salta, Argentina. By the end of that exhibit, we received donations of food and clothing and made a profit from photo sales. All profits go to the Wichi communities to build gardens, raise goats and plant fruit trees. When people buy these photos -- be it originals, reworked through photoshop or on other merchandise -- they buy them because they love the photo and not simply out of kindness. This is what makes this a sustainable solution. Our next step is to develop e-commerce solutions to sell photos and merchandise online as well as host artists, photographers and journalists from Argentina and beyond in the Cloudhead Arthouse in Salta to continue the informational and cultural exchange.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many groups who work with at risk populations in order to address poverty, malnutrition, drug abuse and lack of education or clean water. Charity:Water and 1000 Bicicyles bring donations of water, pumps, and bikes that ease the burden of reaching clean water or school. One Laptop Per Child and Kids With Cameras work with children worldwide to teach technology and build marketable skills. Why would our group stand out from the rest of these formidable organizations? First, we do not believe we are competing for the same resources. Intead, we act as a bridge. We seek to connect individuals and groups with resources to the places they are most needed via the most effective methods of distribution. We do this via social media. Second. This is not a charity project. We are instead an art and education group with the goal of helping artists, educators worldwide develop and share their skills. There is a constant give and take between communities. Both sides give something they truly want to give while simultaneously receiving something they truly want to receive.
About You
Organization:
Cloudhead Art Foundation
About You
First Name

Leigh

Last Name

Shulman

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Cloudhead Art Foundation

Organization Country

, GA, Fulton County

Country where this project is creating social impact

, A

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Innovation
Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.

There were two.

The first. I was chatting on an online parents board when someone asked me mockingly "What are you doing in this world that is so great." I exaggerated to say I teach social media and photography to children in at risk communities in order to keep them in school and teach marketable job skills.

But it's a fantastic idea! I mentioned it to my husband Noah, who agreed, and we soon found a school where we taught our first English Through Social Media class

The second: The first time we visited a Wichi community, we stood in the rain distributing clothing, then made lunch for a community of 200. Our 7 year old daughter Lila was with us. We then handed out cameras and saw how easily the kids took to the technology and how much they loved it.

The visit made me not only realize how lucky I am in my life, but showed me how easy it is to be content with little. Yet those of us who have a lot seem to lose that ability because our constant connection with the rest of the world shows us how much more there is to have and do.

I saw how the Wichi, while they do not have a lot of stuff, they live a peaceful and content way of life that is admirable.

Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date

Javier, 7 years old, has learned to use a digital camera. He loves it. His photos have been seen by thousands of people during exhibition. A woman buys his photo, hangs it in her office her clients see it and buy more. Soon, he will learn to edit and upload for himself.

Javier's creativity and experimentation leads to sales that set up a garden for his community of 200.

The camera Javier would have otherwise been thrown away.

We also teach project based computer skills, photography, design and social media skills to three groups in Salta, 100 students in total, ages 12-17. Each group functions as it's own design team to actualze specific projects such as designing a t-shirt for a festival, creating company logos or organizing an exhibition of their own photography.

All gain skills that will allow them to find better paying work. It is also designed to keep them interested enough in school that they will not drop out -- Salta has an 87% high school drop out rate -- and thus be less likely to become pregnant, begin using drugs or turn to crime.

What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?

Within five years, we will branch out to another 5-10 Wichi communities to create sustainable means of selling their photography and continue to teach marketable skills. We will create computer labs of donated equipment with online access so they can begin to run production independently.

Sales will grow beyond photography to create merchandise via partnerships with other companies.

The students in our current classes will take leadership roles in their communities by teaching others.

This project is intended to expand internationally once our systems for identifying the needs of at risk communities and matching them with available resources have been streamlined and tested.

They key is giving people something they truly want in exchange for something they are happy to give.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Set systems in place to automate our current projects and extend the scope of each.

Six-Month Tasks
Task 1

Design a professional, clean website to extend our social media reach and generate sales and interest.

Task 2

Develop partnerships with other companies, website and blogs to further our market range.

Task 3

Begin virtual classrooms to connect students and artists in Salta to international classrooms for language and cultural exchange

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Begin expansion to the international community via publication, exhibition and physical exchange programs.

12-Month Tasks
Task 1

Develop online and IRL performances and workshops by local and international artists to raise awareness and income.

Task 2

Widen our publishing scope to international galleries and develop our own e-commerce site.

Task 3

Begin real world exchange programs for students through leadership training, language learning and collaborative projects..

How many people have been impacted by your project?

101 - 1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Sustainability
Explain how your company, program, service or product is structured

Hybrid model

What barriers have hindered the success of your project to date? How do you plan to overcome these and other challenges as you grow your solution?

It is not easy to get people to part with a dollar/peso etc, so how can we be sure our products will bring in the revenue stream we intend?

First, we produce a good number of varied products, from art and photography to video to education packages to workshops and performance. We also develop different streams where sales take place. Online, in storefronts, in our arthouse and through partnerships with businesses that are already thriving.

In addition, we are in the process of applying for 501c3 or umbrella status, thus making any purchase through us tax deductible.

Finally, we ascribe to a "free" model of business. In addition to our for-sale products, we give away advice, information, photos, artist residencies and workshops and performances to develop our brand.

How do you see the information-technology and media sectors shifting over the next decade? How will your solution adapt to and/or drive that changing environment?

Technology will become cheaper, more portable and move more seamlessly between international communities. Internet access will be available anywhere.

The ability to communicate via photo, writing and video will become even more sought after as a skill, particularly those who can create original content.

Our solution will thrive in this environment.

Failure is not always an option. If your solution fails to gain traction in the next two years, what other applications of the idea could you explore?

My first thought on reading this question? Of course failure isn't an option. How could we possibly fail?

Our online infrastructure incorporates social media contacts, online communications and internet sales in a way that can be used for any project.

The social media community can be tapped to spread any type of information from calls to action to marketing a product. The e-commerce site can host any type of merchandise. Online conferencing - via Skype, chat or other forms of video conferencing -- easily adapt to education for individuals or groups.

Our online network can support any business that seeks to connect partners across great distances and allow for instant and effective communication designed to eventually bring disparate parties together for conferences, leadership training or real world learning.

As for the collaborative art and media projects created, there is no end to the outlets for publication or exhibition in print, in galleries and online.

Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding

Our ultimate goal is to create a system that does not rely on monetary donations. To that end, each project we support has been carefully designed to stimulate its own source of revenue.

All art and photography projects lead to artwork and merchandise sales in stores, galleries or online. Our education programs are the basis of an ESL curriculum we can package and sell to individuals and schools, fully researched and tested via the courses we teach. Our Arthouse hosts residencies for local and international artists who donate artwork, run workshops or give performances to raise money for Cloudhead.

Tell us about your partnerships

Burners Without Borders awarded us a grant to develop our e-commerce site as well gives access to their community resources. Idioma Wichi introduces us to Wichi communities in Argentina. Ani Soruco, who currently works with UNICEF, helps us organize our food donation programs. Maxi Mura Fotografia connects us to galleries and museums as well as acts as our press contact.

We've also partnered with IEM, the experimental high school connected with la UNSa and with governmental education programs to develop our social media and photography classes.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section?

We are a group of two who manage all aspects of the Cloudhead from education development to exhibition coordination to graphic design and writing. You can imagine how grateful we are to our volunteers!

We'd like to include a social media coordinator for viral marketing campaigns, a Wordpress designer to update and maintain our website and e-commerce sales, a lawyer to navigate our international relationships and a bookkeeper/accountant to manage sales and organize income vs expenditure.

Finally, our board of advisors guides all programs.

Changemakers is a collaborative and supportive space. Please specify any community resources you would need to grow and sustain your initiative. Select all that apply

Investment, Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Pro-bono help (legal, financial, etc.), Mentorship.

Specify any resources you might offer to support other initiatives. Select all that apply

Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Innovation or ideas, Mentorship.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list
Summary
Define your company, program, service or product in 1-2 short sentences

We bring people together via social media to develop community, share resources and create art.