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.
I remember hearing on the radio about the Haiti earthquake and how it disrupted communications in that country, and a coping mechanism thinking to myself that they would just fly new kit in. The next thing the radio said was that their airport was ruined. So I said to myself that they could drive kit by road. The next thing the radio said was that their roads were largely destroyed. So I said to myself that they could bring kit in by boat. And, you guessed it, the next thing the radio said was that their harbor was ruined. Stripped of all excuses I realised that Haiti faced a real problem, and that something had to be done. My expertise is in communications and networks so I focussed on that area, and soon came to the realisation that we needed to enable the latent capability of cell phones to form independent, self-organising telephony networks without depending on infrastructure, so that communications could not be so easily impaired, to the great detriment of society.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
We have created working prototype software and proven that it has the potential to address this solution. We are yet to deploy it to actually meet the needs for which it was envisaged.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
As we mature the software over the coming year we also intend to start more serious trials with other organisations and communities to help them meet their own communications needs. As our solution is software which can run on off-the-shelf phones, is available via the Android Market and includes the means of self-replication when deprived of infrastructure, we anticipate that it will begin to spread widely.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
To mature our software from technology demonstrator to public ALPHA release
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
General public release of Serval mesh software