Discover and share the true story one bite at a time

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a winner.

Discover and share the true story one bite at a time

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Everyone plays a role in creating, validating and extending the big story with information bites they know.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The true story of any social event is a complex and changing network of information bites. These include events, people, places, reasons why things happen, dates and times, etc. Putting this together collaboratevely today takes time and happens away from where things are happening. Each person can share or validate little bits of the story but nowadays there is no way to do this collaboratively and in real time. The real problem is that the story closest to the reality lies in the hands of a distributed group of people that may or may not know each other without a way to converge or revolve around the truth.

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

Our solution offers a way for everyone, anywhere, to send a short message relevant to what's going on around them. This information bites are collected and curated into a structured "mini-wikipedia" of places, events, causalities, and consequences. Anybody can act both as a journalist or as a curator, by expanding, complementing or contradicting each bite of information. People can also confirm or deny information pieces based on their observation or beliefs.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Citizens in the field would interact with the system through SMS, Twitter, email or even voice calls. A dialog between citizens and the system would go like this. A Citizen in Libya starts by sending a text message to a local phone number with "NATO is bombing civilian buildings". The system will reply with a message confirming the reception and will ask for more information about when, why, what happened before or after in short, individual messages. The citizen could also add additional bites of information at his own will. In parallel the system would send this new information bite to other users in Libya asking "Is it true that NATO is bombing civilian buildings?". People can then confirm or deny the information and can also contribute with additional bites, like exact date, place, consequences or reasons. The result is a web of information bites, validated or refuted individually by the community. This allows a more nuanced understanding and exploration of the situation. This information can be queried by the citizens themselves through text messages, etc. or could also be navigated via the web and also used by mainstream journalists to understand and influence the information requests.

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

This is a new kind of service that could built upon the collective experience of social interactions that have happened are evolving around things like Wikipedia, Twitter, Ushahidi, SwiftRiver, etc. As far as we know there is no way right now to evolve a picture of the truth made of bites of information contributed and validated by a distributed group of citizens and journalists. This idea combines the notion of a Wiki (crowdsourced knowledge), the network model of Twitter (people contributing information, others subscribed to topics/people) with a novel concept of validation and extension of information by citizens themselves.
About You
InSTEDD iLab América Latina
About You
First Name


Last Name

di Tada

Facebook URL
About Your Organization
Organization Name

InSTEDD iLab América Latina

Organization Country

, B

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Idea (you're poised to launch)

How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

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.

While working in crowd sourcing information in Haiti, we realized that the picture of the situation does not lie in the hands of any individual. We were helping thousands of citizens get information based on data from journalist stringers, who went at great pains in understanding the situation in port au prince and missed nuances that were only apparent after the fact. The citizens knew these aspects all along and if we only had had a better way to have people collaboratively build the picture of the situation in the camps, the journalists would have had better information and events like the rapid spread of cholera could have been mitigated better.

Seeing the use of social media tools in the recent events in Middle East, was a confirmation that a tool like this was worth exploring.

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

This idea is new, but our experience in Haiti shows that information in the hand of citizens causes up to 85% behavior change.

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

Our idea is global in scale and tools exist to create channels (text messages, voice, twitter, etc.) in different countries in easy and fast ways. The impact in each instance will depend on the situation, but will generally consist of a better collective knowledge of a story as it unfolds - including seeing divergent opinions, misinformation and gaps.

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

Have a prototype validated in a community setting

Six-Month Tasks
Task 1

Design and prototype including field user experience tests

Task 2

Prioritize and integrate communication channels such as twitter, voice, sms, etc.

Task 3

Run a pilot in 2 communities where filling knowledge gaps can have an impact

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Have this tool in the hands of anybody that wants to use it and have active usage in 3 countries

12-Month Tasks
Task 1

Release a stable and usable version of the tool. Define impact metrics.

Task 2

Create a communications and "marketing" plan for journalists and social media

Task 3

Support a community of users and interested parties and evolve the tool in agile ways.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

Fewer than 100

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

More than 10,000

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


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?

We are still in the idea stage. We don't foresee any infrastructure issues. We think the biggest challenge is creating a good user experience and this can be mitigated by interaction design and rapid prototyping processes.

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?

We see that the trends in the media sector have gone from centralized generated and mainstream distributed knowledge to a model where citizens are contributors of the journalistic process but the information is still built and curated by centralized entities. This next step we propose, involves a complete de-centralized process where each citizen can play any role ranging from reporting, validated and extending shared knowledge which can then be shared with the rest of the world.

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?

We fail fast. We would not go on for 2 years before realizing that the idea needs adjustments and by having a constant presence in the field we expect to learn patterns and pitfalls to help us evolve the concept.

Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding

We believe we would create a valuable source of information that could tap into media revenue streams. We would have to do the market analysis, but one could imagine paid subscriptions by mainstream media who want to ask specific questions or validate facts.

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

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

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

Discover and share the true story one bite at a time. Everyone helps create, extend and validate the story.