What is the likely impact of your idea? How will it help ensure that World Heritage sites are preserved? (150 words max)
World Heritage sights in underdeveloped rural areas with a close proximity to indigenous populations stand to benefit most from the VB social enterprise model.
The VB model significantly reduces potentially dangerous installations that provide power supplies in rural settings such as generators fuelled by non-renewable energy resources.
The availability of the VB service on a regular basis will dramatically increase the quality of life for the residents in these World Heritage sites as well as stimulate income generation by creating employment for VB operators.
This will also have a knock-on effect in the region regarding economic development since it has been established that increased mobile phone accessibility leads to increased financial prosperity amongst ultra low income population groups.
As such the VB targets all aspects of the triple bottom line by improving quality of life, reducing carbon emissions and providing a self sustaining cash-flow-positive revenue model.
What makes your idea innovative? How is it a sustainable, green technology? (150 words max)
The innovation of the VB is not in the technology used, rather in the application and combination of several functions that may independently not be cost effective but combined are financially justifiable and contribute towards sustainable development
Most of the needs addressed by the VB are being serviced in a sub optimal fashion and in many cases not provided at all; as such the VB contributes significantly to rural infrastructural development
The packaging of multiple services in a one-stop-shop forum effectively creates a magnetism towards the VB which allows it to leverage its presence and provide additional benefits such as selling advertising space on the VB and providing statistical information about areas often inadequately documented.
The technology utilized is 100% green with a zero carbon footprint. The batteries are recharged via energy from peddling the bicycle and through low-cost photovoltaic solar panels.
What would it require to launch or spread your idea? How much would it cost to make your idea a reality? (150 words max)
The benefit of the VB project is that it does not require economies of scale or mass funding to be implemented. Once the VB prototype is developed the marginal costs of constructing additional VB’s is low. All components of the VB are commercially available and the VB is designed to facilitate low cost maintenance and repairs.
Developmental costs would be relatively low since the technology and components are readily available and local substitute products could be used in many instances such as bicycle parts and mobile phone adaptors.
The cost of equipping a single trailer would depend on the facilities desired but a basic model equipped with mobile phone chargers, pay phones and a tool sharpener would cost in the region of $200-$500.
The VB project can easily be launched via branding opportunities and sponsorships from mobile phone operators incorporating corporate social responsibility and accessing corporate social investment budgets.