Thanks to Jim Dempsey and his group at ICT Update for this great feature article in the December 2010 e-issue. (et en français, aussi!) A team of developers has created a single system, called Masawa, to encourage development and delivery of information services to low-cost cell phones via mobile apps. Working with NGOs and local [...] Read more – ‘Article in ICT Update’.
We’ve been quiet for the past couple of months; have we fallen off the face of the earth? Nopers! We spent much of the Summer and early Fall 2010 consulting various individuals and organization ranging from small start-up NGOs to large VCs and Foundations. We listened to their feedback on the Masawa concept and then [...] Read more – ‘Announcing the Masawa Prototype’.
In a recent blog post, Bill Easterly bemoans the tendency of the aid industry and media to paint the poor with a single brush, to define them by the resources and opportunities they lack. He recounts a recent visit to an Anglican Church service in Northern Ghana as an example of how many Ghanaians see [...] Read more – ‘Identity and Effective Development’.
A dispatch from Masawa team members, Darius and Mariah Levin, traveling for the summer before moving to Toronto. On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I did a short family home-stay in Piedras Blancas, clear into the rainforest, through a start-up eco-tourism company, Autentico Adventures. Hiking 3 hours into the backcountry of Costa Rican rainforest-was [...] Read more – ‘M-Ecotourism?’.
Just came across http://siteonmobile.com/, a new service in beta testing from HP Labs that allows website information and content be distributed through SMS and IVR (voice). Very interesting; the potential to provide access to content in places where the internet is far, far away is very exciting. I wonder, however, how money comes into the [...] Read more – ‘SiteOnMobile – website content via SMS & IVR’.
Here’s a video of Jan Chipchase giving a TED talk on mobile phones in our lives. It’s from way back in 2007, but we still find it very applicable to what we’re trying to accomplish at Masawa. Read more – ‘Jan Chipchase 2007’.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered the inaugural MassChallenge entrepreneurship competition. Please register and vote for us by giving us 5 stars! You can find us under Competition –> Team Pitches and then search for “Masawa”. You have to login to vote, but it’s worth it! Also, we made this video as part of the competition. [...] Read more – ‘Vote For Masawa — MassChallenge’.
I’ve recently noticed increasing amounts of attention being paid to the potential for mobile applications to facilate various types of learning. A PBS Kids study, recently presented at the Games for Change conference in New York, found that one iPhone application, Martha Speaks, helped kids to improve their vocabulary by 31 percent. It’s not surprising that [...] Read more – ‘The Potential for Learning by Mobile’.
David Roodman recently reflected on Grameen Phone pioneer, Iqbal Quadir’s, TED talk and the implications for mobile technology—particularly mobile money—in the developing world. “Connectivity helps people and firms work together when they are more than a stone’s throw apart—coordinate, bargain, contract. Better communication allows them to reorganize themselves step-by-step into more complex economic arrangements characterized [...] Read more – ‘Why Mobile Matters: “Connectivity is Productivity”’.
The New York Times today is running a story on how data has surpassed voice usage on cell phones in the United States. Even in the US, where we have long had easy access to information through television, phones, libraries, radio, cheap transportation, and more recently the internet, phones have still become essential information management [...] Read more – ‘NYT Story: Cellphones Now Used More for Data Than for Calls’.
We were recently fortunate to attend the CGIU (Clinton Global Initiative University) annual meeting in Miami, where we were highlighted as an outstanding commitment. Heather Graham presented us with the award and CGI made an amazing video of Masawa (now also posted in the video section). Read more – ‘CGIU’.
Menekse Gencer from mPay Connect presented this slide at Columbia University’s Macroeconomics of Mobile Money conference in April 2010. The impact of mobiles on GDP is staggering, especially considering that most markets are just scratching the surface of the types of services that can be provided via mobile. More about conference proceedings: http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/citi/events/mpayments Read more – ‘Why Mobile Matters: Reason 1–Boost to GDP’.
We’re very happy to announce that we’ve incorporated as a non-profit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! Quite an easy process, I must say – the harrowing part comes next: filing the 1023 that would give us 501(c)3, or non-profit, status. Read more – ‘Incorporated’.
Last week, Anand Giridharadas penned an article for The New York Times called “Where a Cellphone Is Still Cutting Edge“. In it, he refers to uses of cellphone in the developing world and how transformational cellphones can be. He also poses an interesting thought on the US’s potential windfall from mobile-ladened cellphone users in the [...] Read more – ‘Cellphone Ploppage’.