6 months of mentorship.
There is a disconnect between technologists with the skills to effect humanitarian change and the organizations with the resources, networks, and know-how to put those changes into effect. This is where we come in. Geeks Without Bounds’ six month mentorship program provides agile, project-based teams with the guidance they need to create resources that can be used for humanitarian challenges.
How this works.
Teams submitted a five minute video about their intended project, a business plan, and any other relevant contextual information. Once submitted, our advisory board reviews each team and selects the ones we feel most closely align with the shared goals of humanitarian response and have the potential for the greatest impact. For more information, check out our lovely Prezi below (Follow at your own pace here):
Two teams were selected for this open round of the accelerator, and two from the Chicago EveryoneHacks event. (See our recently graduated teams from June 2012: BioMedLink, WaterMe, and FourTeachers; and from January 2013: Agrodomestics, Bachchao, and the Pineapple Project.).
DLightful is about enhancing an open source hardware (RONJA), which uses light to transmit data. Our goal is to simplify the solution thereby transforming it from a hobbyist project into a mass-market ‘open’ product.
Our aim is to realise this through a social franchise business model, encouraging uptake by enabling income incentives for people in digitally underserved communities to LEARN | MAKE | SELL | SUPPORT local deployments.
In particular, it uses LEDs, embedded in small boxes, as receivers and transmitters to pass signals via line of sight up to 1.4 Kms. The current speeds that can be achieved are 10MBPS (duplex). Relays can be set up to send signals over huge distances or create neighbourhood mesh networks. The components to build the transmitters and receivers are simple electronics and can be constructed in inexpensive kit form.
Baltimore has some of the highest rates of STD in the country. The two city-run STD clinics in Baltimore, Eastern and Druid, screen thousands of patients a year. Unfortunately, about 40% of these patients never receive their test results, because they have to come back to the clinic in person to receive them. My Results is collaboration between Sexual Health Innovations and the Baltimore City Health Department to create an open-source platform to deliver STD test results online and by phone via an automated voice-response system. These systems immediately link patients to health information, describe what next steps to take, and provide additional resources.
Red Cross Disaster Incident Content Management System
Project Goal: To develop a streamlined incident reporting framework for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
Description: The framework will consist of three parts – digital form(s) for paperless processing, a database or data warehouse storing the information, and a tool to visualize that information (web application). Currently the Red Cross utilizes a paper reporting process, the goal of the first part will be to digitize the process. The goal of the second part will be to properly model the data for storage in a database or data warehouse. As data is uploaded to the database / data warehouse internal and external users can view the web application (the visualization) to see the Red Cross’ activities. Searchable filters (e.g. location, Red Cross response time, and incident type) will be built into the web application.
Impact/Outcome: The final system will permit the Red Cross: greater ability to analyze their internal operations; forecast, plan, and predict incident occurrence; and finally educate the public about their services and how the public can help assist in their operations.
RoboWrite is an automated system that takes advantage of Natural Language Processing to interpret phone calls made to disaster relief organizations, and automatically fill out dispatch forms based on the information in the phone call.
We are pleased as punch to have these new teams on board, and can’t wait to see the amazing work they will do. We expect great things from them in our accelerator and beyond.