Archive for the 'content' Category

MIT IDEAS Global Challenge now on Pinterest

All IDEAS entrants, if you have visual content you would like to display to generate publicity for your team as public voting goes on, there is now a Pinterest board dedicated to showcasing all teams in the Global Challenge, MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Teams.  E-mail yangbodu@alum.mit.edu with your Pinterest username so that you can be added to the list of collaborators who can post to the IDEAS Board.  If you are not on Pinterest yet, you may request an invite via the site itself or by e-mailing the same address listed prior.  Happy pinning!

And the winner is…

Congratulations to IDEAS 2010 team Sanergy for your winning entry into the IDEAS and Global Challenge video pitch contest! Judges voted Sanergy’s pitch the best for the clear connection between your team’s accomplishment and the resources offered through IDEAS and the Global Challenge. Most importantly, the video did a wonderful job emphasizing a multidisciplinary team drawn from across the MIT community and a deep connection to community and MIT resources on the ground, like FabLab. Here’s the vid:

Sanergy from Ani Vallabhaneni on Vimeo.

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Thanks so much to all of the teams that entered a video into the pitch contest – the range of projects represented is amazing, and I hope that through the MIT Public Service Center we’ll continue to find ways to support your work. View all of the entries here.

Deadline Extended to 10/15! Enter the MIT Global Challenge Video Pitch Contest

Deadline extended! What’s are you doing to change the world? How can resources like the IDEAS Competition and MIT Global Challenge help?

Share your story in the Global Challenge Video Pitch Competition and be eligible to win $1500.

The contest is open to anyone, but teams must involve MIT students. The winning entry will receive $1500 and will be featured at the October 23 Alumni Leadership Conference launch of the MIT Global Challenge.

We’re launching the MIT Global Challenge to connect and reward teams of innovators and entrepreneurs that are tackling barriers to well-being through invention. We need the world-changing students who benefit from opportunities like IDEAS and the MIT Global Challenge to help us spread the word!

We want to tap student passion to make the world a better place by asking you to make a case for why the MIT community worldwide should care about the Global Challenge. To be successful we’ll need their support to fund awards, underwrite challenges, and support student projects as mentors, volunteers, and local promoters of the Global Challenge. Download contest details [word.doc].

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MITGC Introduction Slide Deck

MSU Spartans Channel Change

Great clip communicating energy that can be drawn from a worldwide alumni base. Props to Tom G. for spotting this in Tuesday’s NYTimes.

Nokia Enters Development Space with “Life Tools”

Kiwanja has a great post on Nokia’s latest move into the ICT for development (ICTD) space with the release of its mobile financial and payment service, Nokia Money.

Kiwanja writes,

“Last November, on the day Barack Obama won the US Presidential elections, Nokia quietly lay their cards on the table and entered the ‘international development’ arena. The launch of Nokia Life Tools - initially a suite of education and agriculture-based tools aimed at the Indian market – was a significant step forward for the handset maker, which had for some time been positioning itself not just as a manufacturer, but also as something of a services provider.

So, something else which shouldn’t have come as a big surprise was today’s news of Nokia’s big move into mobile financial services. There’s clearly a big market opportunity here, and Nokia have partnered withObopay to take it on (a company they had already invested around $70 million in earlier this year).”

Intersections with work happening here at MIT include – among others – Next Billion Network, NextLab, International Initiatives in Health (IIH), and D-Lab ICT course – among many others. I expect this to be an area of explosive growth here at MIT over the next few years that cuts across many disciplines.

The Idea Project

The Ideas ProjectThe founders of Xigi.net and Nokia have produced a wonderful little site called the ideasproject.com which is a place for thought leaders and the public to share their future-setting ideas. Business founders like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) share the UI with activist-thinkers that include Ethan Zuckerman (Global Voices) and innovation drivers like Peter Diamandis (X Prize).

The site competes in some ways with other “deep thoughts” sites like TED, and what it lacks in production it makes up for its warmer, more participatory approach: emphasizing a back-of-the-envelope feel and making space for the big shots (“ideators”) to share the screen with joe public, the Ideas Project has the casual intellectual environment of a Viennese cafe ca. 1920. In a good way!

A few other notable if imperfect aspects of the site include a non-linking visualization of ideas and how they connect by people and theme along with a dashboard that enables users to collect and track their favorite ideas. Not sure how this maps with data collection efforts and what the end result would be. Oh, and anyone submitting ideas qualifies to win a Nokia N95 phone. Is this marketing at the end of the day?

At the end of the day, some great pointers in UI, information architecture and design for the Global Challenge.

Black Carbon and Poverty

Cooking in Kohlua, India. Soot from tens of thousands of villages in developing countries is responsible for 18 percent of the planet’s warming, studies say. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times  

Cooking in Kohlua, India. Soot from tens of thousands of villages in developing countries is responsible for 18 percent of the planet’s warming, studies say. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

A recent New York Times article in the Environment pages points out some of the climate-risks associated with the burning of dirty fuels, and makes the case for introducing new, cleaner burning stoves to the poor. Skipping over the massive health benefits to women and children who most often tend to the family fires, the article places priority – in part justifiably – on the worlds disappearing glaciers, especially in the Himalayas – linking their demise to a looming water crisis in areas fed by Asia’s big rivers. 

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How To Do an Innovation Challenge Not Right

 

Imagine Cup 2009 Student Competition

Imagine Cup 2009 Student Competition

Microsoft for several years has run something called the ImagineCup, which aims to engage students around the world in developing the next killer application. One of the exciting features is the annual Finals, which take place in a city around the world (this year it’ll be Cairo).

 

This year, the challenge “theme” is, “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today.” Tied to the Millennium Development Goals, the challenge invites students to submit entries in nine categories – software, embedded development, games, robotics, IT challenge, mashup, photography, film and design. First place prizes range from $25,000 to $8,000 depending on the category.

Its a lively an envigorating proposition.

Here’s what doesn’t work for me: just about every competition entry category that has legs must be built on a Microsoft product. Two specific points come to mind as lessons:

  • If you’re going to be about solving the world’s problems, the “platform” on which they are to be solved is a second order problem eg is this really marketing to students? Lesson: communicate the intent clearly.
  • If you’re inviting the very best from students in a learning process, why not draw upon their existing base of talent and expertise instead of shoehorning them into a specific tool set? Lesson: meet people where they’re at.

Aside: Imagine Cup has an interesting feature called a “Leader Board” – I am sure this is something that could be a fun tool to engage visitors and users using a combination of intelligent analytics and user feedback tools.