These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“As entrepreneurial innovators hone in on how the merging powers of mobile, big data, cloud and the crowd can be leveraged to build sustainable, social enterprises, authors William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan make the case for the “The Solution Revolution.”
What is the “Solution Revolution?”
A burgeoning new economy where players from across the spectrum of business, government, philanthropy, and social enterprise converge to solve big problems and create public value. Over the last decade or so, a dizzying variety of new players has entered the societal problem-solving arena. Acumen and Ashoka, Kiva and Kaggle, Zipcar and Zimride, Recyclebank and Terracycle, SpaceX and M-Pesa, Branson and Bloomberg, Omidyar and Gates—the list is long and growing briskly. Where tough societal problems persist, these new problem solvers are crowd funding, ride-sharing, app-developing or impact-investing to design innovative new solutions for seemingly intractable problems. They operate within what we call a ‘Solution Economy.’” READ MORE
Can mobile phones map income distributions in Africa?
“Tired of mapping local-level income by night lighting? Try cell phone minutes. On the left, levels of use in Cote d’Ivoire and on the right, variance (i.e. inequality of use).
Based on mobile phone communications and history of airtime credit purchases, we estimate the relative income of individuals, the diversity and inequality of income, and an indicator for socioeconomic segregation for ﬁne grained regions of an African country. Our study shows how to use mobile phone datasets as a starting point to understand the socio-economic state of a country, which can be especially useful in countries with few resources to conduct large surveys.” READ MORE
“Today, more than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and approximately 2.5 billion don’t have adequate sanitation, making billions of people around the world vulnerable to disease and other development challenges.
To help provide communities in need with access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities, The Coca-Cola Company, together with DEKA R&D, and other critical partners including development banks, NGOs and companies, launched EKOCENTER™ - a downtown in a box - with the Slingshot™ water purification system housed within the community center. The EKOCENTER project aims to improve the holistic well-being of developing communities around the world, focusing on those within the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), the largest, poorest socio-economic group. Globally, this represents nearly 4 billion people who live on less than US$2 per day.” READ MORE
“So you want to do investigative journalism? Or produce a TV series? Or create a biopic? But you don't have the money to fund it? No problem. Ask your future consumers for money.
The conundrum in journalism today is that most people are not willing to pay anything for content. At the same time, there is a small pool of consumers that is willing to pay a large amount of money to see a story covered or content produced on a specific topic.
So what do journalists and media organizations do? Tap into the generosity of a few to fund production for many.” READ MORE
Gabon gives away free domain names
Biz Tech Africa
“Gabon has liberalised its national domain and adopted an innovative business model by giving its .GA domain names away for free.
Today the My GA Registry opened up registration for .GA domains. My GA – theGabon domain name – is operated by the Agence Nationale des Infrastructures Numeriques et des Frequences (ANINF) who pledges to make this national resource as open and easy to use as any generic Top Level Domain, while carrying the Gabonese identity on the internet.” READ MORE
Procurement and corruption: Where do we stand in the EU?
“Today, the EU’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) launched a long-awaited study* titled “Public Procurement: costs we pay for Corruption” during a public hearing in the European Parliament (agenda) organised by MEP Monica Macovei.
The study estimates the amount of direct losses to public budgets throughout 8 EU countries in five different sectors: road & rail, water & waste, urban/utility construction, training and research & development. In total, it is estimated that the overall direct costs of corruption in public procurement in those five sectors in eight countries was 1.4 to 2.2 bln Euros in 2010 (data based on contracts published in the TED database).” READ MORE