Monthly Archives: May 2011

Edward Tufte and the Power of Visual Design

Joshua Yaffa profiles graphic design theorist Edward Tufte, and his growing impact on the way information is conveyed by governments, militaries, and media outlets. Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the … Continue reading

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Mobile Crop Insurance for Rural Farmers

Tina Rosenberg writes about an innovative crop insurance program for small farms in Kenya. The program, called Kilimo Salama, reduces costs by eliminating individual site visits to people with claims, and instead relies on information from solar-powered weather stations. Each … Continue reading

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The Evolution of the Mouse

The New Yorker has a slideshow of some early design concepts for the mouse that Dean Hovey designed for Apple. Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously visited Xerox in the late 70’s and got a special sneak peek at computing technology … Continue reading

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Cabs for Women, Driven by Women

Lisa Curtis of Start Up! profiles one of the social enterprises they work with, called Sakha. Sakha is a “cab service run by women for women.” They train women from “marginalised urban communities” to become private chauffeurs for families and … Continue reading

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LED Screens in Villages

The government of Gujarat is placing LED screens in villages to broadcast information on natural disasters, weather information, alerts, commodity rates, health information, “important public messages of the government,” and more. It’s currently a pilot project, with screens being placed … Continue reading

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The Internet is different when it is 2.5 inches wide

Microsoft Research India has released a fascinating article about the use of mobile internet by people who have never accessed the internet before. A team led by Microsoft’s Jonathan Donner (@jcdonner) taught eight women in South Africa how to access … Continue reading

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Failure to Innovate, Cont’d

Here’s a nice companion to our earlier post on innovation in the social sector: UK-based NESTA is attempting to measure innovation in public sector organizations. NESTA – Innovation in Public Sector Organizations You can read the report as a PDF … Continue reading

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Failure to Innovate

Over at the Harvard Business Review, Erica Williams has an essay exploring why innovation is so challenging for organizations in the social sector. Her theory: an aversion to failure. …failure is a critical part of innovation. In order to try … Continue reading

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10 Emerging Technologies

Technology Review has released its annual list of technologies most likely to change the world. Among the selections this year: solid-state batteries, cancer genomics, gestural interfaces and social indexing. Technology Review: 10 Emerging Technologies 2011

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Crowdsourcing Power Cuts in India

PowerCuts.in is attempting to track power cuts throughout India through social media. To report a power cut in your area, you can email them, fill out a form on their site, or tweet your location with the hashtag #powercutindia. Great idea. … Continue reading

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