Information latency profoundly limits agricultural cooperatives’ ability to conduct business and access financing – an avoidable problem with serious consequences for rural farmers in the developing world. Acopio is a nascent social venture offering information systems that enable farmer-owned cooperatives to better manage the data that is vital to managing their operations, accessing financing, and marketing their products. The team’s solution has the potential to positively affect the lives of millions of farmers in the developing world.
Politify (www.politify.us) is the first web application to forecast the financial impacts of political scenarios. Users input their demographic information and then Politify projects the effect that a candidate or policy will have on that person’s well-being—in dollars, including changes to tax incidence and government services. In addition to personal impacts, the user can also view impacts by income quintile and by geopolitical level (e.g. zip code, state, and nation). The results are displayed in an interactive HTML5 visualization with animated graphs and policy breakdowns. All forecasts are based on a non-partisan reading of the legislation or candidate platform. For aggregate impacts, Politify uses a state-of-the-art economic simulator developed by the Urban Institute. After learning this information,
users are encouraged to engage in the political process. Each page includes the option to: (a) register to vote, (b) donate to advocacy groups, or (c) endorse or oppose a candidate via social media outlets.
Loccasion is a smartphone application that uses geo-fence technology to make the interactions between campus organizations and students more effective and sustainable. This application is intended to improve the way students receive information about clubs and groups that they are interested in because up until now, the distribution of flyers on Sproul Plaza is passive, inefficient and unintuitive. The goal of the Loccasion project is to streamline the process for campus promoters to disseminate information to a relevant audience. The team’s solution is to equip student organizations with a smartphone tool that can create events and announcements that are interactive and engaging. The user interface provides a framework for creating events – such as date, time, directions to venue and the ability to upload photos – enabling a simple way for organizations to create announcements and spread them to their targeted audience within a matter of seconds. Upon the creation of an event, a circular virtual fence with a certain radius around the student promoter’s smartphone is set up. Anyone who has installed the app on their phone can receive notifications once within the virtual border. Event organizers can tag their postings with certain keyword hash tags such as #engineering or #entertainment and users can subscribe to certain keywords to receive a stream of events on their smartphones.
EMS: Shirati was founded by four Cal seniors in collaboration with the Shirati KMT Hospital in Tanzania and Bay Area NGO AISCS. The team aims to expand upon the the hospital’s Emergency Medical System (EMS), which some of the team members helped establish in 2009. The current objective is to reduce maternal mortality throughout the region of Rorya by working with TBAs and introducing a motorcycle ambulance system. The goal of EMS: Shirati is for community volunteers to train nurses in local hospitals basic Emergency Medicine, specifically for obstetric emergencies and to expand the EMS (Emergency Medical System). The team’s solution is the MedBike, a modified motorbike with a sidecar addition designed to provide safe transportation for pregnant women to reduce maternal mortality. The MedBike will be operated by community volunteers and nurses and will be able to access areas not accessible by cars and ambulances, where the majority of the population of Tarime lives. This will streamline access to medical care in emergency situations, allowing healthcare providers to come to the patient and provide care until they get to a doctor, significantly increasing survival rates.
Teach For Health, an NGO founded by UCSF and Berkeley students, won 1st place in the 2010 Global Poverty Alleviation category. The team proposed a model to catalyze cost-effective social change in rural, low-income villages in Nicaragua by training motivated community organizers, assisting local health promoters in Community Diagnosis and Action Planning (CDAP) and building local resource capacity. The team has expanded and strengthened the infrastructure, with 4 local staff, 69 active health promoters working in 21 communities conducting basic health-promotion activities and completing their own health-improvement projects. The team now plans to move to the next level of CDAP, which involves promoters facilitating a process in which their communities identify and prioritize their most pressing challenges, and develop and enact a plan to address specific challenges. To achieve this, the team will pilot the “Microgrant Empowerment Initiative”, providing a series of competitive, escalating grants with local matching for village-developed program proposals, in order to build local capacity for program planning and implementation, and lay the foundation for independent grant writing to implement community-driven projects.
As the number of aging Americans increases over the next 40 years, clinicians, city planners, government employees, program administrators and caregivers are ill-equipped to do much more than help Baby Boomers maintain their health as they age. The need for innovative thinking, discourse, and practice in the field of aging is at an all-time high. There is a desperate need for multi-generational and crosscultural community dialogue geared toward giving a meaningful purpose to the lives of elderly people. “Vibrant Aging” aims to produce a series of short films which will be used to catalyze much-needed community discussions about the future of aging in America. These discussions will stem from reactions to the short films, which spotlight culturally-diverse and often-underserved populations of older adults
in America. Documenting older adults and their collective wisdom and expertise of what it means to age “vibrantly” will empower not only them, but the hundreds of older adults, caregivers, practitioners, and students who will watch the films.
Pioneers in Engineering (PiE) will begin a year-round mentorship program for UC Berkeley students to share their passion about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) with Bay-Area high school students and inspire them to pursue higher education in STEM fields. In the fall, Berkeley students from PiE will interact with students at targeted underprivileged high schools. This one-on-one mentoring program will include weekly meetings where high school students will learn about STEM majors through modules involving project-driven, hands-on activities. In the spring, the project activities will culminate with the design and construction of a robot for the 5th annual PiE robotics competition. Many of these students will be the first in their families to attend college, and will receive class tutoring, college
application assistance, and career opportunity exploration. Cal students in PiE will be trained to serve as mentors and role models so they can directly handle the challenges in our education system and their protégés’ daily lives.
Diarrheal disease from drinking unsafe water is one of the leading causes of death in Mexico. Today, millions of Mexicans in low-income communities are still at high risk of waterborne diseases because of inadequate water infrastructure and insufficient water quality control. In particular, safe water remains unavailable to those who cannot afford commercially sold bottled water. Water technology like the UV Tube, developed through collaboration between UC Berkeley and Fundacion Cantaro Azul, is an effective means to secure water quality at home. Nuestra Agua, a new social franchise designed by UC Berkeley students, will expand on the UV Tube project and offer a local, affordable, and reliable option for people who need to purchase safe water as well as an economic opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
The E-du-waste project focuses on Guiyu, China, the largest electronic waste dumping ground in the world and provides an approach to help the people who are forced to rummage through E-waste for survival. The project will focus on educating middle school students in Guiy by organizing an Englishlanguage summer day-camp over 5 days for middle schools in Guiyu. The aim of the camp is to equip the local students with critical thinking skills and to help them gain insights on global environmental issues through education in Art, Film and Science. The process will be filmed and made available to recycling centers as possible publicity material. The goal is to motivate students in Guiyu to seek higher education and avoid harmful E-waste recycling jobs in the future.