Internews Center for Innovation & Learning

Internews Center for Innovation & Learning
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TEST - the grassroots aggregated

TEST (Teplitsa, rus. Greenhouse, of Social Technologies) is a greenhouse for social innovation and initiatives. It was organized several months ago and now is a popular hub for social entrepreneurs to get noticed. 

Teplitsa is originally the project aimed at ICT innovation in Russia. Given the fact that Russia is the second leader in IT consumption after Germany by numbers of PC sales. There are over 5 mln Facebook profiles, over 40% of internet penetration and 43 people out of 100 have PC at home. At the same time the country suffers from poor knowledge in IT among youth and grown-ups in general. This gives an extremely bold opportunity for education and leadership of the process. 

Organized at the very beginning of 2012 Teplitsa is now one of the most prominent thought leaders in Moscow and Russia. During the last several months the organization of several core people managed to roadshow the country with so called TEST Camps - kind of Innovation Labs that bring techies and social hacktivists together. This kind of Camps took place in St. Petersberg and Nizhniy Novgorod. Usually the Camp gathers at least 60 people from the town. Main difference from other similar events is that TEST Camp gathers social leaders and programmers to create civic apps that intend to make cities, civic rights and certain social groups feel better. The word combination "socially meaningful" apps is probably the best selection criteria here. 

Besides holding great events and founding the the internet award for best civic apps TEST did what anyone else couldn't do better - they have created the database of socially meaningful apps of Russian Federation. All apps are are thoughtfully organized into categories: Security, Elections, City infrastructure, GovServices, Laws, Health, Crowdfunding, Science, Human Rights and many others. Recent developents are focused around gathering not only apps, but also the Bank of ideas that have an individual or a group of people behind it and ready to launch. During the half of the year in active existance Teplitsa has found and interviewed over 60 national apps that make life better. Most of these apps are supported by a NGO, group of citizens or a person and represent the grassroot initiative.

Daria Alexeyeva talks more about the class of the apps unknown before.

By the way Teplitsa project is implemented in partnership with the Agency of Social Information. Going through the series of Camps, Teplitsa works closely with two powerful social groups of bloggers and hacktivists. Also Teplitsa people like Alexey Sidorenko and Daria Alexeyeva  are public speakers at many events at digitally populated centers like Strelka Institute and Digital October. 

Teplitsa is a definite opinion leader in the segment. Currently it aggregates knowledge and people around Krymsk disaster - maps, apps and whatever might help people to help other people in trouble. By the way Rynda.org, the successor of russian-fires.ru, is now very popular and is supported by Teplitsa a lot. Krymsk disaster is very supported by Rynda community and partners. Alexey Sidorenko, CEO of Teplitsa, talks about creating a mapping project in details.

Teplitsa supports NGO's a lot. There's a free public offer to ask Teplitsa for help in website development or app architecture. Also Teplitsa guys consult on internet marketing of the app or even help with creating the app.