In October 2011, DataKind (then called Data Without Borders) held its inaugural DataDive in New York City, where it brought together UN Global Pulse, The Microfinance Information Exchange Market (MIX Market), and the New York Civil Liberties Union with data scientists, hackers, and an assortment of other interested people, such as myself.
Internews is implementing the Youth LINC (Linking Innovators Who Network for Change) project in partnership with Youth Initiative for Human Rights Bosnia and Herzegovina, a leading youth NGO based in Sarajevo.
This report describes the Islamabad Innovation Lab (IIL) held by Internews Network and Bytes for All (B4A) in October 2011 to explore and share the benefits of these technologies among new media experts, journalists, bloggers, CSO leaders, technology enthusiasts and developers. This report also summarizes communications findings from Internews research conducted before, during, and after the Lab. Funded by the Ploughshares Fund and the Internews Center for Innovation & Learning, this Lab was the first of its kind in Pakistan, and could serve as a useful model for future projects.
There are many versions of the Innovation Lab model. Essentially though, the design is about coming together in small groups to plan and build a prototype that addresses a problem. The nature of the problem and the prototype will be framed by the Lab, and the Innovation Labs that Internews has been involved with--in Islamabad and Kabul in particular--aimed to produce prototype tools or applications that addressed a social issue or challenge.
Everyone from Big Data goliaths like the World Bank, to data journalism heavyweights like The Guardian, BBC and New York Times, to software companies like ScraperWiki that clean and analyze data are getting into the data journalism training business. These are fantastic resources in the fast-paced age of open government data initiatives, apps, maps and visualizations.
When you're a coder making an app is not an easy task. When you're manager or jornalism it's almost impossible. Or not? Innovation Labs usually ask for the help of coders and require people with special skills. But what if you don't have a coder in the team and you really need this minimum viable product to be made and shown? These days there's a plenty of app builders there, let's review some of the most intersting tools. Everyone needs an app today.
“There are few opportunities in Ukraine where social and internet entrepreneurs are brought together to work on tangible social problems and solutions, it just provokes innovative thinking.” ~ Christopher Wild, Chief of Party, Internews Network in Ukraine
"Do it Yourself" - is a festival on civic activities. The most promising and innovative event I've seen in CIS that is pioneering social change and civic impact. As a part of it the first TESTCamp took place on May 12-13 in St. Petersburg.
There are so many apps out there that are about workouts, cooking and other personal guidance, but no apps for starting your own social business. Innovation Lab in Ukraine turned out to be a good opportunity to develop a structured and complete guide to social entreprenurship. Most Innovation Lab attendies didn't manage social projects at all, others haven't heard about it. Fortunately, the Social Startup Cookbook appeared and help many things to become clear.
Community is a powerful thing. Most of the greatest things that happened in US - are individually or community funded. Even the State of Liberty. Ater this great period the governement grew older and bigger covering almost any municipal changes in the state or states. Now social change is happenning. It's not about demographics or regulations - those remain the same. People want social change to happen and gain more control and participation. Intentions are different, motivation is different.