Charity Engine


Most of the internet connected laptops, desktops and other devices have free computer  Memory  available for use by others. By pooling all the memory we can create a super computer memory. This concept is not new and is called distributed computing. It involves grabbing all the available memory of the computers to generate a super computer like abilities. This computing power is then put to use for weather forecasting and other purposes. A company called charity engine has created an app that allows  you to share your computer memory for Charity purpose. What they do is rent out the memory of millions of computers connected to internet to companies for their personal use and the money collected as rent is then used for Charity purpose.

Every month, the money generated by Charity Engine is divided between partner charities such as Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, and Amnesty international  and users running the Charity Engine app. That means in approximately two weeks, a volunteer will win $10,000.  More details can be obtained here http://charityengine.com/

I think this idea should be adopted for local charity work in a different ways. We have several large scale industries to medium industries who are already doing charity work by donating money/services most of the time for a cause individually. Instead they can put to use their corporate assets such as people, process expertise or equipment for generating additional revenue and use that for charity work. One simple example could be to use company resources to collect money by doing shows for   Red Cross or NGO. Another example is to use Engineering expertise/ skills  of the employees to fix hospital  equipments that  benefits the doctors to do a better service to their patients and  in turn creates tremendous good will for the company and it’s employees.  The above are some sample examples but sky is the limit of what we collectively can do.

One interesting project where Charity Engine is used is by Wolfram Alpha.   check it out here at   http://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/

Live Projects, Lab experiments at your door steps


Imagine the millions of students that go to school/colleges with no good infrastructure  or labs for doing lab Projects There are so many schools/colleges  across India that cannot provide Lab experiments to the students. In order to make education relevant to present society needs and fun a new approach to student learning and achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is taken up by HP thru its social innovation project called catalyst initiative http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/catalyst.html . HP is building next generation citizens to tackle the planets most pressing problems thru science and technology in the areas of health, entrepreneurship, community and education. Students are working on some of the complex problems such as purification of sea water etc.   There are 250,000 students from the most rural villages from across the globe who are participating in the projects that HP enables. HP collaborates with local establishments such as Agatsya International foundation http://www.agastya.org/   in India to make it happen. The idea is to break down all the barriers between countries, secondary and college education, universities and NGO’s by collaborating with people from across the globe to solve the most pressing problems, engage young minds (students) in learning and problem solving without any limitations. Imagine a rural student who wants to conduct a science lab experiment or live project using MIT and University of Queensland in Australia faculty help and infrastructure.  He / She can do that thru HP catalyst or Agatsya foundation. Agatsya a partner of HP catalyst are using 62 mobile science vans that go to rural villages to allow students to run science experiments. They have 28 rural science centers, and 170 acre creativity lab campus. As of today Agatsya reaches to 4 million students, 150,000 teachers in India and is supported by Indian institute of Science, Defense Research and Development Organization and Tata institute of Fundamental Research.  HP is supported by World economic forums, global education initiative and OECD.  Find more details by clicking on the links

http://www.agastya.org/

http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/ourmeetings/2011/default.asp

http://www.iste.org/welcome.aspx

http://www.ewf2011.org/

http://www.weforum.org/videos/global-education-initiative