Written by Clare Munn, August 2014
Over the past couple of years I’ve been involved with creating a new model for learning and sharing of crisis information for the foundation. That model is We Advance University. We Advance’s approach and model is building a learning community within local communities and allowing for ‘tupperware’ party scenarios to emerge. These gatherings of people will allow for discussions and viewings of structured, relevant educational content. As a co-founder of We Advance U, one of my core focuses has been around creating an approach/model and system for communities to connect with one another.
One of the challenges has been to ensure the technology we use is both accessible and relevant. We also needed to ensure that communities are able to share, communicate and collaborate effectively. We need a mashup of online, data driven capabilities and a more basic, feature phone and mobile capabilities. This has required listening to the communities and also studying latest technologies and how they can help delivering pertinent information in ways that are sensitive to broadband requirements and various different cultural and economic requirements. To me the genius of technology today is the simplicity of it. When technology becomes invisible it is at its most innovative. Therefore, when it comes to our platform and approach we have concentrated on proven latest technologies and behaviors – for example:
- Providing free SMS and MSM messaging to connect communities together. SMS network still works even with wifi shuts down.
- Our interface is through the universal platform WordPress – this provides not only administration management but also the proven ability for effective collaboration
- Our videos live within YouTube. YouTube is universal and its interface is very easy and they are constantly aiming for faster and easier downloading of videos which helps any community worldwide.
- The genius of women is they like to connect. Therefore, we leave the most ancient ways of connecting behavior to the women. They will know how to gather people, where to gather people and how to deliver and share engaging information.