The World At A Glance

FROM: Brad Evans

What NEED does this meet?
This idea serves the general well being of the Earth. It is a way of keeping all informed of the state of the world's violence, environmental degredation, disease and human inequities. A focus point for discussion and hopefully action.

What is the APPROACH?
A website displays the globe divided into 10 km square blocks. This globe is searcheable, magnifiable and spinnable. Each block has colours and/or symbols indicating it's state based on information from various concerned groups.

First there would be an indicator of violence as it applies to the local population of each block. Are the inhabitants in danger of immediate violence from war, civil unrest or perhaps their own government and police force?

Then there would be an indication on how human needs are being met. Is there sufficient availability of drinkable water, food and medicines?

Then an environmental indicator would attest to the safety of the environment for human beings. Factors such as pollution, old landmines and/or some other local danger.

Once immediate humman needs are expressed by indicators, then we can move on and have indicators expressing political freedom, average affluence and longevity.

And after human needs are expressed then there would be indicators of the quality of the land, environmental degradation and the effects of overpopulation.

Administered well, the World At A Glance would contain unbiased, up to date information for all to see.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
All the above information is available in some for or other, but I feel that it needs to be compiled into one easy to read and understand situation map. The World At A Glance will remind people that things are not well outside of their own sphere. It will help groups and governments decide where resources and efforts need to be directed.

Some governments may be embarrased into addressing the troubles in their countries. Many school children around the world will seek to change all the indicators on the World At A Glance to the best values.

What is the COMPETITION?
I'm sure that some governments and some think tanks have situation maps of the world. There are situation maps for certain commodities.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
The technical expertise of building this would come from the open source community. That part would be free. Most of the effort would be in coordinating and rating the information and its sources.

A templates of factors and scales would have to be devised with the help of experts. That fact that these experts would be people who have devoted their lives to addressing human need, would mean that they would be probably be willing to participate freely.

I think a line from the movie 'Field of Dreams' can describe how people might be attracted to this project .. "If you build it, they will come".

November 2, 2003 in Environmental, Geographic, Use of Statistics | Permalink | Comments (3)

WorldHelp

FROM: Mark

What NEED does this meet?
This is a way for people to help other people through communication over the Internet. The idea would allow people from one geographic location to post questions/inquiries/answers to those of the same/other region.

What is the APPROACH?
This would be a geographically based approach that would connect individuals/companies with local/international help based on their needs and requirements. Essentially, people would earn points in the system based on the amount of help they provide. These points could then be used to acquire the services of others and so on. Its a win-win situation.

Give a little, take a little, give a little one more time. ~Bob Marley~

What are the BENEFITS to people?
This concept could be used to help people learn how to use a computer, help the environment, cure a cold with natural medicines or just help another needy individual with the skills that they possess. The site could be developed into a variety of categories that are structured in such a way to help people find an answer/help to their problem/situation as quickly as possible.

What is the COMPETITION?
I do not know of any similar services. My idea must win because it is geared to help the largest number of needy people. This could be setup to categorically help those most in need and then progressively work up to help more fortunates souls.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Where there is a will, there is a way.

November 2, 2003 in Environmental, International, Matching System | Permalink | Comments (1)

recycling

FROM: Tenzin

What NEED does this meet?
An awful lot of perfectly useable stuff is thrown away by affluent householders (and others such as industry) that could be used by those who have little or no disposable income. Shop and office refurbishment throws away huge amounts of furniture, shelving, light fittings etc that are perfectly re-useable

What is the APPROACH?
It should be possible to set up an internet database that is searchable on a local, basis such as my village/suburb, within 5 miles of etc. which contains a list of good quality but re-useable, or recycleable materials that a disposer is going to throw away. A disposer could (for free) enter details of what they have, with an expiry date, whereby each item appears in the datatbase, and is available until that date, after which the householder will dispose of the item/s in a more normal manner. Those interested in acquiring the item/s could search the database, and with appropriate security measures contact the disposer via e-mail; to arrange a mutually convenient time to view/collect the item. In otherwords a sort of e-Bay, but without bids.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Those on low income could benefit simply by having acces to such items as furniture, household goods etc, that otherwise they could not afford, also it may well be possible for individuals to set up their own small local companies based on re-using material that otherwise would have been thrown away. It could ease some of the burdens on local councils of the cost of disposing of at least some forms of household waste, and possibly even help some industries reduce the costs of waste disposal. It would also benefit the environment, simply by reducing waste.

What is the COMPETITION?
None as far as I know, though there are schemes in Holland and parts of Germany, which are I beleive operated by local councils, whereby unwanted but reasonable quality household gooods, and even surplus building materials, are colleceted up and available to be viewed and purchased at nominal prices (simply to cover the costs).

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
I haven't the faintest idea, as I have absolutely no skills in programming, and equally little idea on the costs of holding such a database on servers etc. though it need not (I would have thought) be overly expensive, as inputting items to the dtabase would be done by the disposer, and deletion of items would be either automatic (at the end of the exiry period) or by the collector of the item after collection. I simply throw the idea out in the hope that someone can pick it up and put it into operation.

November 1, 2003 in Connecting People, Environmental, Giving stuff away, Helping Your Community, Matching System, Perhaps Government Remit? | Permalink | Comments (2)

freebay?

FROM: Brent Ashley

What NEED does this meet?
People often have things that get thrown away although they are still useful. The point here is to redirect items towards recycling rather than giving your local rubbish depot the problem.

What is the APPROACH?
Ebay sells a whole range of items. Freebay gives them away, the only cost being delivery. This could be through the current postal service (like ebay) and/or including geographical locality i.e. you go and pick it up or the current owner brings it to you. Organisations (such as charities) as well as individuals could use this service.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will stimulate giving and increase the range of recyclable items.

What is the COMPETITION?
The "similar service" is embryonic in everyones minds when they have a springclean and ask themselves "who can I give this too?" Ideas like these will have to be introduced at some point out of necessity for ecological reasons.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
I havnt a clue but for anyone who does - take Ebay as a model and imagine people clicking on to do what they already do there but for free.

November 1, 2003 in Connecting People, Environmental, Giving stuff away | Permalink | Comments (38)

Share Your Car

FROM: Marie Griffiths

What NEED does this meet?
Global warming is a threat to us all, much of the CO2 gases are emitted from cars. People spend hours in traffic jams and thousands of people are killed on the road each year.

What is the APPROACH?
I registered the domain www.shareyourcar.org during the petrol blockage. The idea is to date match people who are going your way. I am a web designer so I thought that this would not take to long to do. I have been busy with work up till now but now find myself unemployed. I have set up two internet businesses www.kittens.co.uk and www.holidayreport.co.uk. But they haven't taken off as much as I had hoped. I do have the user management and location data though.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
With Car Sharing, you reduce the pollution, you also reduce trafffic, you also reduce accidents, you also have more awake drivers, again less accidents. I already carshare myself with 3 people.

What is the COMPETITION?
http://www.studentzone.org.uk has the same idea but is focused at students only.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
I would need a commerical licence for a database, Web hosting and a budget for my time to work on this. I estimate £40,000 over 5 years part time. I might need a tie in with someone like multimap as well.

October 31, 2003 in Connecting People, Environmental, Matching System, Transport | Permalink | Comments (23)

mobile phone location car sharing

FROM: David Vanes

What NEED does this meet?
This would make car sharing much more dynamic and feasable. This would have environmental benifits It could be used commercially by a combination of bus / taxi /train companies to link transport.

What is the APPROACH?
most car sharing is "static" you find a friend on a web site and you are stuck to the times. Routes may not be available. Here we use mobile phone location to identify the users position and text messages of the destination (post code?) to identify the needed tranportation. Users are registered to a web site so the system is secure. Users requesting lifts can be matched dynamically to the movement of users offering transport. So the lift share you get in the morning can be separate to the lift share in the evening - and lift shares from day to day can be at various times and with different people. This can be used comercially to share taxis and utilize busses. Easiest to explain with the dispersal of a plane load of people from an airport. Users are all in one place and can be contacted by txt msg. The are directed to busses which disperse along major routes. Taxis can "rendevous" with the busses to take smaller groups off at strategic road junctions. Everyone gets door to door service. Costs are shared, less road use, user costs are cheaper, very dynamic,fast and efficient. Use blue tooth technology to pay and make the system cashless. It's a bit like using that lift thumbing device used in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Less cars on the road Less pollution Ability of non drivers OAPs to get to places not served by public transport. Public transport becomes cheaper and more efficient as it uses more direct routes. You can use special TRUSTED systems to make shared school runs and solve a major traffic problem (30% of traffic in the morning).

What is the COMPETITION?
There are many patents out there with user location, guiding to public transport, avoiding traffic congestion etc. Nobody yet has applied mobile phone location (only just becoming available in europe) to makeing shared transport possible.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Mobile phone companies are beginning to offer an application programming interface for mobile location.
There are the beginings of pay by mobile phone for commercial users. I am not an application programmer so I have no idea how it would be built. I do know bus companies are building Buss tracking systems Road transport (especially security vans) have tracking and delivery systems. Geo plan data is available with many web sites offing route planning
I think it may be a case of putting it together rather than inventing the wheel.

October 31, 2003 in Connecting People, Environmental, Matching System, Reputation Systems, SMS, Transport | Permalink | Comments (8)

OpenToAll

FROM: Scott

What NEED does this meet?
Aiming to help local residents findout about local development schemes in their local area, such as building projects and council initiatives.

What is the APPROACH?
I like the idea of the Map function, so this could be tied into such a system, where by a user could enter a location and find out about local government, development and initiatives. Users could post information on new projects, and spawn public discussion forums.

What I'm proposing could include local governemnt, and authority input, so that the public have a more direct access to the policies, beyond the scope of local government and authorities' sites.

Proposed building projects could be explained and opened to public debate, providing useful resource to local developers as much as local government.

Going further subjects could be linked to allow users to see how other comunities have dealt with their issues and how their authorities responded.

e.g. it took two years of presure to persuad my local authority to repair the aged and broken drainage system in my area and it still hasn't begun.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Making people feel more connected, and empowered encourages them to be more proactive towards politics. Uniting comuntities, strengthening their relationship with their government, and more importantly having a more accessible means of shaping their comunity.

By including everyone, nationaly a much broader perspective could be achieved, offering far more diverse debate.

Including local government immediatly allows them to gauge opinon more immediatly and offer far more immediate response.

To encourage authorities to cooperate without neccessarily being bound to any information or opinion would be vital as only in an unihibited enviroment can democracy really prosper.

Legal issues would potentially discourage input, and inhibit democracy.

That was kinda' idealistic wasn't it? Head in the clouds?!

What is the COMPETITION?
I haven't heard of any, so I wouldn't know of other schemes beyond discrete local activists.

I'm proposing a far more diverse and expansive approach that incorparates other concepts.

If it does exist already then it should be well known, otherwise its already failing.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
This is more of a foundation, a medium for others to build on, so I wouldn't expect it to be that expensive beyond initial development and implementation.

Or I could be completely wrong, who knows?

October 31, 2003 in Environmental, Increasing Awareness, Perhaps Government Remit?, User Created Content | Permalink | Comments (1)

Viridian Indexer

FROM: mark simpkins

What NEED does this meet?
Based on a sentance by Bruce Sterling. In one of his Viridian Rants he mentioned the idea on an icon on his desktop, of a factory spewing pollutants into the air as he used his computer. To remind him that the power being used is polluting. We need a set of tools for people to be able to monitor and query the possible polltion levels for their usage of technology etc. By building a common set of tools to describe visualise the level of pollution from various sources people will be able to monitor thier usage and maybe reduce it. A couple of years ago I was at the Chelsea Flower Show with the BBC, running a network of 30 + computers, which were left running day and night. In amongst all those plants I wanted to know how much power / pollution was being generated.

What is the APPROACH?
First to produce a set of on line caluculators so that electrical device usage (TV, computer, kettle, oven) can be entered and a 'viridian index' be produced. This should also be extended to cars/motorbikes etc. and flag comparisons with public transport.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Saving the atmosphere. As the viridian design line goes, we can't upgrade the atmosphere.

What is the COMPETITION?
Yes, there are a number of online calcualtors out their to give you some idea of your impact on the environment, but they are disparent, not connected and often hard to find and ugly. Viridian design is also about design, sleek, looking good and also saving the world :)

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Inital work. collation of power usage data into databases (easily updateable by the community) and a set of tools to visualise the output.

Later stages would involve working with product manufacturers to build in monitoring, put the viridian index on packaging etc.

October 31, 2003 in Environmental, Increasing Awareness, Use of Statistics | Permalink | Comments (3)

Eyesore

FROM: Michael Scott

What NEED does this meet?
The need to improve the visual enviroment. Everyone knows an eyesore when they see one.

What is the APPROACH?
A website that enables people to post pictures of eyesores. A zoomable UK map provides a view of eyesore density. Areas are singled out as prime offenders. Notifications are sent to responsible parties. Comments, positive and negative ratings, additional photographs can be applied to eyesores by website visitors. Kudos can be accrued to eyesore removers. An eyesore can be anything from a permanently unemptied rubbish bin at your local bus stop to a hideous corporate skyline blocker. The sole restrictions would be that it has to be photographed and publicly visible.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
The website would give a central place to let off steam, and perhaps shame some offenders into removing, or at least rectifying, some of the more conspicuous eyesores. Also, as "eyesore" is a relative term, there would be a light hearted, "it takes all sorts" side to the website which would make browsing fun.

What is the COMPETITION?
No competition as far as I can see. Collaboration would likely come from the media, who would see it as a source of human interest stories, and architectural associatons, who would see it as a platform for promoting informed opinion.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Basically just another photo database website with some specific user interactive features. As a software developer, with 8 years website experience, I would be happy to put it together myself with a small team. Photo and comment vetting would be an issue, though perhaps a wiki-like approach would be sufficient in most cases.

October 31, 2003 in Environmental, Helping Your Community, Increasing Awareness, Use of Statistics | Permalink | Comments (4)

Corporation Public Good Summarizer / Voter

FROM: William Smith

What NEED does this meet?
Helps people who want to work with or buy products from large organisations. Allows corporations to understand their public image better and (if they care) to fix it.

What is the APPROACH?
A kind of community voting platform, where corporations are voted for / against in a number of categories related to society benefit. Links etc should be posted, and perhaps people can 'accredit' other people if their votes seem well researched. This may reduce bias or companies voting for themselves.

1) Care for environment 2) Care for their employees 3) Care for equal opportunities 4) Respect / contribution to open source software

Naturally, people should not be forced to vote in all categories for a particular organisation.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Very quick way to research what others think about big corporations. Currently, this is quite hard - no coordinated resources.

What is the COMPETITION?
Not that I am aware of.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Simple to get started - just buttons for 'propose new corporation', 'vote for existing corporation'. Usual web based login system would perhaps give greater credit to a user's vote. Some kind of clever algorithmics to give 'worst' and 'best' list.

Like most web based projects, easy to start, harder to master.

October 31, 2003 in Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental, User Created Content | Permalink | Comments (4)