What if a smartphone app could help people in developing countries learn via YouTube?
I’ve been to Honduras several times to install water filters with Pure Water for the World.
While there I’ve seen the darkness of poverty and the high cost of ignorance.
Most of the ignorance and suffering around the globe could be mitigated with a well executed smart phone app that teaches people simple home-grown solutions to their biggest challenges.
We can use existing video clips on inexpensive smartphones to teach and illuminate .
Basic smartphones are becoming the go-to communication portal for the “emerging billion” earthlings who live just below the global poverty line. You don’t need a power grid or phone lines strung on a telephone pole to put the internet into the hands of this huge demographic.
The “emerging billion” is the fastest growth market for smartphone ownership, especially as the cost of this technology goes down. The devices that were new in 2011 are now reaching developing countries via the secondhand smartphone market. The 2014 models we use here in the USA will hit the third world by 2016-2017.
A billion new users will plug into the global internet in the next decade. How can you capture that demographic?
What if we help them, help themselves?
What if we give them the information they need to pull themselves out of deprivation?
The app I’m describing would ask the user what specific challenges they are facing in their village.
Are their children getting diarrhea and dying? This means their drinking water is tainted.
Our app would ask the user what resources are found in their village, then it would use video to teach them how to build a water filter using their limited resources, for instance:
What if the user wants to start a small business but they lack capital to buy equipment? The app would connect them with a microloan source in their country where they could borrow a small amount of money to start a new business. Microloans are being used across the third world to change lives and create prosperity, it took me 4 seconds to find this video:
Think about it, if you are reading this blog and you’ve never heard of the microloan concept, odds are that people in the third world need to learn about it as well.
Our app would identify the need, then point the user to a video that displayed a solution. Users could rate the helpfulness of the video, so the user could then have a variety of videos to watch in regards to the challenge at hand.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, but a video is even better!
In Honduras the coffee farms that were certified as official “organic, no pesticide” would get a higher price per bushel of coffee beans. The organic coffee growers had nicer homes, newer motorcycles, and higher prosperity.
Our app would ask the farmer where he lived and what crops he grew, perhaps connecting him with a resource that would earn him a better financial return on his crop:
I’m willing to bet that there are coffee growers across South and Central America who do not know this!
I found these resources on YouTube while writing this blog post, imagine what we could put together with a concentrated search after identifying the biggest needs?
You don’t know what you don’t know, the questionnaire could point them towards a educational video they might never find otherwise. Many people in the third world stopped their formal education at the age of 10 or even earlier, this app could start to fill in the blanks.
The value add here is the questionnaire that narrows down the need.
The app could spread through word of mouth, eliminating ignorance by teaching the poor how to tackle some of their largest obstacles. We could find videos in all the spoken languages of poverty, this app could also track results, perhaps asking the user to upload a video of the results they created on their own.
Imagine people in developing countries, coming up with clever solutions to problems and sharing them with their socio-economic peers all over the world? If you have a smartphone in your hand you also have a video camera.
A man in Nigeria might upload a helpful video that would benefit a farmer in Bolivia. This app could be the start of a community, working together on a global scale in a manner never seen before.
The truth will set you free, but so will knowledge!
This app could also be a way to reach out to the entrepreneur class inside that “emerging billion”….. imagine teaching entrepreneurship and free enterprise to someone who has never been exposed to that concept?
What if we harness the potential intellectual firepower of 100 million entrepreneurs?
Imagine 100,000 videos of practical solutions to everyday problems, cross-linked to a questionnaire…..
Everyone benefits when local solutions are found and implemented: cleaner water, more economic prosperity, better health, etc.
What if we tracked those smart entrepreneurs in the developing world and taught them simple business and financial tips? What if we helped them secure a microloan and the app tracked their progress?
What if those emerging entrepreneurs were linked to entrepreneurs / mentors here in the United States?
If there is already an app out there like this please leave a comment,
If there is NOT help me build one!
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