Global Health Ideas

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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Why bad presentations happen to good causes

Cross-posted from Design Research for Global Health.

Giving talks is not one of my strong suits, but it seems to be a part of the job requirement.  Earlier this month, I had the opportunity (even though I’m no good, I do consider it an opportunity), to give a couple talks, one to the Interdisciplinary MPH Program at Berkeley and one to a group of undergraduate design students, also at Berkeley.  Despite the difference in focus, age, and experience of the two groups, the topic was roughly the same: How do we effectively use design thinking as an approach in public health?

The first session was so-so, and I suspect that the few people who were excited about it were probably excited in spite of the talk.  It started well, but about halfway through, something began to feel very wrong and that feeling didn’t go away until some time later that evening.  Afterwards, I received direct feedback from the instructor and from the students in the form of an evaluation.  I recommend this if it is ever presented as an option.  Like any “accident”, this one was a “confluence of factors”: lack of clarity and specificity, allowing the discussion to get sidetracked, poor posture, and a tone that conveyed a lack of excitement for the topic.

It’s one thing to get feedback like this, another to act on it.

top10causesofdeath-blogThe second session went much better, gauging by the student feedback, the comments from the instructor, and my own observations.  This in spite of a larger group (60 vs. 20) that would be harder to motivate (undergraduates with midterms vs. professionals working on applied problems in public health).  I chalk it all up to preparation and planning.  Certainly there are people that are capable of doing a great job without preparation – I just don’t think I’m one of those people.

Most of that preparation by the way was not on slides.  I did use slides, but only had five for an hour session and that still proved to be too many.  Most of the time that I spent on slides, I spent developing a single custom visual to convey precisely the information that was relevant to the students during this session (see image).  The rest of the preparation was spent understanding the audience needs by speaking to those running the class; developing a detailed plan for the hour, focusing on how to make the session a highly interactive learning experience; designing quality handouts to support the interactive exercise; and doing my necessary homework.  For this last one, I spent 20 minutes on the phone with a surgeon friend, since the session was built around a case study discussing surgical complications and design.

Three resources I found really useful:

  1. Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes, Andy Goodman, 2006. This commissioned report was developed to help NGOs with their presentations, but I think there is value here for anyone whose work involves presentations. It is evidence-based and provides practical guidance on session design, delivery, slides (PowerPoint), and logistics.  Most importantly, it is available as a free download. I was fortunate enough to pick up a used copy of the print edition for US$9 at my local bookstore, which was worth the investment for me because of the design of the physical book.  It’s out-of-print now and it looks like the online used copies are quite expensive – at least 3x what I paid – so I recommend the PDF.
  2. Envisioning Information, Edward Tufte, 1990. I read this when I was writing my dissertation. Folks in design all know about Tufte, but I still recommend a periodic refresher.  This is the sort of book that will stay on my shelf.  Also potentially useful is The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. For those working in global health, don’t forget how important the display of information can be: (a) Bill Gates and the NYTimes, (b) Hans Rosling at TED.
  3. Software for creating quality graphics.  The drawing tools built into typical office applications, though they have improved in recent years, are still limited in their capability and flexibility, especially if you’re looking at #2 above.  In the past 10 days, three people in my socio-professional network have solicited advice on such standalone tools, OmniGraffle (for Mac) and Visio (Windows): a graphic designer in New York, an energy research scientist in California, and a healthcare researcher in DC.  Both are great options.  I use OmniGraffle these days, though I used to use Visio a few years back.  If cost is an issue, there are open-source alternatives available, though I’m not at all familiar with them (e.g., the Pencil plug-in for Firefox).

Written by Jaspal

March 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

PhotoVoice(+cultural probes) for clean water and sanitation in Mumbai

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to view a PhotoVoice exhibition at the University of California, Berkeley organized by Haath Mein Sehat (HMS), a group working to improve access to clean water and sanitation in six slums of Hubballi and Mumbai, including Dharavi.

It was exciting to see a group effectively blend the advocacy elements of PhotoVoice with the design elements of cultural probes. The difference between the two approaches is less in the methods and more in the use of the outputs. In this case, they organized the exhibition to raise awareness and break down stereotypes of slum life, and they are using the photographic corpus to guide the design of both programs and technologies related to their core mission.

What I was most interested in from a design perspective were the instructions given to community photographers and how this tied back to the mission of HMS. The results below followed from the simple prompt: “Represent your daily experience with water”.

Written by Jaspal

March 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Global Health at the Oscars part II: Global Slums – The Places We Live

Purely as entertainment I enjoyed Slum Dog Millionaire and because of the Oscar victory people have become more curious about global slums. How do I know this? The hits on this blog have increased in the past two days with people specifically drawn to a previous post we did: Dharavi: Mumbai’s Shadow City. Take the following with a grain of salt, but note the increase in interest:

“Movies have a powerful ability to evoke a sense of the exotica about the locations in which they are filmed. They are widely acknowledged to inspire travel to those destinations….According to Expedia sources, post ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Mumbai now tops the chart of global tourist destination.” Source Yahoo News

Additionally, OneWorld Health has decided to explicitly use the movie as a avenue to educate people more about global health needs:

The Institute for OneWorld Health, the non-profit pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for people with neglected infectious diseases, announced it is launching a new awareness campaign inspired by the highly acclaimed Oscar-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire…OneWorld Health is running a full-page ad in the New York Times on Monday, Feb. 23. Slumdog Millionaire, an underdog story about poverty, love and hope, won eight Oscars at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture. For the full story see OWH here.

A by product of Slum Dog is that tens of millions of people who previous had very little knowledge about global poverty got a little glimpse into that world. Picking up on this curiosity, another place to learn more is a fantastic multimedia project by Magnum Photos that is well worth your time (hat tip to TinkuB) :

Other Perspectives:
Does Hollywood spotlight risk slumsploitation? The Business of Giving
A Hollow Message of Social Justice. RaceWire

Written by Aman

February 25, 2009 at 5:23 am

Global Health at the Oscars

Sunday night there were two films related to global health and poverty that were nominated for an Academy Award in the best short documentary category. Smile Pinki took the award in the short’s category this year. The other film was The Final Inch (about polio eradication efforts, see the link below):

  • Smile Pinki: Pinki, a girl in rural India whose cleft lip has made her a social outcast, has a chance for a new life when she meets a dedicated social worker.
  • The Final Inch: Contributing to the global efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, dedicated individuals in India travel throughout the country urging parents to vaccinate their children against the disease.

Oscar’s past have been given to other global health related films –Born into Brothels which one the best overall documentary in 2004 – and it is good to see this continue. Megan Mylan, a UC Berkeley graduate, who also did the Lost Boys of Sudan, directed Smile Pinki, below are excerpts of an interview with her:
IDA: What inspired you to make Smile Pinki?
Mylan: As a filmmaker who focuses on social issue documentaries, it’s rare that I get into a film knowing we’re likely to have a happy ending. I was excited to tell the story of this beautiful hospital and a team of doctors and social workers treating their patients with such compassion and quality care and making a positive impact. I continue to be inspired by the simple idea that the better we know each other, the better this world is, and I hope people come away from my documentaries feeling like they better understand the life of someone living a very different reality.

IDA: What were some of the challenges and obstacles in making this film, and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me was communicating and finding common ground with the patients and families in the film. Like many of the patients, Pinki’s parents are illiterate dirt-farmers. They had never seen a movie or met a foreigner. I really wanted them to understand my motivation for making the film and gain their trust. I worked with a great field producer, Nandini Rajwade, who along with Pankaj Kumar, one of the social workers in the film, patiently translated my conversations from English to Hindi to the family’s dialect and back, but it was still hard to know through the levels of translation that I was being respectful and clear. I chose to trust the sensitivity of my team and rely on eye contact and instinct.

Global health could certainly use more in the way of video, film, and other creative outlets that help spread success stories. Check out out previous post on global health video outlets.

Written by Aman

February 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Posted in Global Health, Media

Can you spare 50 Cents for Global Health?

Want to know what 50 cents can buy? Watch the video in full, read the press release below (announcement to be made today at Davos) and check out

I will link to the full press release when it’s up, in the meantime here is the intro:

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases Receives $34 Million Gates Foundation Investment to Scale up Prevention and Treatment Efforts

New “End the Neglect 2020” Campaign Aims to Greatly Reduce the Burden of NTDs Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009 –

“The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases today announced that it has received $34 million through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Sabin Vaccine Institute to step up the global effort to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These debilitating and sometimes deadly diseases affect 1.4 billion people worldwide who live on less than $1.25 a day. With the new grant, the Global Network is launching a campaign to catalyze additional funding and will establish a global alliance to scale up NTD treatment and prevention efforts. ”

Controlling NTDs is considered a “best buy” in public health because of the availability of extremely low-cost interventions and the resulting high return on investment. For approximately 50 cents per person per year, the seven most common NTDs – which together represent 90% of the global NTD burden – can be effectively treated.

Written by Aman

January 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Mobile Phones & Global Health III: Ultrasound, Imaging & ECG to Go!

1. Microsoft is funding research in Argentina and India into low-cost electrocardiogram (ECG) machines. The devices, which can cost less than $100, use cell phones to transmit data to a computer, where it can be analyzed and then conveyed to a doctor.

2. Using Rubinsky’s gear, a doctor could use a cell-phone screen to view a cross section of tissue. In this image, a doctor uses a cell phone to magnify a patient’s breast tissue and examine it for a tumor.
SOURCE: Business Week

This is our third post on mobile phones and international/global health (post 1, post 2). This post is largely imcomplete, but I wanted to get it up. The above pics and quotes below are based on a feature in Business Week:

“It’s not easy to lug an ultrasound machine into a remote village’s health clinic—much less keep it running. But a cell phone? No problem…”

“According to the World Health Organization, about half of the imaging equipment sent to developing countries goes unused because local technicians aren’t trained to operate it or lack the necessary spare parts. So researchers are stepping up efforts to employ wireless technologies to deliver crucial medical services, particularly in underserved areas…Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, have just developed a prototype technology that uses cell phones to deliver imaging information to doctors.”

“The University of California professor says that by reducing a complex electromagnetic imaging machine to a portable electromagnetic scanner that can work in tandem with a regular cell phone and a computer, he has essentially replicated a $10,000 piece of equipment for just hundreds of dollars.”

Another source – Imaging technology could be useful in poor countries:
Some types of medical imaging could become cheaper and more accessible to millions of people in the developing world if an innovative concept developed by an engineer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem fulfils its promise. The device uses cellular phone technology to transmit magnetic resonance images, computed tomograms, and ultrasound scans (PLoS One 2008;3:e2075; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002075)

One other recent article in this area, from PC World –
Mobile Phones and the Digital Divide: Whether you’re building an application for the 3G iPhone in the United States or trying to figure out how to deliver health information via SMS (Short Message Service) to a rural community in Botswana, the mobile space is diverse and exciting in equal measure.

Also be sure to check out:
– Why people seek out health information, link

Written by Aman

August 27, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Beijing Olympic Cause Marketing & Global Health Ads

We previously mentioned the malaria ad sponsored by ExxonMobil during the Olympics. I have seen this several times now during coverage and said in the original post:

“with regard to ExxonMobil’s commercial on Malaria during prime time, when over 1 Billion people were watching, this might have been the largest audience ever for a global health ad.”

I realized after I said this that I probably made a major miscalculation. The NBC channel broadcast I have been watching is only produced for an American audience. The top estimates I have seen for viewership at a given time hit 66 million people. So while Exxon may have had their ad broadcast across countries and major national networks, it is likely that somewhere between tens and hundreds of millions of people saw their commercial – which is still an impressive number. Thanks to Responsible China I found the youtube version of this ad, which is below. In addition I have also seen GE’s portable re-designed low cost EKG machine advertised several times as well. Despite what you may think about these companies it is better than nothing to see MNC’s promoting social causes. We blogged about the EKG machine previously and the commercial is the first one below, followed by the malaria ad. For another check, definitely check out ResponsibleChina.

Written by Aman

August 23, 2008 at 7:23 am

Aug 15 Deadline: $150,000 for Stories of Change

I keep forgetting to put up a post on this, so here it is, close to the deadline. It will be great to see the film(s) that come out of this (hopefully global health related!):

Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary
“The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation have partnered in a three-year initiative to explore how independent feature-length documentary film can advance knowledge about social entrepreneurship.”

“The Stories of Change Fund will consider independent feature-length documentary projects in all categories of development, production and post-production. Completed films are note eligible. Film projects must be completed by 2010. Grant awards will be made on a case-by-case basis and may range up to $150,000 US per film.”

Written by Aman

August 10, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Free Journal Access: Enterpreneurial Solutions to Global Challenges

The MIT sponsored journal (Innovations in Technology, Governance and Globalization) is free until August 30th. They have some fantastic articles in there (disclosure we have a publication on Aurolab in there), it is worth checking out. The earlier volumes have several global health articles (I have listed some examples below) and one of their most recent issues is devoted entirely to global health (click here). Click on the graphic and it will take you to the journal’s homepage.

Ending an Epidemic: The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Pioneers a Public-Private Partnership
Seth Berkley.
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Winter 2006, Vol. 1, No. 1: 52–66.

Creating Markets for Vaccines
Rachel Glennerster, Michael Kremer, Heidi Williams
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Winter 2006, Vol. 1, No. 1: 67–79.

Toward an Entrepreneurial Society: Why Measurement Matters
Carl J. Schramm
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Winter 2008, Vol. 3, No. 1: 3–10.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Innovations For Primary Health Care in Developing Countries
Frank Tanser
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Spring 2006, Vol. 1, No. 2: 106–122.

A Patent Policy Proposal for Global Diseases
Jean Lanjouw
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Winter 2006, Vol. 1, No. 1: 108–114.

Harnessing the Power of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Innovations Case Narrative: Specialisterne)
Jonathan Wareham, Thorkil Sonne
Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization Winter 2008, Vol. 3, No. 1: 11–27.

Written by Aman

July 20, 2008 at 7:41 am

Global Health Video Makes Top 10 TED List

Everyone I have spoken to loves TED videos. If you aren’t familiar with TED, you are missing out. The Technology Entertainment and Design (there is that word again! see Jaspal’s work in the area of global health design) outfit gathers some of the best people in their respective fields to share ideas . While their annual conference is extremely exclusive, they do post their videos online. The tag line: Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. TED just posted on the their top 10 videos in the past 2 years. On first glance I found 2 things remarkable about this list:

1. These videos have over 50 Million views (amazing)!

2. There is a global/public health video in the top 10, debuting at number 7

The numbers clearly display a strong appetite for for this kind of work – work that is innovative, connects and sometimes has great impact on the social good. What’s more – global health issues can garner a lot of attention and people do care about it (translation, there are ways to make it sexy and appealing). I would be very curious to get a age based demographic breakdown of who is watching these videos, specifically I want to see if there is a generational breakdown. The public health video has made its rounds and we did discuss it here at THD (I have posted it below again). From TED:

Announcing the Top 10 TEDTalks

“With 50 million views since we started posting video two years ago, TEDTalks have become a powerful cultural force. To celebrate this milestone, we’re releasing a never-before-seen list: the Top 10 TEDTalks of all time, as of June 2008.

With speakers like neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor and global health expert Hans Rosling, the list proves one of the compelling ideas behind TEDTalks: that an unknown speaker with a powerful idea can reach — and move — a global audience through the power of quality web video…”

Hans Rosling (well worth watching):

Written by Aman

July 7, 2008 at 2:04 am

Foreign Assistance from the 1960s

You know what happened in the 1960s? Here are several things:

  • The first debate for a presidential election was televised.
  • The Soviets sent the first man into space and the Americans need a man in space, too.
  • The Berlin Wall was built.
  • The Peace Corps was launched.
  • Rachel Carson warned that our earth would die of pollution and chemicals.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. made the speech, “I have a Dream”.
  • The first Civil Rights bill was passed to stop racial discrimination.
  • President Johnson ordered bombing raids on North Vietnam.
  • Woodstock happened.
  • Malcolm X, JFK and MLK were assassinated.

The other thing that happened – the passage fo the Foreign Assistance Act. See the below short video and campaign for why this is important:

For more on this very cool video by CGD see their website devoted to this here and think about signing their petition. They also have a great set of blogs, the health one (Global Health Policy) is here.

Written by Aman

June 2, 2008 at 8:45 pm

One Net One Pill One Life

These were the words of Forest Whitaker (academy award winner for his leading role in The Last King of Scotland) on tonight’s inspired 2nd annual two and half hour Idol Gives Back show which raised funds for six causes. Forest was the ambassador for Malaria No More, and definitely gave an emotional appeal for people to call in and donate money.

Earlier today I was lucky enough to be on a conference call with the medical director (Steven Phillips) for ExxonMobil’s foundation which is a major supporter and funder of the malaria component of tonight’s American Idol show. Phillips traveled to Angola twice this year, once with American Idol contestants and winners and the second time with Forest Whitaker to get them involved in combating malaria. I was joined on the call by Bill Brieger, professor at Hopkins and an expert in malaria, definitely check out his blog – Malaria Matters. Rob Katz of NextBillion and the Acumen Fund fame was the other “blogger” on the call.

According to Phillips, ExxonMobil teamed up with American Idol because they are the most watched TV show with over 30 million viewers and because their first experimental show last year was a huge hit. Exxon is reaching out to of course let their work be known and also because he feels that “one of major issues with malaria is that it (malaria) had historically been among one of most neglected diseases.” Their funding breakdown is: 25% for advocacy, 10% for R&D (e.g partnerships with MVI, MMV, others), and 65% for disease control (goes to African NGOs or iNGOs).

The Idol show had a blockbuster lineup, some of the celebs included: Bono, Alicia Keys, Heart, Brad Pitt, Robin Williams (who was beyond awful), Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and many others. One of the highlights was Gordon Brown, prime minister of the UK, making an appearance to announce the equivalent of $200 million in funding for bednets. The three presidential candidates were also supposed to make an appearance, but perhaps this got cut. For a great recap of the show check out Kristin’s post.

Last year the show raised $76 million, it will be interesting to see what happens after tonight. Despite various criticisms and those much more cynical than I, credit has to be given to all the corporate sponsors for reaching out… I’ll post more on this if I get a chance this weekend.

Written by Aman

April 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Beyond Good Intentions Documentary

Beyond Good Intentions:
What Really Works In International Aid?

“The Beyond Good Intentions film will document effective examples of international aid and inspirational humanitarians who are making the world a better place through their work. This is a rough cut trailer for the documentary film that is taking us around the world to ten different countries over the course of a year including Colombia, Peru, Argentina, India, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa.” See trailer below, actual story profiles begin at the 3:15 minute mark (via Change the World blog):

Written by Aman

November 13, 2007 at 6:37 am

MTV Launches Activist Network

Here is a new site by MTV – They have various videos and links that of course feature artists and also non-artist involvement. MTV can clearly be a powerful motivator, their engagement is interesting and a testament to the hipness of being involved in social causes or at least giving that perception. Let’s hope this does well and gets a younger generation mobilized, screen shots and description below (along with a Jay Z video of him at the UN, click on the picture):

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Viacom Inc’s MTV will launch a new Internet social network sponsored by foundations operated by the founders of Microsoft and AOL to encourage youth activism….It will let users create pages, as on other online social networks Facebook and MySpace, and upload photos and videos, some of which may be aired on MTV’s online or cable network.” Full story here: MTV to launch activism social network

Jay Z on his issue – Water:

The web site:

Written by Aman

September 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Clinton Global Initiative Webcast

The Kaiser Family Foundation is probably the best disseminator of information, this is their bread and butter. Thanks to them, you can watch the proceedings of the Clinton Foundation annual meeting (this week). The image below will take you to instructions for the free webcast and you can check out the Foundation’s web page for further information on scheduling. In addition the Financial Times has a page dedicated to covering the annual summit. For those in the public health community, that fact that FT is covering this is yet one more sign that the business community is starting to get involved in global health/development issues. See the FT website here.

Written by Aman

September 23, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Graphic Ads on Cigarette Packs

Britain has decided to use very graphic pictures on cigarette packs, I am guessing this will work much better than written warnings. The below wording is part of press release which I find partly amusing because they say “words failed to stamp out smoking”. I find it hard to believe they thought words would actually deter smoking. If they did, all I can say is that is very very scary. Perhaps other countries and regions will follow suit, but that is not likely. Up to 160 million smokers in Asia could be dead by 2050 and 1 billion smoking related deaths by the end of the century, so this is a massive problem (see the following – here, here and here).

Press Release:
“This image is one of the graphic pictures to be place on packs of cigarettes to discourage smokers. Words failed to stamp out smoking, so Britain will require graphic pictures of diseased organs on cigarette packs next year, the government announced. The images include a diseased lung, a chest cut open for heart surgery, and a large tumor on a man’s neck. The new warnings will be required on cigarette packs in the second half of 2008, the department said.” Full story.


Written by Aman

September 2, 2007 at 10:37 am

Creative Mapping for Global Issues and Google Mashup “Action Planet”

I just discovered Maplecroft Maps that can filed under – awareness building via visual data representation. What is really cool about their maps, besides the tremendous breadth of issues they cover, are the additional resources linked to the map. For example, when you click on a map there are several tabs for: case studies, analysis and resources. Very cool stuff:

Maplecroft maps is a highly visual, web-based resource which contains detailed country information for over 200 states and maps for key issues significant to business and society. This innovative tool is designed to raise awareness amongst corporations, government and non-governmental organizations, academics, students and the general public of how an organisation’s operations interact with wider society, and how the risks and opportunities generated can be responsibly managed through stakeholder engagement and partnership.


“More than 30 different issues are already available…a number of the more recent maps were developed in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Network… Some of the maps are for:carbon resources, climate change, corporate governance, greenhouse gas emissions, natural disasters, pandemics, renewable energy use, aid, child labour, digital inclusion, displacement, education, HIV/AIDS, landmine risk, malaria, military expenditure, political risk, poverty, tuberculosis and water.” Check out their website.

Second, from what I understand, students at Stanford’s Design school came up with in four weeks, which is a mash up of Google maps and GlobalGiving. Action Planet connects your issue of interest with a project in need. If you want to see another kind of “mashup” check out CNN’s site IMPACT (Impact your world) which was recently covered by Lucy Bernholz (she coined this type of technology meets philanthropy as “cross platform embedded giving“). A description of Action Planet can bee seen below.


Written by Aman

July 10, 2007 at 5:57 am

iPhone for Global Health

There is not much left to say about the iPhone, it is clearly one of the most hyped electronic gadgets in history and it is an understatement to say that it has lit up the internet (a google search for iPhone yields 103 million hits, compare that to only 70 million hits for a google search on “paris hilton”). It looks like an enterprising non profit decided to see if they can use the iPhone hype to market their cause (getting anti-retroviral treatment to children infected with AIDS in Africa, KCA website). They were first in line at a New York store in order to get an iPhone that they will auction off. The “first iPhone sold” will be presented by Alicia Keys at the Black Ball.

As the highly anticipated iPhone launch approaches, so does the promise of improved communications and connectivity with people around the world. Connectivity is not limited to technology; rather, it’s a fundamental fact that we are “one.” source… Supporters of Keep A Child Alive took advantage of the wildly hyped iPhone launch by standing in line for 4 days and communicating the charity’s grass- roots mission to New Yorkers and media from around the world. At 6 pm on Friday, June 29th, Spike Lee, renowned director, producer, writer and actor, joined Keep A Child Alive volunteers at Apple’s Soho location to purchase the first iPhone.” Full story, Earth Times

I would guess that getting in line on Tuesday will have garnered more knowledge and advertising about their cause than the auction will. I am not sure what the impact has been on the organization, but it is certainly a unique and innovative idea. They have been smart about getting the word out. Of course there is the publicity they received from actually being first in line, but in addition to that, I have seen their cause mentioned on widely popular techie websites such as InfoWorld, Gizmodo and Endgaget and on other sites they have partnerned with ( The Taproot Foundation also had someone in line for charity (see stories here and here). Some pics below from the folks at Keep a Child Alive (via flickr):


“This morning we started lining up for the iPhone – we are first in line at the Soho Store! We’re doing it with our friends at Keep A Child Alive an amazing organization that provides drugs for kids in Africa.”




Subscribe to this blog here

Written by Aman

July 1, 2007 at 7:28 pm

GapCast Debut: More Hans Rosling videos!

Hans Rosling has developed his first GapCast video with more on the way. This has me salivating after watching his TED speech using Gapminder software he helped develop and which was recently bought by Google (for related info to this, see our previous post on Google). Many people have seen the TED video, if you have not seen it, it is an absolute must watch (first video below). For those of you who have seen it, see him debut a new series with GapCast #1 – which is not as dramatic as the TED speech, but does demonstrate the power of his delivery and the software. We need more people to think like Hans – how can we get our message across in a different format, in a format that excites people, in a format they will not forget. The TED video is 20 minutes long, but it is worth it. Really great stuff:


Written by Aman

June 25, 2007 at 7:17 am

Blogroll update…Global Health Journalism

I would like to note the addition of two fantastic blogs to our blogroll. The first, is SmallShift – “a blog built around the belief that technology in the hands of passionate users can inspire change…”

The second is Global Health Report, by the prolific science and medical writer – Christine Gorman. She will be a Nieman Foundation Fellow at Harvard where she will focus on global health media issues. Christine Gorman has written on health and medical topics for over two decades and has been at TIME Magazine since the mid 1980s where she had an award winning column (“Your Health”). In addition to her numerous other awards she wrote the 1996 TIME person of the year issue on AIDS expert David Ho. It is great to get a couple more outstanding voices in the lonely global health blogosphere.

On that note, I highly recommend reading Gorman’s speech at the Global Health Council on getting more involved and global health journalism. You can view her speech on her blog and see other coverage at Forum One. Enjoy!

Written by Aman

June 24, 2007 at 8:52 pm

GlobalGiving “Sundance” Filmfest

This is a great idea. Check it out – “Here is how it works. We ask project leaders in the field to provide raw video footage, photos, and anything else they want to send in. Then we allow people to take that footage to create a video… In June, once all the films are submitted, we will launch public voting for the best videos.” Via Dennis Whittle’s blog. As of May 24th they were up to 290 film producers!!

(1) Click play below AND then
(2) Guide your mouse over the bottom of the screen to see 11 videos within the same screen – very cool stuff!).


Written by Aman

June 7, 2007 at 5:04 am

SocialEnterprise TV

As I mentioned previously, video is really taking off. I have not had time to do a quality check of this latest venture [] but do check it out and let me know what you think (also note the .TV extension, I had first seen that with


“Coming soon… Internet TV for all things Social enterprise …. This channel is aimed at providing the Social Enterprise sector and its networks with a sector specific Internet TV channel, which is solely dedicated to promoting the work and strengths of social enterprise in an International marketplace… ”

And in case you missed it below, 3Four50 does have their own”channel” or set of show case videos that people can share:

Other video related websites I have covered in the past:
KarmaTube (partnering with the Global Giving Film Fest)
Global Health TV

Written by Aman

June 6, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Posted in ICT, Innovation, Media

Global Health TV Announcement

Video is really starting to take off, here is more in the way of video outlets (see our previous post on this here), this could be good if done right: “The Global Health Council announces the launch of Global Health TV, a new web-based video site bringing brief news clips from experts and civil society on the major health issues faced by people throughout the world.


The Global Health TV website,, will bring viewers three streams of information, including news and global health policies, highlights of international conferences, and voices from people working on health issues at the community level.”

Written by Aman

May 31, 2007 at 8:06 am

Posted in Global Health, ICT, Media

Desk Clearing

I am back into town after having been on the interview and conference circuit and it is time to clean out my inbox. Enjoy the links below.

  • Linking consumers to social causes, link
  • Untapped potential of non-profit brands, link
  • Mobile Phones
    – CDMA, SIM, GSM: a review of basic Cell phone terminology, link
    – Low cost cell phones, link
  • Seven innovations case study (will be added to case study page), link
  • Blogging from Darfur, link
  • Blogging popularity increases – UNC Health System CEO from S.Africa, link
  • Beter late than never, PBS is officially on the social entrepreneurship bandwagon (via social roi), link

Business for good / Business for development stories

  • Sign up for the 2008 social capitalist awards, link
  • OLPC vs INTC (Negroponte-Intel throwdown), link
  • Harvard Business School case studies
    – Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition: Successful Models, link
    – PSI: Social Marketing Clean Water, link
  • World renowned IT giant, Infosys, supports social entrepreneurship, via, link
  • MBAs for good & NYU Stern on social entrepreneurship, link 1, link2
  • Executive on a mission, link
  • Tangentially related – Growth of emerging market companies amongst the Fortune 500, link
  • Tangentially related – Google and gene mapping, link
  • More on Gates Foundation impact on Seattle, link

Written by Aman

May 28, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Fair Trade Photography Battles ‘Development Pornography’


“Upwards of 90% of the images of the majority world that are seen in the western media are produced by white photographers from the USA or Europe. This results in a one dimensional view often driven by a negative news agenda or the need to raise money.”

“Recognizing everybody’s communication rights in the information society is not mere slogan or campaign; it’s an integral part of social justice.” [Photos and quotes from fair trade group – Kijiji Vision site]

In the past month there has been a slate of news from Reuters, MSF and others, surrounding imagery and how western media portrays the world. Imaging Famine is about media representations and was mentioned this week by a Reuters blog. This is nothing new, but the debate is good, and as the Reuters piece points out, they have covered the issues surrounding ‘development pornography‘ previously. Another Reuters writer also picked up on this entire theme: Viewing the poor through Western eyes, I recommend the short read below and checking out the Kijiji/Majority World websites-

Part of the reason for this kind of post-colonial choreography by INGOs is because they are still required to be the visual mediators of the poor world to the rich world. In Western society, our INGOs are inter-cultural gatekeepers. And you would often have for example, the young white INGO nurse talking passionately on television beside starving children…Full story.

The above Reuters piece mentions Kijiji Vision, who were the guests for MSF’s Spring series on the Ethics of Imagery. Kijiji supports and promotes indigenous photographers and has a separate site for purchasing photos, check out Majority World. Two other bits of related content from this week. First, Buffett (son of Warren) donated $730,000 to the journalism school at Nebraska to help student photojournalists record the wants of the world. And finally Together TV (yet another video outlet) has launched more video “in their own words”.


Written by Aman

May 9, 2007 at 5:15 am