Viewing entries tagged
Navvi

Lack of safe water and sanitation continues to be overlooked by health sector.

Comment

Lack of safe water and sanitation continues to be overlooked by health sector.

Clean Water. What should be a basic human right remains to be a major issue around the world. According to a recent joint report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, access to clean water has fallen extremely short of millenium development goals. The report estimates that a shocking 38% of health centres have no access to water in lower and middle income countries and 35% do not even provide water and soap for staff and patients to wash their hands and maintain basic hygiene. What may be even more shocking however, is that only 25% of countries have funded plans to address this issue.

Dirty water is said to be one of the top five killers of women worldwide and Wateraid reports that one in five newborn deaths could be prevented with safe water, sanitation and clean hands.

“It’s an embarrassment for the health sector that this issue is so ignored. It’s a fixable crisis. It’s a crisis because it’s hidden.” - Bruce Gordon, coordinator of water, sanitation, hygiene and health for the WHO

Comment

John Perry Barlow: A Good Ancestor

Comment

John Perry Barlow: A Good Ancestor

Our evening spent with John Perry Barlow felt like an oracle experience: every story astounding, every twist and turn visionary, every insight profound. A magnetically brilliant mind; a dynamically inspiring life; a terrific second installment of Startup Grind Jackson Hole.

Resume points fail to capture Barlow’s charisma, though they do impress: Cyberlibertarian, Grateful Dead songwriter, Wyoming cattle rancher, wastewater pioneer. Given free reign by Natalie Spencer of Navvi, Barlow regaled the full house with his matchless skills as a storyteller. With wit and wisdom, he sketched his life not as a line but an ever-looping system, akin to the way he views the world and its resources.

Take, for instance, his arc from working in finance to working in biofuel. As advisor to Herb Allison, then president of Merrill Lynch, he helped “electronify” all financial transactions and assemble bundles of speculative assets. During this time, he underwent back surgery to alleviate his chronic pain from an old ranching injury. Suddenly he saw a pain-free horizon, and something clicked: Instead of building wealth, he wanted to build infrastructure and address the “amount of alterations we are already enacting on Planet Earth,” he said. “We are not necessarily making it warmer, but weirder.”

Focusing on the global preponderance of poisonous water, he teamed up with a crew of young upstart scientists and formed Algae Systems, which converts biowaste into clean water and biofuel using . “All of these biological systems have to loop back into each other,” he said, something he learned during his contentious tenure as president of the Wyoming Outdoor Council. When he approached land use as a feedback loop as Council President, he raised the ire of both fellow ranchers and the Sierra Club. Instead of a loop, most people see “a continuous line of limitless resources at one end and limitless ability to waste stuff at the other.” Algae Systems bucks this notion.

As does Barlow: His allegiance to sustainable systems underpins every frontier he has found himself in, like the Internet. “When I first saw the Internet, literally, it was a religious experience for me,” he said. “Wow: This is a nervous system.” He knew the Internet would engage all humanity in the creation of “the collective organism of mind.” Since then, “I’ve been doing everything I can to be open to anyone, anywhere, so that they are able to find out everything that can be known on any topic to the limits of their curiosity,” he said. “Young people are teaching themselves how to see and experience and know beyond the dreadful education system, which is designed to produce interchangeable machine parts.”

Even casual descriptions evidenced his approach to the world as an independent organism: Grateful Dead songs, though often scrawled in the studio, “had to grow and metamorphose, more like marsupials.”

Over tea with Mardy Murie (who has been called the “Grandmother of the Conservation Movement”), Barlow picked up a credo he would carry close for the rest of his life, a self-truth he’d like inscribed on his tombstone. “Environmentalists can be a pain in the ass,” Murie said to him. “But they make great ancestors.”

“I want to be a good ancestor,” John Perry Barlow said. Goal achieved.

Written by Katy Niner

Comment

Could investing millions in hydro-meteorological services save billions in emerging countries?

Comment

Could investing millions in hydro-meteorological services save billions in emerging countries?

According to a recent article published by Reuters, the World Bank is working with other development finance institutions to raise some $500 million to modernise weather and flood forecasting services in Africa. Why is this such a priority? According to World Meteorological Organization figures, 90% of natural disasters in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade were climate or weather-related. More recently, flooding has devastated some southern African countries such as Malawi and Mozambique, both of which have suffered severe damage to homes, crops, and infrastructure, not to mention the loss of hundreds of lives.

The aftermath of the floods does not look promising either. Fears of cholera outbreaks along with malaria are very real. Without shelter, or clean water, mosquitoes multiply. And as Mandinda Zungu, Programs Coordinator for Catholic Development Commission in Malawi reports to BBC News, cholera can be described as “a ticking time bomb: ‘Because pipes are blocked or destroyed, clean water supplies are cut off," she explains. ‘People are bathing in streams then drinking the same water further down. They are going to the toilet in fields, which, when it rains, spreads into the rivers.”

Thus the need for more investing in advanced weather forecasting services can be rationalized: “Globally, investment in hydro-meteorological services could lead to a realization of up to $30 billion per year in increased economic productivity and cut losses from disasters by up to $2 billion.” - Disaster risk specialist Daniel Kull, World Bank, Reuters

 

Comment

Can One App Change the World?

Comment

Can One App Change the World?

On Tuesday, Facebook Inc. along with Reliance Communications launched the app Internet.org in India in an initiative to provide basic Internet access for those who can’t yet connect for free. The app, which has already been launched in some African countries as well as Colombia, aims to connect low income and rural clients to the internet for free. Users are able to access up to 38 web services including news, local jobs and education, farming, weather and health websites. Some such sites include Google Search, Dictionary.com, Accuweather, and Facebook. The benefits of Internet.org? Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Chief Executive, stated Tuesday on his Facebook page that since the launch of Internet.org, “More than 6 million people are already connected to the internet who previously weren’t, and we’ve started hearing incredible stories about how the internet is changing lives and communities. But to continue connecting the world, we have to connect India. More than a billion people in India don’t have access to the internet. That means they can’t enjoy the same opportunities many of us take for granted, and the entire world is robbed of their ideas and creativity… One day, we will connect everyone, and the power of the internet will serve every community across India and the world. That day is coming.”

Comment

Comment

Forbes List: 2013's Top Startups

According to Forbes, here is a list of 13 startups that proved themselves overwhelmingly successful in 2013. The range of topics these booming startups encompass is as diverse as you can get. While none of the listed startups accomplish what Navvi intends to achieve, Upworthy is certainly the most similar…their goal: “…social media with a mission: to make important stuff as viral as a video of some idiot surfing off his roof.”  

Next year, let’s get Navvi on there!

  1. Snapchat
  2. Uber
  3. Zendesk
  4. Optimizely
  5. Coin
  6. Dropbox
  7. Lyft
  8. Tinder
  9. Hotel Tonight
  10. Whisper
  11. Upworthy
  12. Quizup
  13. Hampton Creek Foods

Comment

       The Turkana Population depends on the same water table as the 150,000 strong, Kakuma Refugee Camp. Navvi.com (organizations pilot) will explore the microcosm as a platform for larger place-based dialog.

Comment

The Turkana Population depends on the same water table as the 150,000 strong, Kakuma Refugee Camp. Navvi.com (organizations pilot) will explore the microcosm as a platform for larger place-based dialog.

Comment