Scott Anderson

Friday Roundup – 8/19/11: (With Video) Young World Inventors, Give ?Em A Hand

Last weekend I headed on down to my local multiplex see the one summer blockbuster indulgence I afford myself each year. I shelled out $25 for two tickets and a small beverage. Total cost: $25.

I bring this up, not to share all the details of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (although I did enjoy the movie and giggled uncontrollably when mad scientist James Franco tried to say anything, well, scientific), but to demonstrate how my $25 might have been better spent to support a film about some actual young inventors.

Producer and Director Diane Hendrix of Young World Inventors is heading up a project to share stories of inventors working across multiple cultures, countries and languages, but all of whom share the same goal: Deploying technology to tackle social problems. Their stories can’t be told by themselves. They need an audience, one that will pony up for the price of, say, a pair of movie tickets.

Project managers are seeking donations of anywhere from $1 to $1,000 to help to edit the first 10 episodes for Web audiences. Their fundraising goal is $8,000. To quote Hendrix: “When complete, we will distribute stories to key colleges with courses in social enterprise where we have contacts who want stories as case studies. Our goals are to inspire more innovation in Africa and educate and engage American youth in sustainable enterprise.”

YMI’s collaborators include Media Focus on Africa in Nairobi, Accelerated IT Initiatives at MIT and Makeshift, a new online magazine that is aiming to hit the Venn diagram sweet spot between academic journal, innovation magazine and culture zine with contributors from 20 countries.

For an example of the types of inventors this project seeks to highlight, check out the following video featuring Bernard, a Tanzanian inventor who created a cellphone battery charger for bicycle and motorcycle riders. You can find out more about him and the effort on YMI’s Kickstarter page page. Incidentally, for a $75 donation, you’ll receive one of Bernard’s bicycle cell phone chargers.

(Hmmm … maybe I can find money in my household budget for that energy conscious investment).

(Hat tips: Francisco Noguera, Paul Hudnut).

SOCAP11: Save 30 Percent

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