Posts / May 28, 2009

FrontlineSMS Medic and The Extraordinaries Big Winners at NetSquared N2Y4

Wow, huge day for FrontlineSMS Medic and The Extraordinaries! Both picked up numerous awards at NetSquared N2Y4 Conference in San Jose. The conference highlights and awards innovators using social technologies for progressive change.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

FrontlineSMS Medic was the bigger winner of the evening taking home three awards: #1st in N2Y4 Mobile Challenge ($25K), FACT Social Justice Award ($5K) and Microsoft Mobile Challenge ($15K). Here’s an interview of the SMS Medic team from N2Y4 talking about the project and how this money will help their fight to improve global health.

The Extraordinaries also took home two big awards: 2nd in N2Y4 Mobile Challenge ($15K) and FACT Social Justice Award ($5K). Here’s an interview with Jacob Colker the co-founder of The Extraordinaries talking about the smartphone as a volunteer platform and his vision of the future.

There was a lot of great projects nominated for N2Y4 awards but good reason that SMS Medic and The Extraordinaries came out on top.

SMS Medic is not only an innovator in mHealth but also redefining what global health means. Their project is literally bringing healthcare to millions of people previously without. Their recent initiative Hope Phones is a great example how they are turning old cell phones into a tool of change empowering healthcare workers around the world.

The Extraordinaries are not only innovators in crowdsourcing but also pioneering micro-volunteerism allowing anyone with a smartphone to easily do social good. From finding craters on Mars to spotting possible cancer in mammogram photos to becoming a political watchdog by finding hidden pork in legislation, it will all be possible while standing in a grocery line or riding on a bus, thanks to The Extraordinaries.

For both teams winning these awards is incredibly important. One, the money will go along way to support their development which up until now has been funded from pockets of their small teams. Two, it’s great to see each being recognized for their world changing efforts.

On a personal level, it was a real honor having both Jacob Colker and Josh Nesbit talk at this past weekends Mobile Tech 4 Social Change in Halifax.