Making an impact through the power of wireless and mobile technology. The Vodafone Americas Foundation believes in the power of wireless and mobile technology to transform global development, improve people’s lives, and advance healthy and sustainable communities. Our mission is to make a difference by harnessing the power of technology in innovative ways that develop and advance wireless and mobile solutions to serve the world. We leverage the power of wireless and mobile technologies to make a difference by Improving lives, Strengthening the Global Development Sector and Sparking Innovation.
The Vodafone Americas Foundation supports U.S. and international nonprofit organizations to develop and utilize wireless and mobile technology to save lives, improve the community, increase opportunities for learning, and promote health, safety, and sustainability. Complex issues can be addressed with simple and innovative solutions. We believe technology can be the bridge between the resources available and those in need. The programs we support take advantage of innovative tools to improve society by connecting, educating, and empowering individuals. The services they provide are scalable, adaptable, accessible, and resourceful.
- ISIS – Using SMS texting to disseminate accurate information on health, sex and sexuality, and domestic violence prevention.
- Youth Radio – Training youth to develop apps for their community needs at afterschool programs in Oakland on Broadway
- Special Olympics – Using mobile technology to monitor athletes and their health
- Global Health Research Foundation – Using mobile technology to collect health data in Nepal and Bhutan
- TechSoup Global – Developing apps to connect domestic violence victims with critical services
- WorldReader – Providing Kindles to schools in Ghana to make textbooks more widely available
Strengthening the Global Development Sector
The Vodafone Americas Foundation seeks programs that foster collaboration and knowledge sharing to strengthen the field of mobile and wireless technology for social benefit. We support convenings, research, information sharing and programs that provide tools to engage and advance the field as a whole. Technology is the backbone of connectivity. In order for us to form a better society, people must share ideas, skills, and resources. We invest in the power of wireless to connect individuals to each other in order to distribute both services and information, with the ultimate goal of bettering humanity.
- ZeroDivide – Commissioned “Funding Mobile Strategies for Social Impact: The Future is Now,” a white paper for funders about ways to support organizations and communities that are achieving social benefit impact with mobile strategies
- MobileActive – Supported a white paper on privacy and mobile mHealth solutions
- Gateway Foundation – Supported the development of a mapping program to monitor international development funding for mobile use
- Inveneo – Supported a series of Technology Salons on the West Coast to bring together people who are not only developing technologies for international development and social benefit but also looking to fund and advance the movement.
We support the environment that fosters innovation in wireless and mobile technology that makes an impact in the community. We take advantage of the resources of world-class researchers and institutions, the knowhow and experience of NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations), and local communities to bring relief to underserved people around the world and improve people’s lives. We encourage incubation of new ideas not only in development, but also in pioneering methodologies to best employ technology. We also support the ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship through training and collaboration. The programs we support utilize technology in innovative ways and engage the community in developing and implementing the solution. The Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project™ (WIP) is an annual competition to promote innovation and increase the development of mobile and wireless technology for a better world. The WIP provides up to $600,000 in awards to support projects of exceptional promise. Projects must demonstrate significant advancement in the field of wireless-related technology applied to social benefit. The 2012 WIP winners are:
- Wireless Bug-Sensor, University of California, Riverside – a tool for farmers worldwide that deploys tiny, inexpensive sensors that count and classify the insects in the field. The sensors send the farmer a text message with instructions on the necessary intervention and a map of the locations where action is needed. This information gives farmers the ability to target pest control which reduces both costs and use of pesticides.
- OScan, Stanford University – a simple screening tool that enables rural health workers around the world to screen for oral lesions. The inexpensive device mounts on a conventional camera phone and instantly transmits data to dentists and oral surgeons for diagnosis. OScan empowers minimally-skilled health workers to connect early stage oral cancer patients to health care providers and teaches communities about the dangers of smoking and the importance of oral hygiene.
- InSight, InVenture – InSight is an SMS money management tool that provides micro-businesses and start-ups with simple tools to track and report daily financial metrics and create simple reports to track their spending and income. The tool will create a global credit rating platform that delivers critical data to micro-credit financing institutions to support due diligence, distribution and risk mitigation.