How to…

How to get Lady Gaga, Oprah and Deepak Chopra to debate at Harvard

Lady Gaga launched a new foundation yesterday at Harvard University aimed at inspiring youth to create a “culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment.” Interestingly the launch included a mock trial, hosted by Oprah, where panelists (including Deepak Chopra and the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebeliu among others) questioned Lady Gaga on what she hopes to achieve with her new non-profit. It sounds like a good idea, and one that many more celebrity philanthropic gestures should be subjected to.

How to text for change

Text to Change have today released this useful guide on how to use text messaging as an effective behaviour change campaigning tool. It will also be launched tomorrow at the ‘World in the Palm of Your Hands’ conference in London.

How to save the forests

A local community radio station in a village in Java, Indonesia has been airing a weekly chat show devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of deforestation and the need for replanting. The show has encouraged listeners – mainly farmers and small traders to get involved in the environmental issues surrounding their 718 hectare village. To date, the radio station has successfully reforested 118 hectares, which has also improved the area’s water supplies.

How to get water to people for good

Blog post from Charity: Water about how their local partner Water for People connects with the community in Malawi to monitor  water points and their usage – Each area has a self-selected committee of volunteers who use specially programmed cell phones to collect GPS points and other data.

How to make communication cheaper

The makers of a super-cheap 7inch Android tablet, have just been named the “UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Company” in a competition organised by UK Trade and Investment. The tablet was originally conceived to improve educational resources in India, but it may have been going through a few teething troubles. Data Wind’s prize includes design support to help grow the company globally though, which is good news in the development world as their tablet currently costs £22 ($35) – but it’s such good value that there appears to be a bit of a waiting list.


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