Technology and Impact

At ID, we invest in technology that benefits underserved populations. With so many innovative and affordable technologies hitting the market, there are lots of new opportunities to use them to empower previously excluded populations. This week’s selection of articles discusses different technologies and their applications in emerging markets.

M2M Communications Could Leverage Clean Energy for Billions of People” by Justin Guay on GreenTech Media
M2M (machine-to-machine) technology and high levels of mobile subscriptions in emerging markets will allow for the decentralization of many vital services, such as energy access. M2M technology is the ability of a machine to communicate with another machine through a wireless network. This creates the ability to monitor and operate systems remotely. This combination of technology and decentralization opens up opportunities in energy access, and also in agriculture efficiency and productivity. Check out the next article for more information on ag tech.

mAgri Case Study: Nokia Life Agriculture Survey” on GSMA Mobile fro Development Blog
After four years of investing in mobile technology and alternative energy in emerging markets, we’ve seen the great impact that the technologies can have for underserved populations. Recently, we have been focusing on mobile tech and alternative energy’s impact in agriculture. Often, the small farmer is underserved or at a disadvantage against larger competitors, and could benefit from productivity-enhancing technology. Many companies and initiatives are emerging to address this need. For example, Nokia Life is an SMS-based subscription service for hyper local information in emerging markets. Its agriculture platform provides farmers with tailored crop tips, agriculture news, market prices, and weather information through SMS.  Click here to read the GSMA’s study on how Nokia Life Agriculture Services have impacted Nokia customers around the world.

How Technology is Powering Up New Solutions to Global Challenges” by Rick Leach on Huffington Post Impact
At South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival  (SXSW) this year, the United Nations Foundation, the Social Good Summit, and the World Food Program presented GoodxGlobal, a day of “social good programming.” In other words, GoodxGlobal brought together people using technology to fight poverty. In particular, technology innovation is improving food security and disaster response, according to the experiences at the UN World Food Program. Technologies like satellite imagery, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and mobile data collection platforms are increasingly being used in food and agriculture – a part of why we’re enthusiastic about sustainable ag tech innovation.

Data Platforms to Speed Up Africa’s Information Highway” on IT News Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is launching Open Data Platforms as part of the “Africa Information Highway” initiative. One of the biggest challenges of doing business in Africa is the lack of granular, updated data to monitor and manage progress. Thanks to the availability of cheap technology, more people can participate in data collection, which lends to more accurate databases for the world to use.

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