SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina—Summer camp conjures up images of swimming lessons, sing-a-longs, and learning outdoor skills. But in Bosnia this weekend, a 48-hour summer camp will focus on building seven new web-based tools for social impact.
Attendees at Internews Social Innovation Camp, held in Sarajevo, will spend July 9-10 building new platforms that tackle a range of issues, from connecting communities, to improving transparency, to giving citizens a chance to break news stories, and more. The camp is based on the successful model pioneered in the United Kingdom, to jumpstart online innovation across Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and Central Asia by using information and communication technologies for positive social change.
Developers, designers and social innovators from across Europe and Asia competed to have their projects chosen for the camp, which is organized by Internews and Transitions Online, both nonprofit media development organizations. The winning ideas hailed from teams from Ukraine, Armenia, Bosnia, and Slovenia. Platforms to be built include:
Online land inventory—Designers will create a map of land sale details, including locations, price, size and ownership in Ukraine. This project will tackle the problem of transparency of land ownership in Ukraine and can be scaled to other countries facing similar issues.
Newsify—A mobile and online game in which players can register as a journalist attached to a media outlet, as a freelancer, or as a citizen journalist. Functioning similarly to geo-located platforms like Foursquare, players will compete to be the one to break a news story.
Map4Youth—An interactive map showing where young people most often gather and spend their time, providing geo-specific information about available activities such as skateboarding, running or cycling.
Can I Help You—A network of people suffering from terminal or rare diseases, as well as those living with a physical or mental disability. This project will allow people to share their experiences, consult each other on treatment and rehabilitation issues, and help find medical specialists.
Each team will aim to take its social innovation idea from its early stages to working prototype, complete with business and launch strategies. At the final “Show and Tell” session at the camp, an expert jury will vote for the winning ideas that demonstrate the greatest potential to create real change. Visit the Social Innovation Camp website for a full list of the seven projects chosen as finalists, and follow the progress on the blog over the weekend, through live updates. You can also join the Social Innovation Camp Internews discussion on Twitter and Facebook.
“Whether you’re a social entrepreneur, activist, NGO, geek, designer, or simply an enthusiast of new solutions, this will be a truly remarkable two days where we tackle real social issues with real, working social innovation,” said Josh Machleder, Internews Vice President for Europe and Eurasia.
Internews is an international media development organization. Its mission is to empower local media worldwide to provide people with the news and information that they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard. Future Internews Social Innovation camps are planned for Bosnia and Armenia.