Widows become technology agents
By Cindy Nawilis
One of the most important lessons that I learned from my fellowship with Kopernik is that the total number of products distributed alone does not indicate the success of a project. Although it is important to know how many households Kopernik technologies have helped improve, it is far more significant that each household is properly using the technology to maximize its effectiveness.
After coming across issues such as lack of product knowledge in some locations, the Kopernik team understood that the necessary step after distributing technologies is to conduct training workshops in order to facilitate and ease the beneficiaries’ adoption of technologies. In that spirit Kopernik organized a 3-day training for 40 PEKKA members at their regional center in Lombok, Indonesia as a follow up to the initial distribution for the Agents of Technology, Agents of Change special project. PEKKA is an Indonesian NGO that for the last decade has been empowering single women heads of households across 18 provinces throughout the country through advocacy and educational programs.
The first two days of the training focused on sales and product knowledge for three of the most well-liked products in the area: the UB.03-1 biomass stove, Nazava’s Bening One water filter, and d.light solar lights. A representative from each technology provider came to Lombok from different parts of Indonesia to train the PEKKA women technology agents on how to be experts at promoting and maintaining the product. The instructors were animated and kept the women engaged all throughout their presentation, making sure to mix information with fun and laughter as it was easy to fall prey to mid-day drowsiness from the outside heat. On the third and last day of the training, the women tirelessly worked with numbers—in lessons for inventory management and basic accounting.
The photos held are personal answers to the question "What is your dream?" asked in the beginning of the finance training (photo by Willow Paule)
The women were full of energy and actively participated all throughout the sessions. By the end of the training session, they have acquired new skills as well as boosts of motivation and team spirit and are ready to be the most successful technology agents.
To read Cindy's full blog post about the training, please click here.
Successful New York event raises over $26,000!
On Tuesday September 13th, a Kopernik fundraising party was held in New York City, raising over US$26,000. We are grateful to have so many generous supporters who believe in Kopernik, and their contributions will help get even more life-changing technology to those in need.
The event was held at Le Pain Quotidien where party-goers enjoyed the delicious food of Chef Kevin McGhee from Inside Park restaurant, as well as sampling naan and lavash bread baked by Le Pain Quotidien's master baker. A fine selection of artisanal wines was generously provided by Oriel Wines.
Kopernik team member Gordon Little, along with New York board members Linda, Marc and Nina, led this event. Kopernik co-founders, Ewa Wojkowska and Toshi Nakamura, both spoke on the night, telling guests their stories of the changes they see Kopernik making to people’s every day lives. Kathy LeMay (pictured below), author of The Generosity Plan, also spoke about how easy yet effective it is to drive global change by donating to Kopernik.
The event was a huge success and a big thanks goes out to all our guests and donors, as well as to our generous sponsors whose wonderful support made it all possible: Oriel Wines, Chef Kevin McGhee at New York restaurant Inside Park and Le Pain Quotidien.
View photos of the event here: http://photobucket.com/Kopernik
Kopernik at the CGI Annual Meeting 2011
This year’s annual meeting for the Clinton Global Initiative (“CGI”) was held from 20-22 September and Toshi Nakamura, Kopernik’s co-founder, presented in the panel discussion titled “Designing Technologies for Economic Empowerment”. The session was moderated by Chelsea Clinton with Geena Davis participating as a fellow panelist.
The “Designing Technologies for Economic Empowerment” session explored how to successfully engage girls and women in the process of creating, adapting, and distributing relevant innovations, and examined how to harness media and markets to successfully take innovations to scale. Many simple and scalable technologies have great potential to enhance the daily lives of girls and women in the developing world, however on most occasions they are excluded from the design process and their perspective not always considered.
You can view the video of the entire discussion here.
The tipping point: You can put our projects over the top!
Sign up to give a small gift each month and we'll put it towards the project closest to completion. By joining our Tipping Point Campaign, and donating $25 each month you can make sure projects are fully funded and out the door quickly: the easiest and most effective way to improve lives through technology.
This month, donations will again be going to support the project to “Light up rural Kenyan households and schools”. This project is already 96% funded and with your help we will soon be able to deliver affordable and safe solar lighting to families in Western Kenya.
Click here to sign-up today!
Toshi speaks at NYU's "Change Model" event
Kopernik co-founder, Toshi Nakamura, recently spoke at an event in New York hosted by the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in collaboration with The Grameen Creative Lab.
The event, which took place on 17th and 18th September, explored approaches to development and how to work together as a community to develop strategies for change. Toshi, along with a number of other panelists, participated in a session entitled “Framing the Discourse”.
The purpose of the event was to bring together participants from a wide range of disciplines and organizations with the hope of creating a sustained dialogue, explore the development of tools and methodologies that support knowledge exchange and investigate innovative models that tackle social issues.
For more information on this event please click here.
Meet the team: Adam Kennedy
In a nutshell: I grew up across various parts of Germany and moved to London in 1998 to study Business Studies, with a focus on marketing, at Middlesex University Business School. Upon graduation I swiftly dodged working life and spent a year traveling the world, meeting new people, exploring new cultures and basically enjoying myself before stepping into the real world. Over the past seven years I have worked across the full marketing mix and I am currently the Business Development Manager within the Tokyo office of Herbert Smith LLP. Outside of work I am very active and spend a lot of my time entangled in Tokyo nightlife, travelling, wakeboarding, snowboarding, crossfitting and, of course, supporting Kopernik and other charity initiatives.
How did Kopernik enter your life? One day, I found myself with some free time and decided to put it to good use...read more
Kopernik featured on Huffington Post
"Simple Technologies Can Improve The Lives Of Millions In Developing World, Say Global Health Leaders"
By Lynne Peeples
Delivering babies in the dark, breathing toxic smoke in the kitchen and walking miles to fetch water -- not to mention boiling every drop before its potable. These are the daily realities for many people in developing nations, particularly the poorest of the poor in rural communities.
But a handful of non-profits are launching innovative approaches to deliver simple, life-changing technologies to this "last mile." Kopernik, an online technology marketplace co-founded by Toshi Nakamura, was among the efforts spotlighted at last week's annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Click here to read the full article.
Tech of the month: The Solar Ear
The Solar Ear is a low-cost digital behind the ear hearing aid with the ability to recharge via a solar battery. The solar charger can be used with any existing hearing aid.
The Solar Ear has most recently been delivered, as part of an emergency project, to individuals in Japan affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. Many people lost their hearing aids in the disaster and the solar ear has provided the hearing impaired with replacement hearing aids and convenient solar chargers.
The Solar Ear has also been used to give the gift of hearing to children in Vietnam. Families were very grateful to receive hearing aids for their children, as they are usually expensive and very difficult to secure. Hearing impaired children need access to sound in order to develop spoken language, so the hearing aids have had an immediate impact.
To view details of projects involving this technology please click here.