A group of ‘Young Global Leaders’ will pilot a non-profit initiative this spring, which aims to give the 1 billion mobile phone users living in poverty access to educational phone apps.
Currently under development, AppBridge is an online platform to encourage talented software developers to link up with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations to produce apps that will tackle poverty among the “bottom billion”.
About 74 per cent of people living in poverty throughout the world have access to mobile phones. Thus, the platform will allow an ecosystem of people and organizations – NGOs, local partners, software developers and telecommunications companies – to engage and communicate directly with one another in identifying community needs, creating apps to address these needs and distributing apps to the target communities.
AppBridge is the brainchild of a group of Young Global Leaders, a World Economic Forum community of more than 700 exceptional leaders and social entrepreneurs under the age of 40 from business, government, civil society and academia who share a commitment to improving the state of the world.
Young Global Leader Margo Drakos, a cellist turned technology entrepreneur, is developing this initiative with fellow YGLs, Neeraj Bharadwaj, Pawan Patil, Subhash Dhar, and Members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community.
An early version of AppBridge is under development in partnership with founding educational institutions, telecommunication companies, non-profit organizations and Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum. This spring, AppBridge will launch a pilot programme in tandem with Babson College, a business school in Boston, USA. Students will work together to develop mobile apps that address a specific need identified by local communities.