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 +# Apps for Good: smartphones solving social problem
 +
 +March 7, 2010
 +
 +I’ve just posted this over on
 +[socialreporter](http://​socialreporter.com/?​p=729),​ and thought it might
 +be of interest because it updates the work Iris Lapinski [reported
 +earlier](digital-inclusion-research). Congratulations to Iris and all at
 +CDI for securing funding from Dell and putting together such an
 +innovative project.
 +
 +Young people looking for jobs and new skills … community problems
 +needing innovative solutions … smartphones increasingly popular … apps
 +for these phones a big growth area. Why not mix those elements and
 +create a new project Apps for Good? Which is exactly what CDI launched
 +last week, [with a big grant from
 +Dell](http://​appsforgood.org/​2009/​12/​09/​dell-youthconnect-is-first-partner-for-uk-pilot-programme/​).
 +
 +Is this just another social-media-will-solve-our social-problems dream?
 +After some great conversations at the launch, I think there’s more to it
 +than that.
 +
 +I’ve been following with great interest [the research undertaken to Iris
 +Lapinski](http://​net.digitalengagement.org/​profiles/​blogs/​cdi-feasibility-study-digital)
 +to see how CDI could bring the digital inclusion work they started in
 +1995 in Latin America to the UK. Their mission is: “… to transform lives
 +and strengthen low-income communities by empowering people with
 +information and communication technology. We use technology as a medium
 +to fight poverty, stimulate entrepreneurship and create a new generation
 +of changemakers.”
 +
 +I guess many in the growing digital inclusion business would like to say
 +the same … and I’m sure there will be many inspiring examples at the
 +[National Digital Inclusion
 +conference](http://​www.eventsforce.net/​civic/​frontend/​reg/​thome.csp?​pageID=6475&​ef_sel_menu=219&​eventID=27&​eventID=27)
 +this week. What’s different about CDI is that their approach is rooted
 +in the highly participatory educational philosophy of [Paolo
 +Friere](http://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Paulo_Freire),​ and they aim to
 +develop and support projects that may be social enterprises,​ and
 +individuals who may become entrepreneurs.
 +
 +This approach is being piloted in the UK at High Trees Community
 +Development Trust, Tulse Hill, London, where young people will learn how
 +to develop apps for Android phones. This will require technical skills -
 +but a lot of the community benefit should come from the development of
 +critical thinking and problem-solving approaches that figure out how to
 +turn local knowledge and data into an app on a phone that enables people
 +to do something they couldn’t before. Or at least much more easily.
 +
 +As you’ll see in the first video, the launch at High Trees provided a
 +chance to meet CDI founder Rodrigo Baggio. He and Iris explain the
 +project, and commercial apps developer Charles Cadbury gives us a view
 +from the industry.
 +
 +I then spoke to Daniel Morris and Charo Moreno about how local young
 +people will engage, and to Mauricio Davilia, director of CDI Europe …
 +and joined in a conversation between Richard Smartt, who is running the
 +course, and [Dan McQuillan](http://​uk.linkedin.com/​in/​danmcquillan) who
 +has long experience of both social action using social media, and social
 +entrepreneurship. They were agreed the project should yield both some
 +monetary value and social benefit.
 +
 +I personally found it particularly interesting that the project is
 +housed in a Community Development Trust, a model for sustainable
 +community development that I did some work on before getting involved in
 +social tech. When I first saw online community networks in North America
 +in the 1990s, I thought aha - virtual development trusts. Later I helped
 +develop, with others, a manifesto for local online communities that
 +included community technology centres. In those days - only 10 years
 +ago - we thought about how computers in community centres could bring
 +social benefits. Now people have computers in their pockets, and the CDI
 +apps project offers the prospect of adding the community goodness.
 +
 +[Apps for Good](http://​appsforgood.org/​)
 +
 +[CDI Europe](http://​cdieurope.eu/​)
 +
 +[Apps for Good feasibility
 +study](http://​appsforgood.org/​2010/​02/​17/​full-2009-feasibility-study-report/​)
 +
 +[High Trees Community Development Trust](http://​www.high-trees.org/​)
 +
 +[The Guide to Development Trusts and
 +Partnerships](http://​www.partnerships.org.uk/​pguide/​index.htm)
 +
 +[A manifesto for local online
 +communities](http://​www.partnerships.org.uk/​cyber/​index.htm)
  
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