We research how people across the world use the internet for good

Our thesis: the internet can be more than just chatting, shopping and porn!

Because across the world, people also use the internet to solve social problems. But because nobody quite knows how best to employ digital tools to improve the world, we travel there to take a look. Around the world with backpacks and notebooks, to look over the shoulders of aid organisations, activists and social entrepreneurs – from Japan to Turkey to Mexico.

In 2017 we will travel to five countries on four continents. We’d like to know, why relatively fewer women than men benefit from internet, digitization, and digital innovations.

In 2016 we traveled to Istanbul and the Greek island of Lesbos to talk to volunteers, relief organizations, and refugees about digital refugee aid.

In 2015 we supplemented our results by research trips to Estonia, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, and Mexico.

In 2014 we set off for the first time and visited China, Indonesia, India, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and the USA. In 2015, we complemented our results through research trips to Estonia, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico.

 

Combined impressions from the Lab around the World 2015

 

For our efforts, we were rewarded with some bizarre discoveries, such as: in Thailand children play out disaster scenarios on their mobile phones; in Egypt, citizens monitor government expenditure; and in Japan, a sensor keeps an eye on bladder levels.

 

 

Who was on the road

Dennis Buchmann
Dennis Buchmann
reported
2016 from Turkey
2015 from Japan
2014 from Indonesia

Medje Prahm
Medje Prahm
reported
2015 from Estonia
2014 from India
Kathleen Ziemann
Kathleen Ziemann
reported
2015 from Thailand
2014 from
Kenya & Tanzania

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Ben Mason
reported
2016 from Greece
2015 from Mexico
2014 from
Ghana & Senegal

Joana Breidenbach
Joana Breidenbach
reported
2017 from India
2016 from Greece
2015 from Egypt
2014 from
China & the USA

Franziska Kreische

Franziska Kreische
reported
2017 from
South Africa
2015 from
South Africa

moritzeckert

Moritz Eckert
reported
2017 from Ethiopia
2015 from Turkey
2014 from
Rwanda & Costa Rica

Mareike Müller

Mareike Müller
reported
2014 from
Bolivia & Colombia

carosilbernagl-180x180

Carolin Silbernagl
reported
2017 from Indonesia

AnjaAdler-180x180

Anja Adler
reported
2017 from Brazil
2014 from Brazil

ManuCunhaBrito-180x180

Manuella Cunha Brito
reported
2017 from Brazil

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Angela Ullrich
reported
2017 from Germany

What we found out

There is a mood of optimism amongst many of the world-improvers we visited. Optimism about a time in which the internet is not just used for banal consumption, and mobile telecommunications not just for trivial chatter. But rather also to involve more people in democratic processes, for example, to bring aid supplies more efficiently from A to B, or to educate children via a cool smartphone app.

In our brochure, you can find a detailed country-by-country analysis and a handful of hypotheses on why digital-social innovation works better in some countries than in others:

Download PDF

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