betterplace lab goes around the world

The internet can be more than shopping, gossip and photos of cats. All over the world people are also using the internet to solve social problems. But because nobody knows precisely how best to use digital tools to make the world a better place, we're going traveling to see for ourselves. Heading off around the world. We'll be meeting with people in Brazil, Indonesia, China, Kenya and beyond who are behind social digital success stories. So that all of us can learn from their experiences.

Latest news from...

Indonesia: Breastfeeding Dads – Over 100,000 men in Indonesia campaign for more breastfeeding

Tanzania: Smartphones point people to clean drinking water

India: “Water available in 15 minutes” – Nextdrop provides water access via SMS

Senegal: Why are French-speaking countries less au fait with social digital?

Ghana: Ivy League education at Ivory Coast prices – making MOOCs work in Ghana and beyond

China: In a Canton apartment, searching for the future of a non-profit platform

The team is also blogging from India, Indonesia, Costa Rica, UK, USA, Rwanda, Costa Rica, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Colombia and Bolivia. If you can read German you can follow the links below – if not, we're working to produce English versions as soon as possible. Watch this space!


We're heading off to:


Each researcher has their own blog, where you can discover more:

Moritz Eckert is co-founder of betterplace and semi-professional globetrotter.
Moritz was in Costa Rica and will also be reporting from Rwanda in March. Go to his page.

Anja Adler is a communication and social media consultant. She is currently writing her PhD thesis on the role of software in political participation.
Anja talked with online citizen communities in Brazil. Her page.

Medje Prahm studied Indology as part of her Master of Philosophy and Economics, and specialised in Social Impact Measurement of small NGOs. Since 2012 as Interior Minister of the betterplace lab, she has held the network together and supported Joana at the helm.
Medje brushes the cobwebs off her Hindi in India. Check her articles on her page.

Ben Mason studied Philosophy and German in Oxford. The 25-year-old has written for the the Times and the Spectator amongst other publications. Since October 2013 Ben has been manager of international projects in the betterplace lab. Ben will be investigating the digital scenes in Ghana and Senegal and writes about it on his page.
Mareike Müller has an MA in Social Communication and Development fron the Complutense University in Madrid, where she researched the online communication of NGOs. Before joining the lab team in 2013, Mareike spent some time at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Mareike reports from Colombia and Bolivia.

Joana Breidenbach is a cultural anthropologist and author of numerous books on the cultural consequences of globalisation, including Tanz der Kulturen (Rohwohlt, 2000) and Seeing Culture Everywhere (Washington Press, 2009). Joana is a director of betterplace.org and also heads up the betterplace lab.
She watches over the shoulders of blogger-activists in China and scouts the newest trends in California on her page.

Pal Nyiri Pal Nyiri hat has collaborated with Joana on many joint publications. He's Professor of Cultural Studies in Amsterdam and seems to speak at least 100 languages fluently. Pal is travelling with Joana in China.
Kathleen Ziemann holds a Master's Degree in Cultural Studies and has researched topics including minority languages on Facebook. Kathleen worked previously as editor at Medicins Sans Frontiers and has been Trendreporter-in-Chief in the betterplace lab.
Kathleen getts to grips with the start-up scene in Kenya and Tanzania. Her reports.

Dennis Buchmann is a graduate in biology and alumnus of the German School of Journalism. He came up with and ran the Humanglobaler Zufall magazine. The 36-year-old has been Creative Editor at the betterplace lab for a number of years. Whilst in Indonesia, Dennis will take some time out from stroking orangutans to blog on social digital projects. His page.
Verena Liedgens studies Public Policy at the London School of Economics, and is also setting up a social enterprise in Kenya. She first worked with the lab on the Stakeholder Feedback Project whilst she was still working for betterplace Solutions. We're delighted to have her back on board! Verena will be reporting on developments in the UK, leader in social digital innovation.
Sarah Strozynski studied political science. She is 25 years old and works for betterplace.org as Junior UX Designer: improving online fundraising tools for NGOs. Sarah investigates Innovations in Israel.

Your donation

We've managed to secure some supporters for our research trip (see our Thank You page for details). However, we're still working on a fairly tight budget. It would be great if you could support our work. Our analysis and insights will help the social sector in Germany and beyond to work more effectively. Join us on the world's first social digital research expedition!

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