Blog post -Schimbarea jocului - – cum utilizează organizaţiile neguvernamentale din România tehnologia mobilă

Revin cu un articol referitor la utilizarea tehnologiei mobile în rândul organizațiilor neguvernamentale. 

Când am scris la începutul acestui an despre utilizarea tehnologiei mobile în domeniul neguvernamental, nu m-am gândit că voi relua subiectul atât de curând şi dintr-o perspectivă locală.

Prilejul mi-a fost oferit de cea de-a doua ediţie a Conferinţei academice internaţionale Strategica, organizată de de Facultatea de Management din cadrul Şcolii Naţionale de Studii Politice şi Administrative (SNSPA), în parteneriat cu Banca Naţională a României.
Astfel, mi-am propus să văd în ce măsură şi cum folosesc organizaţiile neguvernamentale (ONG) din România tehnologia mobilă (mobile technology) în activităţile lor, dacă folosesc campaniile prin SMS sau dacă au aplicaţii mobile proprii. Rezultatele cercetării prezentate în cadrul conferinţei Strategica se bazează pe răspunsurile primite la chestionarul online pe care l-am creat pentru această cercetare din partea a 106 ONGuri locale, în perioada iunie-iulie 2014. Textul integral al articolului îl puteţi găsi aici, iar prezentarea o puteţi vizualiza aici (ambele documente sunt în limba engleză).

Articolul integral îl regăsiți pe pagina

De pe web adunate - selectie de articole pentru citit in weekend

Bine v-am regasit, 

Astazi am pregatit o noua selectie de articole pe care le puteti citi in acest weekend. De asemenea, pentru ca am primit recomandarea de a include pe lista mea si articole scrise in limba romana, veti regasi pe lista si un astfel de articol. 

Lectura placuta!

This guide will look at some of the key issues and considerations around using apps in peace and development work, as well as offer some examples of how they are being used.  An app, which is short for (software) application, is  software that is used on a mobile device or smartphone (Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad, etc.).  With the boom in use of smart phones, we have seen a corresponding growth in number of available apps, some of which are being leveraged for social change. According to Forbes, as of December 2013, there are 1,000,000 apps available in the Apple store, with 25,000-30,000 apps being added every month.

When thinking about using or developing an app for your program, here are some key issues to consider:
Does the tool fit the objective?  While apps show a lot of potential in our field, it is important to think about whether or not the technology matches with the goals and means of the project.  Some questions to consider:
  • Do people have access to smart phones? 
  • Will their identities and data be protected? 
  • How will data be monitored, used, and/or put into action? 
  • Are people expecting a response? How will the app meet those expectations and needs?
  • Is there an easier way to meet the same objective(s)?
  • How expensive will it be to develop an app?  Will the app be offered for free?
  • How do you verify accuracy of information and reporting?

In the century and a half since Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations, the Carroll classic has sprouted everything from a pop-up book adaptation to a witty cookbook to a quantum physics allegory, and hundreds of artists around the world have reimagined it with remarkable creative vision. After my recent highlights of the best illustrations for Tolkien’s The Hobbit, here come the loveliest visual interpretations of the timeless book.

John Friedman, Corporate Responsibility Communications Director al companiei Sodexo, siMichael Stanley-Jones, Director de Comunicare in cadrul Programului Natiunilor Unite pentru Mediu (UNEP), au intocmit cate o lista de carti pe care orice specialist interesat de responsabilitatea sociala corporativa sau de dezvoltarea durabila ar trebui sa le parcurga.

What happens if you drop off a thousand Motorola Xoom tablet PCs in a village with kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they’ll have taught themselves to customize the software, reactivate disabled features and, perhaps, start down the path of learning to read. 
That last, critical part is at the core of a grand experiment in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. MIT is trying to crack the wicked problem of teaching literacy and other skills to 100 million or so first-grade-age kids in the developing world with no teachers or infrastructure. Since vast swaths of the world unable to provide even basic education, scaleable solutions are needed to complement the long road to achieve universal schooling (something that took the West centuries).

Business Adapts to a New Style of Computer

The Internet of things is especially important for companies that sell network equipment, like Cisco Systems. Cisco has been enthusiastically predicting that 50 billion “things” could be connected to communications networks within six years, up from around 10 billion mobile phones and PCs today (see “Silicon Valley to Get a Cellular Network, Just for Things”). Another beneficiary is the $300 billion semiconductor industry. As Blaauw notes, “Every time there has been a new class of computing, the total revenue for that class was larger than the previous ones. If that trend holds, it means the Internet of things will be bigger yet again.” 
But every shift promises pain, too. Large companies like Intel are already reeling from the rapid emergence of smartphones. Intel, with its powerful, power-hungry chips, was shut out of phones. So was Microsoft. Now both these companies, and many others, are groping to find the winning combination of software, interfaces, and processors for whatever comes next.

De pe web adunate- selectie de articole numai bune de citit in weekend

Pentru ca am lipsit motivat de la scrierea acestui articol saptamanal, pentru astazi am facut o lista cu mai multe articole pe care le-am citit in ultima perioada:

Every industry, sector, and market goes through times of transformation and innovation. Whether you're selling smart phones or automobiles, technological change is a powerful force that drives industry innovation and disruption, shaking up traditional industry leaders and establishing new companies. The world recently watched this play out in the computing industry as users migrated away from desktops and moved towards mobile devices. But the implications of the Innovator's Dilemma are not limited to the commercial sector; we also see this phenomenon transforming the business of nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and reshaping how programs are delivered to beneficiaries. Organizations that effectively adapt will be positioned well for the future; those who don't risk relevance as new models better serve beneficiaries and match donor interests.
When the Innovator's Dilemma was first published in 1997 by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, it was a radical idea. Christensen's theory of disruptive innovation posits that strategies and tactics that help one company become a market leader are not necessarily the same approach needed to maintain that position.

For many NGOs, the application of such business theories to the nonprofit world may seem out of place, but the need for innovation and adaptation is no less critical. Technology holds great promise in helping develop new interventions, improving service delivery, gaining meaningful insight and supporting community engagement in the development sector, but its deep application and usage has been relatively slow and sporadic. 

"We take the coolest kids in the playground and build our campaigns around them," says social entrepreneur and media guru Matt Hay. 

His agency, LatimerGroup, is part of a rapidly growing social enterprise alternative to mainstream media and advertising, known as co-creation. Brands such as Paul SmithProcter & Gamble, ITV and Boots are increasingly turning to providers with a social purpose, not just a business one, and the appeal of these social enterprise agencies isn't just a box-ticking exercise for corporate social responsibility. These clients are desperate to reach young people and these agencies offer a unique way of doing that.

The agency also uses the co-creation model to produce broadcast-quality content and campaigns that engage youth audiences on topics such as gang grooming, radical extremism and eating disorders. The content is aimed at young people and is distributed by a network of "key influencers", including bloggers, journalists and mainstream media outlets.

Everything We Know About Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment

Facebook’s News Feed—the main list of status updates, messages, and photos you see when you open Facebook on your computer or phone—is not a perfect mirror of the world. But few users expect that Facebook would change their News Feed in order to manipulate their emotional state.

We now know that’s exactly what happened two years ago. For one week in January 2012, data scientists skewed what almost 700,000 Facebook users saw when they logged into its service. Some people were shown content with a preponderance of happy and positive words; some were shown content analyzed as sadder than average. And when the week was over, these manipulated users were more likely to post either especially positive or negative words themselves.

To do that requires founders who look at their hard-earned creation, their venture built on long hours and deep risks, and say, “This is not mine.” That’s anathema to most entrepreneurs, but it’s a necessary step to creating an entity that is bigger than one or two people’s ability to develop it into a long-lasting business.

Prominent African bitcoin campaigner Alakanani Itireleng is turning her attention to charity, appealing for bitcoin donations to Botswana’s SOS Children’s Villages. SOS will use any amount raised in its bitcoin appeal to fund the refurbishment of the Serowe Youth Facility, which has been vacant for over two years. The facility is used to help older children transition to an independent life once they have left the villages.

As well as helping to build local economies by making transactions easier for businesses, bitcoin has a strong role to play in charity. Few, if any, other payment mechanisms allow donations of any size to be sent instantly from anywhere in the world to locations where they’re needed.
It also promotes the use of bitcoin in Africa for economic activities other than charity by highlighting its advantages. The SOS Children’s Villages appeal is part of South African bitcoin exchange ice3x’s campaign to assist local charities. You can find more details and the donation address on their site. The campaign also accepts litecoin donations.

McRaven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, stressed the importance of making your bed every morning, taking on obstacles headfirst, and realizing that it's OK to be a "sugar cookie."
All of his lessons were supported by personal stories from McRaven's many years as a Navy SEAL.
It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

3D printing is about to revolutionise our lives. The technology has even begun popping up at our favourite fashion-focused events like Ascot, in the form of an incredibly chic hat, by Gabriela Ligenza. 
Imagine this: Instead of making the trek to a department store during rush hour traffic, most likely in the rain, you’ll soon be able to pick your design online, and print it. Right from the comfort of your own home.

3D printing has already made a huge impact in the development of medicine, architecture, engineering, and now fashion. Pretty soon, it will totally reinvent the way we consume. Here’s what you need to know:

How it works: 

Just like an inkjet printer, really. Only a 3D printer prints layers, like horizontal cross-sections, of materials like nylon, substrates, molten metal, even pizza dough, (yes, you can print your own pizza) on top of each other to create a three dimensional object. It works by making a 3D image then printing each slice on top of the last, starting from the bottom.

The printing machines can create replicas of existing objects, or can print computer-aided designs that you can download, or create yourself.

La povesti cu

Nu cu mult timp in urma, am stat de vorba cu echipa  despre lucrurile cu care ma ocup atat la TechSoup, cat si in afara organizatiei. Asa cum se numeste si seria lor de interviuri, sunt un ONGist cu doua fete si ma mandresc cu asta. 

A fost un prilej pentru mine sa reiterez experiente de la inceputul carierei mele, de altfel, puntea mea de legatură cu oameni, organizatii si proiecte care mi-au deschis mintea si sufletul si care ma inspira in continuare in munca pe care o realizez, dar si un prilej sa vorbesc despre modul in care vad lucrurile cand vine vorba de  implicare in mai multe activitati. 

Veti regasi articolul integral, scris de Liviu Florea, aici.

Drumul spre casa, Evita si Intelepciunea multimilor sau ce am mai citit in ultima vreme

Salutare dragi prieteni, 

Astazi mi-am propus sa impartasesc cu voi cateva dintre cartile cu care mi-am ocupat timpul liber, mai ales ca a venit sezonul vacantelor si sper sa gasiti printre recomandarile mele si titluri care sa va atraga si pe voi. 

Drumul spre casa, Filip-Lucian Iorga in dialog cu Principele Nicolae al Romaniei 

Ed. Curtea Veche

Cartea s-a lansat recent, de altfel am achizitionat-o chiar de la eveniment, care a avut loc la Carturesti. Acesta este prima carete dedicata tanarului mostenitor si am fost suprinsa sa descoper in paginile cartii un tanar dedicat voluntariatului, curios, cu spirit de aventura, cu aceeasi pasiune pentru masini a bunicului sau, dar mai presus de toate un tanar care are potential de lider al tinerei generatii. 

Povestile care ni se infatiseaza ne ajuta sa il cunoastem mai bine pe Principe,  de la copilaria, relatia cu familia, pana la expeditiile din Africa, implicarea in activitatile realizate impreuna cu cei de la Tasuleasa Social sau programul national de lectura Cartile copilariei, initiat de Curtea Vechea Publishing. 

Evita, my life in my own words, The controversial deathbed manuscript attributed to Eva Peron, with an introduction by Joseph A. Page 
Ed. The New Press

Intotdeauna am fost interesata sa aflu mai multe despre viata doamnelor care au stat alaturi de presedinti sau conducatorii de tari, deoarece, in cele mai multe cazuri, am descoperit de fiecare data o povesti fascinante despre acestea si viata lor. Am vazut in urma cu ceva ani musicalul Evita, cu Madonna in rolul Evei Peron si imi doream sa citesc o biografie a sa, mai putin romantata decat in film. Am gasit volumul despre care va scriu astazi, dar de-abia recent am reusit si sa o citesc. 
Cartea are o introducere realizata de catre specialistul in perioada peroniana, Joseph A. Page, care ofera un preambul necesar intelegerii epocii respective, dar si a vietii Evei, prima doamna a Argentina in perioada 1946-1952) si a lui Juan Peron. Astfel, veti descoperi informatii istorice, care va vor oferi o mai buna intelegere a documentului intitulat Mi mensaje. Documentul, despre care se considera ca fost scris de catre Eva Peron pe patul de moarte, contine idei si ganduri cu privire la societate, opinii cu privire la situatia din vremea respectiva, dar mesajele pe care aceasta le transmite catre familie si prieteni, catre dusmani si catre cei care au sustinut-o, los descamisados.

Intelepciunea multimilor, James Surowiecki 
Ed. Publica 

Intelepciunea multimilor (The wisdom of the crowds-Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations) a fost publicata in anul 2004 si este scrisa de jurnalistul James Surowiecki, ale carui articole legate de zona financiara si business le puteti regasi in the New Yorker. 
Teza principala a cartii se refera la faptul ca media opiniilor unei multimi are mai multe sanse sa fie cea corecta, spre deosebire de opinia majoritara din grup, in special a opiniei specialistilor in domeniu.Veti gasi numeroase exemple care sustin teoria, din domenii extrem de variate, de la biologie la tehnologie, psihologie si business. 

De altfel, in introducerea cartii avem un prim exemplu: Francis Galton, prezent la Targul pentru pasari si animale mari, face un experiment ad-hoc. Acesta, in dorinta de a vedea cum se comporta de fapt votantul (despre care el considera ca era, in general, foarte putin capabil), a solicitat celor prezenti la o competitie de ghicit greutatea unui bou, ulterior sacrificarii si eviscerarii, sa scrie pe un biletel cifra pe care ei o considera corecta, dar si cateva date personale. Teoria lui Galton era ca, de fapt, media greutatii scrisa de catre participanti nu va fi foarte apropiata de greutatea reala, ci, dimpotriva, cifrele mentionate de profesionisti ( ex. macelari) sau cei mai destepti. Cu toate acestea, media multimii a fost cea mai apropiata de adevarata greutate. 

Alte exemple pe care le veti regasi  vizeaza comportamentul grupurilor de albine, algoritmul Google, scheme din baschet sau situatii de pe Wall Street. Aplicatiile teoria multimilor intelepte, despre care Surowiecki scrie ca trebuie sa indeplineasca patru conditii: diversitatea opiniilor, independenta, descentralizare si agregare, au aplicatii in numeroase arii, de la viata noastra zilnica pana la afaceri si guvernare. 

De asemenea, daca sunteti pasionati de discursurile prezentate la TED, il veti gasi pe cel al lui Surowiecki, cu tema The power and the danger of online crowds, aici.

De pe web adunate- selectie de articole numai bune de citit in weekend

Pentru saptamana aceasta, am pregatit alte cinci articole care mi-au dat de gandit. Ultimele doua, discursul lui Jon Favreau (fostul speechwriter al Presedintelui Obama) si discursul din cadrul TED al lui Elizabeth Gilbert (autoare a cartii Eat, Pray, Love) le veti regasi si in format video. 

Spor la lecturat!

Developers are helping rural coffee growers get more connected with weather patterns, which in turn means cheaper, tastier coffee for you. This story contains interviews with Kira Angulo, National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia account lead at SAP and Diana Osorio, lead for Latin America CSR at SAP. Under its corporate social responsibility scheme, SAP has been providing the funds to support the FNC's technical training for Colombia’s coffee growers. The FNC training not only covers how to use the tablets and the app but also better farming management and coffee cultivation methods. So far, 500 growers and their families have been trained, but the FNC hopes to eventually reach the 560,000 families that it represents.
Harvard's Wyss Institute creates bioplastic made from shrimp shells. Now researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have introduced a new bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. It’s made from chitosan, a form of chitin — the second-most abundant organic material on Earth. Chitin, a tough polysaccharide, is the main ingredient in the hardy shells of crustaceans, the armorlike cuticles of insects, and even the flexible wings of butterflies. The Wyss Institute makes its shrilk from chitin from shrimp shells, most which would otherwise be discarded or used in fertilizer or makeup, and a fibroin protein from silk. Researchers discussed it in a March online study in the journal Macromolecular Materials & Engineering.
This environmentally safe alternative to plastic could also be used to make trash bags, packaging, and diapers. Once discarded, shrilk breaks down in just a few weeks — and even releases rich nutrients that support plant growth. In one experiment, Wyss Institute researchers grew a California black-eyed pea plant in soil enriched with its chitosan bioplastic. Within three weeks, the material encouraged plant growth.

A part of me understands founder’s ego. Whenever you start something, you have to believe you're doing the most important thing in the world because you're constantly trying to convince stakeholders, customers, and investors that this idea can be turned from nothing into something and more than that, something BIG. You need an ego. But it’s all too easy to speak in grandiose statements that take away from what should be the simple premise of your business: solving a problem for customers.
In Mike Judge’s new HBO show, Silicon Valley, founders are always talking about how their code is changing the world. It’s easy to disregard this as exaggerated satire, but this is the way people talk! It really happens, it’s what many entrepreneurs really think. And this hubris is encouraged by the media. Check out the Forbes piece, "The Top 10 Start-Ups That Are Changing the World." The list includes Airbnb, Zappos, and Square. These are good companies with impressive operations, but they should not be described as world-changing organizations.

But the chase to be something – to be rich, famous, powerful, praised – that is a race without a finish line, because there will always be more money to make, or a fancier title to pursue, or a higher accolade to achieve. In my experience, you are far more likely to find lasting fulfillment if these fleeting pleasures are the byproduct of a decision to do something – something that interests you; something you’re good at; something your gut is just begging you to try.

Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

Sharing some thoughts about work and finding opportunities as student

Madalina Popovici, a good friend of mine, is studying project management (master level) at the National University of Political Sciences and Administration (Bucharest) and she asked me to answer to a series of questions regarding my work. The questions were in English, so the answers are in English as well. We have  tackled subjects regarding my work, employment and opportunities for young people to get a job in the field of project management.

Hope you are going to some at least some good thoughts for your future career. 

Madalina Popovici (MP): You are a communication specialist. What made you get a job in the project management field?

Steliana Moraru (SM): I enjoy changes, challenges and I always aim to develop myself. I see project management as a natural evolution in my career. I started to work at a very young age, and I am always in a continuous search to become better and better. This helped me to have my eyes wide open and to find opportunities, to create a network of valuable people, to learn and challenge myself. When the possibility to do more and to put more on the table in terms of my work experience presented itself, I was ready to take it. It’s not a big change in my career, as I have always stayed close to the communication field, but it is definitely a challenging one.  

MP: How should people break into this field nowadays? (campus recruiting or simply having enough experience in one particular field) and what chances do you think graduates have for being hired as project managers in the first 2 years after graduating?

SM:I believe that when we work, we should create a chain of values in order to make contributions for our development and for the environment (this includes people, society, community, etc). In order to create this chain of values, we need to know the basics of our field, to work hard, to learn constantly, and to pay attention to the world around us. When we do this we grow our chances of gaining access in our desired fields of work. I never believed in taking one lucky shot.
My own experience taught me this actually. So when it comes to breaking into this field, I would rather say that the young person should get proactive: being a project manager requires experience, adaptability, global thinking, communication skills,  the ability  to make decisions, and team spirit. Start by getting involved in volunteer projects, search for people with experience in the field and try to work with them, look for internships, and read a lot. These are places where great opportunities might come for you. The experience in one field is extremely important, and it might grant you access to the desired job, but nowadays it is not enough anymore. We need to build upon this platform and add different skills (as a student, you can learn this across academic disciplines), become up to date with other related fields of work, and build our collaborative skills.
Regarding the second part of the question, is not unusual to see really young managers these days. On the other hand, thinking of the amount of work and the skills required by this position, I would say that a project manager job is more likely to be obtained after 2 years or so. We are all eager to achieve more and prove ourselves, myself included, but at the end of the day it is important that what we leave behind, that chain I spoke about earlier, that set of values we bring, how good or great our work is and how it impacts the projects we are working on. Sometimes, no matter how good we think we are, it is important to give yourself time to be an apprentice.

MP: What does an employer look for in a candidate (skills, personal qualities)?
SM:Besides being a good professional in your field, an employer will seek some universal skill - team spirit, IT skills, the ability to plan, organize and prioritize work, and communications skills.  I saw the other days a slideshow presentation where  20 jobs of the future were mentioned. I found it interesting in this context the quote, “careers are now more complex, fragmented, specialised, collaborative and ever evolving, made up of a portfolio of micro-careers. So, when it comes to the question of what an employer looking for, maybe it’s good to take a look at the future.” We live interesting times, and we need to adapt, or perhaps I should say, to be able to adapt.

MP: Do you think a project manager should also be a good leader? What qualities make him/her a good leader?
SM: It is a truism that leadership focuses on doing "the right things", while managers focus on doing "the things right". I believe both of them play important roles in the organisation, but a manager can lead without necessarily being a leader. In my opinion, leadership is a soft skill that can be developed and taught, being more responsive and proactive than simple management. A leader is more focused on people, on creating a vision, enhancing productivity and the quality of work by his/her team through personal examples of commitment and excellence. On the other hand, when we talk about management, a hard skill, he/she is looking for resources, managing them, employing procedures, and is basically more task oriented. I believe a manager can become a good leader if he/she manages to find the right balance in using soft and hard skills.

MP:Communication is the key to everything. What do you think are the principles of a good communication within the project?
SM: Communication is essential in any type of relationship, from professional to the personal ones. When we talk about the skills a project manager should have, I would say that the ability to communicate with the others is one of the most important skills in this regard. Practically, this means communicating in a clear manner about goals, responsibilities, performance, expectations, feedback and then actively listening in return.
MP: At the end of the day what matters is doing what you like most. What do you like best about your job? What’s your typical day like?
SM: My job is very challenging. It offers me the possibility of making a contribution to the nongovernmental community in Romania and to work with a great international team. The program I am managing, the Donation Program,  affords a unique possibility for NGOs to access technology  and to fulfill their missions more efficiently. This means we provide both products from partners such as Bitdefender, Microsoft, Cisco and Adobe, but also provide learning resources such as webinars, newsletters, and articles. We promote their success stories in our global network.  During the last two years, I have had the opportunity to see our NGO community grow, learn and becoming  better and better. It’s a great reward for me when I talk with people from different corners of the country and they offer me feedback, when they say they really did something good for their organisation thanks to the Program. Seeing people and their respective organisations develop and striving to be the better is what I like most.

MP: A piece of advice for students aspiring to be project managers would be
SM: Work hard, learn, find people who can can become your models, ask questions, always remain curious, and play.

De pe web adunate- selectie de articole numai bune de citit in weekend

Saptamana aceasta va propun urmatoarele articole. Spor la lecturat!

EU court backs 'right to be forgotten': Google must amend results on request

The top European court has backed the "right to be forgotten" and said Google must delete "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" data from its results when a member of the public requests it.
The test case privacy ruling by the European Union's court of justice against Google Spain was brought by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja González, after he failed to secure the deletion of an auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on the website of a mass circulation newspaper in Catalonia.

Online Charitable Donations Increased 14% in 2013

Gone are the days when non-profits needed to rely only on street canvassing and paper pleas for donations. Email and social media are quickly revolutionizing charity, and according to a new study from M+R and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), 2013 was the space's best year yet.
The study breaks down exactly how leading U.S. non-profits performed online in the past year. In 2013, Internet users donated more than ever before — online giving increased 14% since 2012, with more than 5.5 million total gifts and nearly $325 million raised.

Robot may help fight malaria

Most people kill a mosquito with a violent swat of the hand, but Yaroslav Tenzer is much more methodical — and tender. He needs the tiny pest’s body intact so he can harvest its salivary glands.
Mosquito saliva is the key to a potential malaria vaccine and Tenzer, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University’s Biorobotics Laboratory, has spent the last two years designing a machine that can very precisely behead an infected mosquito and gently squeeze its body to extract and collect its parasite-filled spit.

Mobile Donors Stick Around

Retention rates for mobile subscribers who opt-in to receive messages or donate via text are on average 80 percent, according to data released by The mGive Foundation.
None of the nine organizations studied are specifically focused on disaster relief but range from environmental and animal to health services, according to Jenifer Snyder, executive director of The mGive Foundation. The Denver, Colo.-based organization studied data from nine clients that used mobile actively and moderately over a four-year period and found that the average retention rate was 80 percent for mobile subscribers, with spikes in text donations and donor retention rates of 99 percent when a nonprofit follows mGive’s best practices.

Good ideas are the easy part of entrepreneurship. Nearly anyone can come up with a business idea, but it takes a lot more than wishful thinking to turn an idea into a company. It takes even more to turn an idea into a company that can grow and thrive, even after the original team moves on.

To do that requires founders who look at their hard-earned creation, their venture built on long hours and deep risks, and say, “This is not mine.” That’s anathema to most entrepreneurs, but it’s a necessary step to creating an entity that is bigger than one or two people’s ability to develop it into a long-lasting business.