Accessing Information to Improve the Way People Live

In our highly-connected daily lives, the loss of a smart phone is a catastrophe.  Disrupted electricity in the aftermath of a storm is a major inconvenience.  And, low power warnings on a laptop can send colleagues scurrying for cords and wall sockets.  Access to technology-based information is a given for most of us. 

But for millions of people in developing countries around the world, the ability to gather information is a challenge because of lack of electricity, high illiteracy rates, and geographic isolation.  How do you get vital, relevant information to rural communities that will allow residents to improve their livelihood?

Literacy Bridge, a nonprofit organization, is tackling this problem by creating a simple, durable, battery-operated, audio computer playing locally-produced lessons that address the practical needs of people in cultures dominated by oral tradition.  Currently focusing on farmers in Ghana, the program has delivered “Talking Books” to community members with significant results.

This innovative use of technology to benefit humanity is just one of 12 projects being honored at the 2012 Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials. The global awards program recognizes international innovators who are addressing some of the world’s most critical problems in the areas of education, environment, health, and economic development.

The event which benefits the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California will be held on November 15 in Silicon Valley but today’s announcement of the Laureates is generating considerable buzz on the web, via Public Broadcasting Station KQED’s Forum, and in local media outlets … for those of us who can access the information!

For more information about Applied Materials' support of the Tech Awards visit our blog.

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