Updated 3 weeks 6 days ago
1. Organization Introduction:
Polar Bears International is the world’s leading polar bear conservation group—dedicated to saving polar bears by saving their sea ice habitat. We champion polar bears wherever they are, concentrating our strategies in areas of research, education, and action. Working closely with the world’s leading polar bear scientists, we take an innovative approach to conservation, building collaborations in the interest of the bears.
At PBI, we’re building momentum for action on climate change and working to ensure that, with your help and that of our partner organizations and sponsors, polar bears and the arctic ecosystem will remain for future generations. Following is a snapshot of the work we do.
Scientists project that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear by mid-century, followed by possible worldwide extinction by the end of the 21st century, due to a dramatic retreat of the arctic sea ice, the habitat polar bears need for catching their prey. These sea ice losses are fueled by a build-up of greenhouse gases caused by human activities.
Hope remains for polar bears and the arctic ecosystem if present levels of greenhouse gases are significantly reduced.
We’ve entered a new era of conservation, where it’s no longer possible to preserve habitat simply by buying land (or, in our case, sea ice), fencing it off, and posting a guard at the gate. Today, the only way to save polar bears and their sea-ice habitat is to reduce CO2. It takes a worldview, along with local conservation actions.
But what can be done?
At PBI, we foster the power of people working together to solve the problem of global warming. Because the good news is that since humans have caused this, humans can fix this—and the solution starts at the individual level.
First, we all must do everything we can to minimize our individual greenhouse gas footprints. Then we must convince our neighbors and our communities to make the same efforts. Next, we must support merchants and businesses that believe in a sustainable business model. And, finally, we must vote for leaders who believe like we do and want to see a sustainable economy and ecosystem rather than sacrificing our future for short-term gain.
Follow a model of Build Green, Live Green, and Choose Green in your daily life:
- Build Green -- By this, we mean the infrastructure of your home and workplace: insulate, use green power, weatherstrip doors and windows, and invest in energy-efficient appliances.
- Live Green – Let sustainable behaviors guide your everyday actions until they become habits: Take shorter showers. Don’t idle your car. Eat less meat.Line-dry your clothes.
- Choose Green – Vote with your wallet and in the ballot box in support of a sustainable future.
We also invite you to encourage others to join you. Time remains to save polar bears—but we must act soon.
3. Project description:
A lower carbon footprint from a single person won’t make a difference for polar bears—we’re well aware of that. But we aren’t one person. All of us have friends, families, communities, and countries. And the collective impact of our efforts—household by household, community by community, country by country—is what it will take to build momentum to a solution.
We need to find creative ways and tools to motivate and sustain the reduction of CO2 in local communities. Saving energy produced by carbon-based fuels reduces our carbon emissions and can slow and even reverse global warming, which causes sea ice to melt. Polar bears require sea ice for reaching their prey. Without sea ice, polar bears can’t survive.
We focus on:
- No idling
- Alternative transportation (biking, walking, public transportation)
- Buying locally
Home heating and cooling
- Turning thermostats up/down
- Non-carbon energy sources
- Meatless meals
- Buying locally
- Reusable water bottles
Updated 3 weeks 6 days ago
Create a web app which will gather data from people taking park in the water aid 6 peaks challenge. Mainly focusing on geolocations of people taking part in the challenge. The challenge allows water aid to gather money for their charity.
Updated 3 weeks 6 days ago
Autism Speaks hears stories every day about the wonders of technology for people with autism. Applications for mobile phones and tablets have helped give a voice to people on the autism spectrum who were previously unable to communicate effectively. Toddlers prone to tantrums can now order their favorite foods at restaurants by pointing at pictures using menu apps. Nonverbal children unable to express their feelings are now able to let their loved ones know how they feel using flashcard apps with pictures of faces showing different emotions. Adults with autism who have never worked can now succeed in the workplace using apps that provide supports like videos and alarm clocks. Even parents and caregivers can benefit by using apps that help them easily keep track of their children’s behaviors, symptoms and improvements. While many people with autism have made great strides using new apps, not everyone has been so lucky. Every person with autism is different, so an app that might help a young boy with autism tremendously may not work for his classmate. That’s why it is important to have a big variety of apps so technology can help as many people as possible! What ideas do you have for apps that can help meet the needs of the growing population of people with autism?
Updated 4 weeks 1 day ago
Establish Ushahidi as a reference implementation for the Open311 GeoReport specification to help ensure that it is interoperable with other geospatial reporting applications and they are interoperable with it.
This tool will help communities and cities share information using both interfaces.
Updated 1 month 7 hours ago
Cities publish tremendous amounts of data for the public. These data are distributed throughout a city's web presence. Many of the data are in formats that make processing difficult.
Open data portals provide a city a single, comprehensive catalog of data published by the city. Some open data portals also provide a version controlled repository for storing data in open, accessible formats
You can deploy an open data portal for your city using open source software.
You can contribute to existing open data portals by cataloging published data sets.
You can use data from your city's open data portal in new web applications, infographics and the like.
Updated 1 month 1 day ago
Develop an easy way for everyday bicycle commuters to log their commutes (either by logging onto a website similar to mapmyride.com or having it automatically logged through a smart phone app.) such that the aggregate data of their commutes are displayed on a map (perhaps a google map).
The map could have multiple helpful effects:
It could be used to inform decisions about where to prioritize transportation infrastructure improvements to encourage increased levels of bicycle commuting. Currently, urban planners do not have good statistics about bicycle commuting, in terms of how many bikers are commuting, from where to where they are commuting, and the routes they are taking. Knowing such information could help planners both prioritize projects designed to make bicycle commuting more attractive, and have the data to convince stakeholders to support the projects.
An easy to read map showing bicycle commuter routes would encourage more people to commute by bike (because they see just how many other people are biking)
The map could also help biker be more safe by encouraging them to all use the same route (a biker on a street with lots of other bikers is safer than a biker on a street rarely used by other bikers).
Bike commuting itself has many health benefits, as well as the many environmental benefits that come with reduced use of cars for transportation needs.
Subject Matter Expert: 1000 Friends of Wisconsin (1kfriends.com)
Updated 1 month 4 days ago
Updated 1 month 4 days ago
In Vermont, 1-in-5 children experience food hardship. Households with children experience food insecurity at almost double the rate of households without children. The USDA defines food insecurity as "[the] limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways."
Children living in food insecure homes have higher rates of developmental delay, emotional and physical problems, poorer health, increases in nutritional deficiencies, lower academic achievement, problems with social relatiobnships, and a greater risk of becoming overweight.
Food insecurity is a risk factor for malnutrition, the effects of which can be measured throughout childhood and into adulthood. In children under two, iron-deficiency anemia is directly related to impairments in cognitive, mental and psychomotor development. These conditions can persist even after the successful treatment of iron deficiency. The increase in risk for developmental delay and health problems occur in children living in food insecure households, even if the child has enough food. This may be due to micronutrient deficiencies resulting from a poor-quality diet or to the stress in the household and the effects of under-nutrition on the caretakers. In addition to the developmental delays associated with micronutrient deficiencies, brain development and cognition may also be undermined. Some children suffer from the effects of inadequate caloric intake and adolescents in particular can be impacted by low intake of protein, vitamin A and magnesium.
In food insecure homes, parents and children alike suffer the emotional effects of a low food supply. Mothers who are depressed may lack the energy required to provide adequate care, developmental stimulation and consistent routines. Additionally, when Mom is depressed, parent-child interactions are affected and the positive behavior that enhances her child’s growth, development and well-being is negatively impacted. It is not uncommon for children living in food insecure homes to fear being labeled as “poor” or being discovered as being “poor.” This shame, coupled with the effects of an inadequate food supply, can lead to behavioral problems such as aggression, anxiety, inattention, irritability, and hyperactivity. These kids increasingly internalize their problems, giving rise to more headaches and stomachaches. Teens in food insecure homes are at a greater risk for depression, dysthemia and attempted suicide.
Adults who experienced hunger as children create a workforce pool that is less competitive and suffers from a lower level of educational and technical skills. The World Health Organization identifies level of education as among the strongest predictors of health status. When learning is compromised by hunger, children grow into adults who aren’t as well prepared as their peers to participate in a competitive workforce. Additionally, adults with higher levels of education are better able to read and use health information services as well as to improve their social status. Studies show that children in food insecure households are at greater developmental risk in areas such as expressive and receptive language, fine and gross motor skills, general behavior, and social and emotional development. Kids aged 6-11 in food-insufficient homes have significantly lower arithmetic scores, are more likely to repeat a grade and use special education services, and have higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. Additionally, teenagers from food-insufficient homes are more likely than their food-sufficient peers to have been suspended from school.
In 2010 and 2011, Gillian MacMurtry, in cooperation with Hunger Free Vermont, conducted a survey of 516 Vermont physicians with four specific areas of focus:
1. Perceived predictors of and barriers in communication about food insecurity;
2. Perceived effective methods of identifying and referring food insecure families to appropriate resources;
3. Referring to and familiarity with existing food and nutrition assistance/education programs in Vermont;
4. Physician interest in on-going research and edication associated with foof insecurity as it pertains to Vermotners.
The survey results suggested that 60% of Vermont physicians were not screening for food insecurity among their patients. Further, physicians were unaware of many resources available to Vermonters; however, there was an interest in learning opportunities for medical providers and resources for medical practices and physicians.
Medical professions and health care providers are in a unique position among service providers in Vermont. As providers who care for families in all stages of life and under all circumstances, physicians and their colleagues see and speak to more families in Vermont than any other provider. Many of the problems that they see in their practices may be exacerbated by or directly related to a lack of quality food in the home.
The clinical setting is the perfect place to ask about food insecurity, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The AAP mission statement is, “To attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.” Fulfilling the AAP mission extends the focus of the pediatric visit from medical problems into health-related social domains. These include: access to health care, housing, food security, income security, and intimate partner violence.
Hunger Free Vermont recently launched "Childhood Hunger in Vermont: The Hidden Impacts on Health, Development & Wellbeing." This course, available online, is a 1-hour accredited tutorial that focuses on the impacts of childhood hunger and provides healthcare professionals with the information and tools for screening and intervention to ensure that all Vermonters have access to enough nutritious food to thrive.
To access this course:
The course is divided into five modules:
* Introduction and overview
* How we got here, how we measure hunger, and what puts families at risk.
* What are food insecure families eating? What difficult choices are they forced to make?
* The profound effects of food insecurity on child health, development & education.
* What can you do? What is your role?
Course Participants will:
* Understand how hunger is invisible and how you can ask about it and look for risk factors.
* Understand the consequences of food insecurity, such as malnutrition, behavioral and developmental issues, and poor health.
* Understand what nutrition resources are available to Vermont children and families, and their
* Be familiar with your role as a health care provider in asking questions, screening, monitoring,
and making referrals.
Physicians are taking the course and Hunger Free Vermont hopes to have over 75 more Vermont physicians screening for childhood food insecurity before September. While the accredited tutorial is a good first step in raising awareness among Vermont's medical community, more is needed:
1. Continued education and awareness to battle stigma around who is hungry and why they're hungry;
2. Strategies for connecting physicians to the food resources to which they refer their patients;
3. Strategies for continuing to simplify the food insecurity screening process;
4. Better, stronger language for physicans when they talk to families about fod insecurity;
5. Geographically specific food resources (school meals, food panties, soup kitchens, etc);
6. Tools to encourage and aid health care provides to follow-up with patients they've identified as food insecure or at risk of food insecurity.
Updated 1 month 4 days ago
Challenge: Design an app that can be linked to Facebook to provide regular family planning messages, feedback from users and provide referrals to nearby health facilities for young people. The app has to work on phones that are not ‘smart’.
Background: The centre for Study of Adolescence, Kenya has initiated a project; promoting contraceptive use among 15-24 year old youth using innovative approaches including ICT and interactive media in western Kenya. The project is being implemented in Siaya, Bondo, Busia and Teso aimed at improving Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights among youth in these districts in Western Kenya.
Objectives of the project:
- Strengthened capacity of young people to provide sexual and reproductive health information and services in three years in 4 districts in western Kenya
- Increased level of knowledge and awareness on reproductive health and family planning among young people in 4 districts in western Kenya
- Increased utilisation of RH/FP services among young people in the project areas
- Reduce unwanted pregnancy and related consequences in the 4 sites.
Updated 1 month 4 days ago
What we do
Transformation Projects is a Vancouver-based partnership that creates events and public engagement strategy/ implementation for non-profits focused on Social Justice, Environment, Community Building, and Arts & Culture and other organizations that are striving to make a difference in their community. Clients have included: Wilderness Committee, Forest Ethics, Pivot Legal, Get Your Vote On, Next Up Leadership, Re:Generation, Alliance for Arts and Culture, BC Mobile Sauna Society, 45 West Studios. We help them by becoming a bridge (via events/campaigns/outreach) between them and their target publics. We expand organizations capacity. For example, last Municipal Election in 2011, we teamed up with Get Your Vote On (GYVO). GYVO is a non-partisan youth voter educational/engagement society that has registered over 50,000 young people to vote). We created all sorts of new young voter initiatives in order to get young people out to vote - www.getyourvoteon.ca
Community Planners like Vancouver's Andrew Pask, really have their work cut out for them. No matter how amazing their skills are, they can't do their job without relevent and timely citizen input on what needs to be created or transitioned in their neighbourhood. We are interested in how city/ community planning folks can benefit from crowdsourcing and open software developments that have occurred during the past few years.
OPEN VANCOUVER: The online platform, "Open Vancouver," empowers Vancouverites to shape the future of their own neighbourhoods by allowing them to collectively add suggestions, pictures and comments to an online interactive map. The map will be configured for visitors to identify locations on the map and classify them. Participants can add issues, comment on existing issues, and "vote up" particular issues at particular locations. Other community users can 'support' a suggestion and share it via social media streams. The suggestions might range from supplying a bench at a tagged location, fixing a water fountain, building a washroom, creating a green-space, or planting a community garden. This site we have in mind would be similar to this - http://www.
This crowdsourced urban planning and mapping software has been pioneered by planners like Frank Hebbert at the open software development firm OpenPlans. We have been in contact with Frank for a few months ago when we first pitched this idea the COV. The idea would be to use an already developed OpenPlans platform called “Shareabouts.” Using Shareabouts, Open Vancouver will build upon the success that has been seen with NYC’s crowd-sourced Bike Share map. Open Vancouver’s map would ideally be used first in Grandview Woodland, Marpole and the West-End (since their is an ongoing planning process currently active in these neighbourhoods!) For more information on OpenPlans, check: http://openplans.org/work/
How this will help
Getting this developed will allow us to continue to build our capacity to assist our partner organizations (outlined above) to create lasting social and environmental change at at local/regional scale.
- City of Vancouver
- Andrew Pask - COV Planner
- Residents of Grandview Woodland, Marpole and the West End
- Plants and Animals that live there too.
- Open Plans Org.