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Rockefeller Foundation

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My colleagues at Institute for the Future and Rockefeller Foundation are launching a fascinating and ambitious online game to crowdsource ideas on how to fight global poverty! It's a 48-hour game to cultivate back-of-the-envelope ideas for new technologies, social enterprises, skillsets, educational approaches, and other strategies or methods to help and empower poor and vulnerable populations around the globe. Sound like a huge endeavor? Yep. The game, called Catalysts For Change, kicks off on April 3 and you can sign up right now to play. Boing Boing is proud to be a media partner in this epic endeavor. From the project announcement:

Catalysts for Change will be played over a 48-hour span. It will draw players from around the world, with the goal to identify thousands of new paths out of poverty with hundreds of players from all walks of life. The game itself will leverage simple 140-character messages to play cards. Each card will capture an idea, and participants will build on one another’s ideas. By building on the cards, players will start chain reactions of innovations and solutions that are more than the sum of their parts.

On April 3, (Rockefeller Foundation president Dr. Judith) Rodin will kick off the game and initiate a conversation with leaders in international philanthropy, development, technology, design, and social innovation. Building from the real-time experiment of the Catalysts for Change game, the Bay Area forum will focus on imagining innovative ways to catalyze positive change in the lives of poor or vulnerable people throughout the world.

Ideas generated during the game and forum will be featured in an online game blog that will build on an interactive online map already offering more than six-hundred examples of innovative approaches to the issues that poor communities around the world face.

Catalysts for Change: Paths out of Poverty

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According to projections by the United Nations, the world population has reached 7 billion and continues to grow rapidly.  While more people are living longer and healthier lives, gaps are widening between the rich and the poor in some nations and tens of millions of people are vulnerable to food and water shortages.  There is, of course, the issue of the impact of that sheer number on the environment, including pollution, waste disposal, use of natural resources and food production.  This post focuses on wheat and the effect of our numbers on the environment.  Wheat is the most important cereal in the world and along with rice and corn accounts for about 73 percent of all cereal production.  It isn't surprising that 7 billion people have a lasting impact on our world's natural resources and the environment in which we live. -- Paula Nelson (36 photos total)
One of the world's breadbaskets lies in the prairies of Canada. This stalk, near Lethbridge, Alberta, helps form the foundation for the most important food product in the world: cereal grains. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

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