A new project called HCD Connect is allowing problem solvers across the world to connect and share solutions. Designed by Ideo.og and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HCD connect has been created to open up possibilities for human e-design in the fight against global poverty. A hard copy of the toolkit is available for $21.99, or as a free download. The program uses the format of an open access social network that will allow people across the world to bring tips, ideas, and strategies together. It even allows community members to link up to their Facebook (like just about every website out there today).
A brief look at the home page reveals a friendly, colorful display. The mission statement is “where optimists take on our world’s challenges by sharing stories, questions, and resources.” You are offered the option to connect with people in (fill in location) working on projects in (fill in focus area). Options at the top of the page include people, stories, methods, ask, and grants. In short, HCD Connect seems like Facebook with a mission. Especially with the right funding sources, this project has some potential.
One of the largest setbacks in the development world is the lack of shared information. This is mentioned countless times in Elke de Buhr’s Approaches to Sustainable Development Course. If those attempting to solve problems of poverty across the globe are easily able to share information about development projects and their results, hopefully others will be able to benefit from their learnt lessons.