March 2nd, 2012
04:47 PM ET

Dan Ogola: Creating wealth through health

By Dan Ogola, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Dan Ogola is the founder and director of the Matibabu Foundation, a organization in Eastern Africa creating jobs and opportunity through healthcare. Founded in 2006, Matibabu has offered health services to over 60,000 Kenyans. It recently opened the community’s first hospital, a state-of-the art facility drawing new businesses to one of the country’s poorest regions. Ogola will be featured on CNN’s The Next List this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - I was born 35 years ago in Ugenya, Kenya, as the fifth of eight children. My brother passed on when he was two months old as a result of malaria. He was not taken to hospital but instead anointed with oil by a priest to “cure” him. Our third born was disabled due to polio, and hidden in the house due to the stigma, and could not attend school. My father died when I was 19 years old leaving my mother to take care of us.

My mother, Patricia Ogola, was an uneducated housewife married at the age of 15, and because of the many children she had, she struggled to make ends meet by brewing the local traditional brew. This led to a lot of run-ins with the local policemen who demanded bribes for her to continue making the illicit brew, driving the family into further poverty.

Due to the difficulties in Ugenya for our family, my brothers and I left for Nairobi, Kenya's capital city, to try and do odd jobs in order to support ourselves and the family back at home.

My mother’s case is a typical case of women in Ugenya. Many were married young and had several children as they were uneducated and did not have access to family planning. Many were also widowed because of HIV/AIDS thus increasing their poverty levels as they were unemployed. Many others also died while giving birth due to inaccessibility of health facilities. Many children also suffered the fate of my brothers.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Social change • The Next List • Video • World
March 2nd, 2012
01:29 PM ET

Dr. Seuss as the ultimate model for innovation

We at CNN's "The Next List" celebrate innovators and agents-of-change. It’s our reason for being. It’s what we do both behind the scenes and on air. And like any good show team, we don’t always agree on which people to feature. Settling on the idea that Theodor Seuss Geisel - aka Dr. Seuss - could have been a Next Lister was the shortest discussion we’ve had to date.

Dr. Seuss, who would have been 108 years old on Friday, is a wonderful example of the many characteristics that make up a Next Lister - the term we use for the innovators we feature on Sundays at 2 p.m. ET.

Our love for Dr. Seuss is what drove us to step outside and ask a few New Yorkers, who we found in front of the iconic public library on 42nd Street, to read passages from his books. Check out the video above to see the impact the author has today - even on adults. FULL POST

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Filed under: The Next List • Thinkers • Video
Here's what Apple's Siri might look like
March 2nd, 2012
01:08 PM ET

Here's what Apple's Siri might look like

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - When technology knows your name, it's hard not to personify it.

That's what's so interesting about Shapeways' "What does Siri look like" contest: You get a little window into the minds of people who use Apple's voice-controlled "assistant." Some imagine Siri as a Superwoman. Some see her as more of a gender-neutral "it," like a standard robot.

One entrant, not shown here, created an image of Siri as Sarah Palin reincarnated, according to Carine Carmy, spokeswoman for Shapeways, the design and 3-D-printing company that organized this contest and recently posted the winners online.

"Everyone who is an Apple user is a very big fan (of Siri), so I think people feel they have a very intimate relationship with this technnology," she said. "He/she/it gets to really understand your needs. It's quite an impressive technology."

The image at the top of this post, created by SaGa Design, won the 3-D design contest. Here's the 2-D winner, which shows Siri as the rock-star version of an executive assistant and was created by @eddieadolf:

And here are a few more of our favorites. Take a look:

Which is your favorite? Or how do you picture Siri?

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Filed under: Culture • Design • Smartphones • Tech
DARPA wants to crowdsource the apocalypse
March 2nd, 2012
11:03 AM ET

DARPA wants to crowdsource the apocalypse

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - For being such a secretive and sometimes-frightening agency, DARPA also knows how to have a lot of fun with technology. In 2009, you may recall, DARPA, a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, set loose 10 red weatherballoons all over the contiguous United States and then paid $40,000 to the team that used social media to be the first to locate all of the balloons. What made the challenge so awesome was that no one person could possibly solve that puzzle alone. They had to use the Internet to do so.

A team from MIT (shocking, right?) won that contest in less than 9 hours.

Now the agency has launched a new project involving a global hunt for QR Codes. The "CLIQR Quest Challenge" started on February 23 and continues until Thursday at noon. DARPA says the contest is designed to "advance the understanding of social media and the Internet, and explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems." The blog TechCrunch saw right through that government-speak and declared, more or less, that DARPA was preparing to crowdsource the aftermath of the apocolypse: FULL POST

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Filed under: Crowdsourcing • Culture • Innovation • Internet • Smartphones • Social change