WINsiders4good - Making this Great Idea Actually Work; Here's an Example of Why This Matters

Just heard about WINsiders4good in the latest anniversary update email (extract at bottom). I went looking for how the WINsiders4good community might operate as I have a great idea to "do good using technology" and felt this might be a great fit. I want to cut 20% off the road toll, with all the compounding benefits that flow to reduce road trauma, and have a credible way to do it. I am a 58yo engineer in Newcastle NSW Australia and have a particular skill set and professional experiences that 15 years ago I figured out the basic elements of how to do this thing, and about 5 years ago tech had developed to the point that the main execution problems were solved; in the last couple of years even more so. Whilst I am nowhere near retirement, it is no small endeavor to do and I want this to be my gift to the world before I go out to pasture / snuff the lights out!

I have tested the concepts in detail and people tell me this is a very practical deliverable solution and is the only thing they have seen that might actually, really do it - they are right! I have just (this month) started down the road to actually make it happen and, in a couple of months or so, it would be really useful to bounce specific problems and ideas off people that might guide me on how to approach them. I know the things I want to do can be done, but some enabling support to fill in the gaps would be handy. The WINsiders4good concept seems a brilliantly sensible way to do exactly that, if it can practically be tapped in to...

Trying to find out more about WINsiders4good on the web reveals not much - a disorganized Twitter experience and a few low on substance item grabs, or is there something I’m missing? From a recent blog by Dona Sarkar it seems the direction it is going in is generally:

I’d also like to thank everyone for all of your help around the research and ideas for the #WINsiders4Good events. The Seattle one was a great success and I will write up a detailed blog (with a video!) once we wrap up Berlin this weekend. The team and I are working on creating a CAT (Create-A-Thon) In A Box so that any of you can host your own event with your local community. I love that our Insider community are people who use the tech they love to help eradicate the problems they don’t love.

So a great initiative, but pretty hands on and localised in focus and the driving impetus is to make it easier to do more of exactly that. Which is fine for those that can, but perhaps not as transferable to other locales as the people behind it may wish. And probably not much use to me. I am looking for a better way, and hoping someone here will know how to go about setting it up...?

As well as the physical interfacing mentioned above, there needs to be a community forum split into areas of endeavour, extent of impact and type of implementation. These of course may be intersecting, exclusive or partially so. The basic concept is to gather ideas and monitor / assist implementation, independently assess and provide an avenue for those that wish to contribute in any way can do so with confidence and ease, be it morale support, useful info, IP access or hard cash.

Where I am currently taking my particular initiative is to build a working demonstration prototype from my own resources, which will need me to solve a few of what I see as the "smaller problems" (a couple of corkers in there!). Presuming I can do what I believe I can do (haven't had a different outcome yet in life) I will get a few respected reviewers to check the prototype out and have their Wow moments, on video, and the rest will be about roll-out. Possibly a rework of the prototype module then a fully fledged operational center to iron out the total facility delivery bugs.

I am thinking roll-out is either self-funded by money I don't currently have but am hopeful will accumulate as a result of another game changing mining improvement (that has just completed the full prototype install and roll-out is next) that I am a principal for, or crowd funding. This latter model, done right, could also generate a lot of helpful support. As will the team of like minded professionals that will soon throw their weight and experience behind the roll-out, once they can see it is real.

The basic stages are to get that working prototype first, which will be at least 12 months and maybe longer, then to develop a fully fledged operational center to iron out the delivery bugs, probably another 12 months if funding is available; otherwise I wait for that too. From there my natural inclination will be to roll it out to my general locale (being NSW Australia) then the rest of the country, before taking it to the world. However there is absolutely no reason the thing wouldn't scale immediately off the first operational center, after cultural sensitivity testing and language / localisation changes, and it is just a question of resources. What happens when I get there may be highly influenced by what happens here. Yes, dear reader - this means what you too choose to do too - you did read down this far, and good onya for that! Next?

I am mindful of a story during the Beijing Olympics that a jumbo jet load of Chinese die every day while driving their cars around. I believe that those of us that can have a moral responsibility to do something to improve this situation. It is not like that will be an isolated story! I just checked the latest figures - for a 747-8 jumbo jet China is now at 9 a week, USA is 1.5 a week, but Australia takes 3 months to send off a jetload. Hmm, and I think we have a problem here - how are the rest of you lot coping??? There is a lot of sadness and needless loss of life / maiming going around. Obviously something needs to change, and I am pretty sure I can do it.

Note the lack of details? This is a public forum and, whilst I have an unshakeable confidence in my ability to create and deliver the technology and associated business etc systems needed to make this work, I doubt I am at the stage where it is smart to go publishing details. However, should I decide for any reason not to go through with this, I am absolutely committed to publishing all the details and thoughts I have in the public domain for anyone to have their own aha moments and take it through to completion, either individually or collaboratively as they may wish...

Here is the original item that got my attention but, despite what it says, the provided link doesn't ask about your idea to create good will in the world or provide the promised details about WINsiders4good. So a feel-good newsie item, but ineffective!

  • Got an idea to create good in the world? As part of the Windows Insiders Program, we are bringing together Windows Insiders and members of the local creative and non-profit communities to create lasting solutions for the issues we care about. Want to join IN? Click here for details about #WINsiders4Good.

Say did you notice the drop down categorization of new discussion topics has nothing for WINsiders4good, and no apparently suitable category / product / topic combination? I did, so have picked one regardless!

I have Tweeted Dona Sarkar to bring this to her attention, so hopefully will get some input from her in due course. I note the reference to Berlin this weekend so I guess she will be pretty busy with activities around that. But hopefully will get to this item in the course of next week. Whether she sees / pays attention to a tweet from an unknown Aussie is another question, but I have read some of her stuff and she is obviously the right person to ask. It sounds like her heart is in the right place, and she may have a red hot go at getting some decent action on the underlying question asked, once it comes to attention. Here's hoping....

In case the previous post is a bit much to wade through, my basic suggestion is to craft a controlled forum environment to encourage and directly support technologically leveraging projects that create good in the world. Basically to prop up those driven souls (like me) that would dearly love to make a difference and believe we have a way to do it, with tech, advice, encouragement / whatever. Plus provide an avenue for people to provide support in cash or kind if they are so inclined, with or without strings.

This would need projects to be initially categorised then go through a hierarchy of independently moderated levels. I am happy to work with anyone in determining how that might work best. I would also suggest linking up with Avaaz as I have been a member since the very early days, and the people behind that have never done a mis-step, that I have observed anyway, compared to our local version that are all over the shop! Thinking aloud, maybe something like this:

Categories: Hunger, Housing, Medical, Societal Behaviours (that whole disgusting slave trade/rap_e culture could be helped a lot by tech), Democracy, Environment (Atmosphere, Land, Sea?), Animals, Industry, Off-World, Stuff that Vince Dreamed Up (just kidding!), etc...

Stages: Idea, Detailed Concept Developed, Detailed Solution Developed, Proof of Concept Demonstration, Trial Implementation, Major Implementation, Fully Scaled Implementation. Obviously we have templates for this with the major research houses which would be worth a look.

The above is my simplistic take on how we might want to see it as a tech community steering tech-for-good style of implementations. The "job" for WINsiders4good, if it is so inclined, is to provide the forum to kick this off, decide what the proof is for progress through the various stages, and maintain a regularly reviewed score for where each particular idea is at - ie adding a Status field to the above, and put whatever auditing system in place that seemed appropriate - which may be as simple as a 10 q's over Skype to the project authors, once a particular level is achieved.

Do something like this and in 10 years looking back over the shoulder we would be so glad we did it! I will also say that if MS doesn't VS will! Except I can only credibly do this once I am some distance down the path for my own particular initiative and therefore I have the lessons "in the box" to get it right. Actually, listening to myself, what I WILL do is give it about a week then bring the idea up with Avaaz as they now have the horsepower to light a huge fire under an initiative like this, possibly more so than the natural ally MS. But since both are American born I'm sure we can get the kindred spirit partnership thing to happen here, am I right?


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Last updated May 18, 2018 Views 405 Applies to: