In this digital age, it is easy for those of us with instant access to high-speed internet, and virtually any information we are interested in finding online, to assume that is the norm. But isn’t it? Two thirds of the world’s population does not have access to the internet because of terrain, or other infrastructure barriers that do not allow for implementation of broadband internet providers.
Google found a solution to overcoming those barriers through the use of balloons. This innovative solution is called Project Loon, was piloted in New Zealand in June 2013 and is currently being tested in areas of California’s Central Valley. AND IT WORKS. Watch the video to learn about Project Loon and it’s capabilities.
So what does this mean? Getting the rest of the world online, who otherwise do not have access at all.. Access to information, for one. And for those of us who are committed to healthy people and healthy places, this could mean greater impact on areas of the world that are using “old school” methods of sharing and learning about healthcare practices.
A valued client of ours, for example, Hesperian Health Guides has created a social business out of finding ways to get health information and health education sources to communities where there are no doctors. The Hesperian materials are available for access online and this could open up a whole new opportunity for healthy communities to those that currently are do not know about this information or have the ability to access it.
The behavior change model that we live by, especially relating to healthy behavior change, starts with being informed. And without access to information, this step in impossible. Furthermore, we gain the digital communications opportunities needed to promote and share health initiatives for behavior change. After all, we know how impactful information can be when it goes viral!
This innovation, Project Loon, is opening up doors for us, many if our clients and other social enterprises to increase their positive impacts in secluded and impoverished areas of the world. Thanks, Google!