India can become a role model for a better world.
Because, any small change in India for the better can have a giant impact. That's simply because India has one of the largest populations in the world. Hence it is a good place to start with little things.
So, where do I see a problem or a chance?
Our planet is dying, as our Oceans are dying. Mankind has killed 90% of all wildlife on land, 90% of all fish in the oceans, which already lead to a drastic decline of plankton in the oceans. We have chopped down half of all the woods on the planet and, we keep doing so at an increasing rate. In parallel we produce more and more carbon dioxide.
So, if we continue this way, then by the end of this century, each and every person on the planet, no matter where, can only leave the house with breathing masks, equipped with particle filters and active oxygen supply. Yes, even in Alaska there will be no breathable air anymore. Forget about sun bathing in Florida.
If such outlook does not leave you in awe, then please go on, move along. I will not stand this any longer. I will act. I will try to help the people in India to avoid the mistakes, which we westerners did.
I don't want this planet to die.
For those, who argue, that the planet would recover when we humans would one day go extinct, I am sorry. It will not. If we do not stop right now, then, and this is the problem at its core, we will send our planet en route with it's sister planet Venus. That means, by the year 2050, our planet will have started to heat up in a run away green house effect and it will continue to heat up, until all water boils, the pressure rises and the surface temperature will finally be around 400° C. There is no way for such environment to ever return to where it was millions of years ago.
Again, I don't want this to happen. So I am trying to do the little I can do.
I am moving to Mumbai on 2nd Jan 2016. I will start several projects and dedicate my time and my own money. For each project I will seek funding separately as I can only live off of my savings. However, I will run out of money rather quickly I'm afraid. Hence I turn to you, to help me keep going. I will report back what I do and how we proceed with all of these projects.
All of the projects aim to one thing: Help this planet to survive. I know, that really sounds bold. But it is not. Many small things can help. If people have a clean alternative for power generation, as well as for individual transport then they might choose that option, if it also helps them to either save money or to be able to get access to it in the first place. If people have a chance to evolve, be that in getting better education or simply by getting access to information, they might recognize the need of protecting their environment.
So, I am directly asking you to for a hand out, to buy stuff for my personal needs, like food, health care, body care and, sanitary items.
When one of the projects reaches a state, where I would be able to get a small salary, then I will of course not beg you any longer.
My motivation for this.
You might have heard such before as well:
"Yes, there is a problem, and I am unable to solve it. Yes, I would love to have that solved, YOU go ahead, Do it! Yes, please, I'd rather have you solve it."
You know, I am tired of this (my very own mindset). We just sit back, we enjoy our lives and leave the problems of others to some mysterious hero, who might show up to solve that for us. Actually we cheer these heroes in our phantasies or in movies. Problem is, these heroes with super powers just don't exist. We are all human after all. Some, an I have greatest respect for these people, dedicate their entire lives to solve problems for all human mankind.
But maybe, the problem just ceases to exist on its own. Yeah, maybe it doesn't but it gets less attention as we already came up with more and bigger problems.
Here's my view to this:
- When I recognize and accept that there is a problem.
- And I can only basically imagine a solution that might work - but still could fail.
- Nobody else is either trying or all others fail to solve the problem.
- And still I am confident that, my solution could solve it.
Then I have to pursue this solution, because nobody else will successfully solve it for me, neither for you nor the rest of the world, for that matter.
Yes, now I will dedicate my time to this. I will dedicate myself.
If that sounds crazy to you then I am fine with it.
You can either get your own a** up and try to come up with a solution, which you then have to pursue successfully, or you might try to support me, either in providing help and opening doors, or even by donating time, your connections on social networks, or, even money. (Hey, I might struggle to make a living in the attempt to dedicate all myself to the cause, after all.)
I will never regret doing this, because of this:
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Please help me, to keep these projects going. I will start some right away anyway, but your help would make an impact on how fats we can get anywhere.
Following is a short description of what I have on my mind. For more please visit my plain blog:
Building a living IT community in Mumbai
There are plenty of highly skilled IT-folks in Mumbai already and there is even a culture of exchange. But for me it appears to be strictly limited, in terms of not being open enough for the youth to get access to state of the art technologies, techniques and methodologies.
To support that community it would help to provide room for meetups (w. flip charts, white boards, or even a beamer, WiFi-Access, some beverages and some snacks).
I am willing to give free lectures covering topics from the fields of my expertise. Meetups will be in the evening hours and, even throughout the days on weekends, as that appears to be a time, where many locals actually have time to attend.
I want to support the local community to develop fast knowledge transfers to support the already active start-up scene, which is still faced with the obstacle of missing or underdeveloped skill sets in developers.
Banking for each and everyone - including the poor
The basic idea is to allow even those without checking accounts to send and receive money. It is essentially like mPesa or other solutions, but the things we are approaching in a different way will make a huge difference, when it comes to adaption rates.
For this to work, I need to make contacts with many people in the city and might even be in need to travel rather often than not to other cities within India, like Delhi, to meet and discuss with officials or representatives of banks or other commercial entities. This project will burn a hole in my pocket, as I already face the need to consult lawyers and FinTech experts, who are not always offering their help pro bono.
Here I already have a partner, who is willing to vest his time and knowledge to great extent. But he needs to work to make ends meet. I would love to also support him with small amounts of money, so the project could progress faster.
We already have a working prototype, it is just currently only working on very local networks, but we think that it will be easy to implement for real. So, we move towards a seed funding, but we need to be able to show more for that. Once, funding is secured, this project might be able to help me make ends meet.
Individual transportation going electric
Converting the fleet of vehicles in India away from combustion engines towards electric ones.
Starting with a conversion kit to turn Rickshaws into electric ones, I do need help and assistance from engineers, manufacturers and scientists.
If one asks for help, it is often granted, in some cases even for free. But still, as with other projects, this will include travel to meet those, who want to help and can assist. Further more I am expecting costs, just to get started, by for example, the need to acquire certain licenses and permissions.
I already met wonderful people at meetups in Mumbai and it seems that I will get a good amount of support as possible. These fine people are really willing to great lengths as they like the idea of being able to breathe in Mumbai again without particle filters.
Decentralized power generation, power from the people for the people
About 30% of rural areas in India still have no electricity. Having no electric power forces people to use gas and petroleum lamps at night and poses another barrier to getting access to phones and the internet.
The idea is to provide communities with an option to have solar, wind or water power plants, purchased and financed together, so the community can install their own utility infrastructure. Small at first, they might even opt to connect to neighboring villages and, in turn helping to create a distributed and possibly failure resilient grid.
Mobile payments will ease the access to loans and financing and, electric vehicles could drive demand for electricity further.
This project requires a lot of traveling to rural areas, as it is important to build trust with the people and, their communities.
Acceleration of development in slums
This one is a rather long shot. It is an attempt to protect Dharavi from being covered in skyscrapers and having it's communities destroyed. The goal is to find a way in which the residents can themselves help to construct buildings which allow for more flats and more people within the same spot, but protecting the communities.
This project is a good reason for me to move in there, even long before we actually start to draw the first blueprint for any building.
My dream here is to help Dharavi to grow into a green city, into a place, where each and everyone of us would also like to live. That way Dharavi would be a pilot and could become a role model for how we can help people in slums all around the world. With one success we can provide a blueprint for for others free to copy.