As part of the Chevening 30th Anniversary Scholar Conference on "Leadership and Change in the 21st Century" held at Durham University on April 25, 2014, my presentation is titled "PowerLife Mobile Application".
PowerLife is an idea for a mobile application designed for the Information Systems course “IT and Service Innovation” at LSE by a group of 5 students. The application seeks to draw attention to energy issues that government might not publish by collecting samples and engaging citizens to be proactive in this data collection.
PowerLife helps citizens to have their say on the energy problems they face and be proactive in pushing their governments to take action. It also aims to assist relevant NGOs in their work to campaign for the ultimate solution of these issues. The platform is meant to give a voice to citizens and empower them. It also gives citizens a space to promote favourable behaviours that help save energy. We consider infrastructure to be a basic right for citizens of any country and we seek to fill the gaps that the public, private, and third sectors sometimes fail to address. The application seeks to show geographic distribution of energy outages and trends in times of day/year when electricity is most vulnerable. It will be targeted towards regions where energy issues are common and interrupt daily life.
PowerLife could fill a need in the ICT for development sphere, especially as the popularity of Ushahidi - which we will be basing the application on - continues to grow. Crowdsourcing can be used to report and view data, which is normally difficult to source or find, related to violence, sexual assault, crime, riots, displacement, traffic and, now, infrastructure. It puts citizens at the front and center of the issues their communities are facing directly. We hope that, through this visibility, local, national, and international attention can be drawn to persistent, meaningful problems and, ultimately, that solutions can be enacted.