The Challenge


How might we better connect food production and consumption? read the brief



An open source networking platform that is easy to use, easy to customize and made to deliver up-to-the-minute information to those who need it.
I stumbled upon this while reading the blog of Forage Oakland. I was actually looking for a woman who facilitates produce exchanges on her bicycle because I wanted to add her as an inspiration, but found this instead.

First deployed in Kenya as a response to post-election violence in 2008, it allows for anyone to contribute and to access timely and critical information. Since it is customizable, it can be used to implement the many mapping strategies discussed so far. As it states on its Vimeo page:

"Anybody can contribute information. Whether itʼs a simple text message from a SMS-capable phone, a photo or video from a smartphone, or a report submitted online, Ushahidi can gather information from any device with a digital data connection. After a report is submitted itʼs posted in near real-time to an interactive map that can be viewed on a computer or smartphone."

I imagine mapping not only farmers markets, CSAs and community gardens, but also those who raise their own chickens, make their own kombucha, brew their own beer, make their own cheese, etc., etc. It could a homesteading, DIY network that connects the novice urban farmer to the hardcore foraging, dumpster diver living off the grid. Rather than using a monetary system, it could be based on a bartering system or an exchange of goods and services: a dozen eggs in exchange for two pints of beer. If someone has a booch baby, they can send a text letting others in the network a booch baby is up for grabs. It would take someone or some group to monitor the back end, but the enduser side seems fairly simple and intuitive.
Mission #1 Connecting communities


Join the conversation and post a comment.

crystal nelson

April 01, 2011, 08:13AM
Thanks for letting me know, Sarah. I just linked our posts. And thanks for the TED talk link, Arjan. I love TED talks. You can learn so much, and I am definitely interested in learning how people can maximize Ushahidi. I have grown more and more interested in different modes of mapping and what mapping can do for communities, whether they be geographic, cultural, political, etc.

Sarah Fathallah

March 31, 2011, 12:53PM
Hi Crystal! I have also mentioned Ushahidi earlier:

Arjan Tupan

March 31, 2011, 07:57AM
Hi Crystal, I think Ushahidi is brilliant. And I love the way it keeps coming back to OpenIDEO challenges. I just did a search on the platform, and saw this contribution from Adriana:
It has a link to a TED talk about it. Very informative. The TED talk is here:
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