Here is a first go at answers to the questions asked by Google’s Project 10^100. We’ve posted them here so others can comment and make the submission better. The answers are in bold. Please comment or send suggestions to sxberry[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks.
All this information will appear on the public site as part of your submission.
Your idea’s name (maximum 50 characters):
Please select a category that best describes your idea.
Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.
6 small boxes, 1 great idea…
What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
That Coca-Cola use their distribution channels (which are amazing in developing countries) to distribute rehydration salts & save children’s lives.
Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
We (there are more than 6,000 of us in a growing Facebook Group) want to combine the talents of the people working for Coca-Cola, at all levels, with the talents of those working to save children’s lives in Africa to reduce the terrible death toll of children under the age of five.
The problem is not new. In Africa, everyday around 5,500 children under the age of 5 die from simple causes such as dehydration from diarrhea. This has been the case ever since record keeping began. That’s more than 2m children per year.
Against this backdrop, you can buy a Coca-Cola in all of the most remote corners of the World. Coca-Cola have been able to build the most amazing, truly global distribution network. This is made up of local entrepreneurs, linked to locally run bottling plants.
We want to use this network to distribute simple medicines (oral rehydration salts) together with hygiene and sanitation messages to all the places you can buy a Coke. This would save thousands and thousands of children’s lives. It would also spawn other ideas that would join up the private sector with the public/NGO sector, combining the talents of both for a better world.
What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
We want to address child mortality in developing countries, focusing initially in Africa; this is one of the current UN Millennium Goals. It really is an indictment on our humanity that we allow so many children to die, day in day out, in developing countries. Most people in more developed countries have no idea that this is happening; linking publicity for the issue to a simple-to-understand solution explains the fast-growing support for this idea. One measure of this is the growth of the Facebook Group which has grown, from a standing start, to more than 6,000 members in just 6 months.
The other problem this idea helps to address is the lack of awareness in the developed world, in the short to medium term, that people in Africa need help to find solutions for simple day to day issues; not just when ‘disaster’ strikes.
If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
The whole world would benefit from this idea becoming a reality: more children would reach their 5th birthday (this is a human right); birth rates would fall (when children survive, parents seek ways to limit the number of children they have); and the disgrace on all of us that so many children do not get the opportunities in life they deserve would be alleviated.
What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
We have already made a lot of progress and we now have an open line to the CSR people at Coca-Cola. But there is lots of work to be done persuading the business people in Coca-Cola and so we MUST keep the pressure on. As with all simple ideas the devil is in the detail. The campaign needs proper resources to build on the voluntary effort to date to: build an effective PR campaign; to work out the logistics of doing this without undermining the livelihoods of those involved in the distribution of Coca-Cola; to do the design work required to get materials into Coca-Cola crates; to engage with local health experts and practitioners on the ground; to design and implement trials that get ORS and educational messages out to parents who need them; to promote the whole concept of cross-sectoral cooperation to solve problems.
Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
When the campaign started our objective was to get this idea in front of Coca-Cola and talk to them about it. We achieved this within a few weeks and so our ambitions have grown. We now want to see properly monitored and evaluated trials of the idea take place. We want everyone involved to learn from these so that the methods can be spread and taken up by those working to reduce child mortality on the ground throughout the developing world.
Reduced child mortality would be our ultimate measure of success and there are tried and tested methods for measuring this. We’d also like to measure awareness amongst parents of how to prevent diarrhea in the first place and their knowledge of what to do in the event of their child getting diarrhea to prevent death from dehydration.
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You may also submit 1 YouTube video (max 30 seconds long) explaining your project. View video guidelines
Enter the URL of your YouTube video.
If you’d like to recommend a specific organization, or the ideal type of organization, to execute your plan, please do so here. (maximum 50 words)
We need to engage with many organisations and expertise to make this happen but a first step would be to get an international NGO to commit to working with Coca-Cola at a global level. We could then drill down and make things happen from the bottom up.
Email me when the voting period begins.
If my idea isn’t chosen in this program, please contact me about organizations that are interested in funding it.
Finally, please note that you can’t revise your submission once it’s live, so make sure you’ve included all the relevant information before you click “Submit.”