Journal: Eradicating Poverty One Micro-Job at a Time

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Working for change: Samasource redefines international aid

December 10, 2010

On Need to Know, we do a lot of reporting about the world’s problems. But we’re premiering a new series about people coming up with creative solutions — it’s called “Agents of Change.”

Click on title to read short intro and option to view video….

9 minutes — summary

Social entrepreneur challenging conventional wisdom

Samasource–microwork (small digital tasks that can be done on an inexpensive computers).

Building 21st Century assembly line that can break down massive tasks (e.g. updating addresses for Google maps, or translating emergency messages from Creole to English).  Won contracts with Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft.

15% premium for socially-conscious companies, AND competitive on cost, quality, and turnaround time.

Small scale digital tasks did not exist before.

Transforming lives, especially women, young men, and refugees.  $5 a day is very much better than local norms, and buys an active English-speaking brain with hands able to do quality work.

IMPORTANT:  Developing world is out-pacing USA and West generally in extending Internet infrastructure to the poor–centers created, humans come in, also doing viewing (Gorgon Stare, take note!), creating logs of store videos on shopper buying habits, anything that can be noticed and logged by a human–$5 a day.

Phi Beta Iota: We could not, in a million years, have found a better “off-set” to the USAF Gorgon Stare program.  This micro-tasking, combining human brains and hands with Internet access, is one of  the most profoundly intelligent and socio-economically useful ideas we have seen in our lifetimes (there are 800 of us here).  BRAVO.