How Developing Nations Can Leapfrog Developed Countries with the Sharing Economy
Electricity is now coming to remote areas in Africa, which never before had access to a centralized power grid. Not surprisingly, the introduction of cell phones has helped precipitate the development of a nascent Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure. Virtually overnight, millions of Africa’s rural households have scraped together enough money — from selling an animal or surplus crops — to purchase a cell phone. The phones are used as much for carrying on commercial activity as for personal communications. In rural areas, far removed from urban banking facilities, people are increasingly relying on cell phones to facilitate small money transfers. The problem is that without access to electricity, cell phone users often have to travel on foot to get to a town with electricity in order to recharge their phones. A single solar panel affixed on the tin roof of a rural hut would provide enough electricity to not only charge the cell phone but also power electric lights.
Street protests continue to rock Brazil and, frustrated by mainstream media coverage, a new group of citizen journalists is using digital tools to tell a different side of the story
But the battles are not just being waged on the street. Angered by what they see as a misrepresentation of the issues by traditional media, new independent media collectives and networks have emerged over the past year. Armed with smartphones, digital cameras, and apps such as Twitcasting and Twitcam that allow them to broadcast live online, they are presenting their own version of events. Some of them are reaching a huge audience across the country and are now looking to expand their reach internationally.