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About Us

We started Atma Connect to build resilience in low-income urban communities. Founded in 2014 and based in Oakland, California, we are a nonprofit technology company that creates solutions to empower users. We envision a world where neighbors help neighbors prepare for disasters, improve access to basic needs, and overcome chronic challenges.

 

We view vulnerable people not as objects, but as agents in change.

We launched AtmaGo as a neighborhood-level social network app in Indonesia in 2015. In thousands of posts and replies, AtmaGo users are sharing real-time information about fires, floods and crime—and offering advice and solutions about jobs, education and health.

Many technology programs in the developing world are geared towards collecting information from the users or telling them what to do. Atma Connect believes in a fundamentally different approach: using technology to help people help each other by sharing solutions, taking collective action, and building community resilience. Our goal is to scale AtmaGo to connect and empower billions of underprivileged people in every region of the world so they can improve their communities from the ground up.

Atma took First Place at the Tech for Good Startup Weekend and is a winner of the IDEO.org Urban Resilience Challenge.

Here are some of our latest updates.

How does a startup evaluate impact?

Efforts to quantify the benefit of social program date back at least to Thomas Hobbes, but in the past 15 years there has been a laudable push to subject public and nonprofit programs to greater scrutiny (see Holley and Carr, 2014). Advances in computing, and in the...

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Atma Ventures to Kenya and Hosts IDEO in Indonesia

As Spring turns to Summer in California, our user-base continues to grow in Indonesia—and our organization continues to take shape as an independent nonprofit. Last month we had over 6,000 active monthly users, and we have reached over 30,000 unique users since our launch.

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AtmaGo App Wins IDEO.org’s Amplify Urban Resilience Challenge

Atma Connect—a California-based technology organization focused on connecting and empowering people in the developing world—has won the 2016 Global Amplify Urban Resilience Challenge with their AtmaGo.com urban resilience app. The Amplify Urban Resilience Challenge is a partnership of The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA), the UK Development Agency (DFID), OpenIDEO, and IDEO.org.

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AtmaGo Reaches 20,000 Users—And We Are an Amplify Finalist…

Just a quick update today: AtmaGo has reached 20,000 users in Indonesia! Big thanks to all of our Indonesian staff for driving this forward—and to our new users for creating posts on everything from the recent terror attacks in Jakarta, to jobs, events and so much more.

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AtmaGo Reaches Over 10,000 Users!

Since our last update in June, AtmaGo has reached over 10,000 users! Our users and staff in Indonesia deserve a big round of applause.

Along with expanding to new cities in Indonesia and improving our web-based software, we are very happy to report that the Cisco Foundation has pledged to help us develop an Android application next year.

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AtmaGo Launches in Two New Cities In Indonesia

In early April, we rolled out a new version of AtmaGo that adds user profiles, improves the navigation and updates the user interface. And since then, activity has been strong! We now have nearly 3,000 active users who are connecting with their neighbors to share vital information. People are using AtmaGo to find water and supplies, post about education and jobs, and report problems from fires and floods, to traffic and crime.

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AtmaGo as the Antidote to “Ego Media”

Just a few weeks ago, Meena and Nick were in Jakarta, Indonesia to meet with Atma Connect’s Indonesian staff, talk with users and launch the new version of AtmaGo. Pictured above is a group of key users who came out to tell us what they love about AtmaGo—and how we can improve.

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AtmaGo Proves its Worth During Jakarta Floods

“To the citizens and residents of Bukit Duri, do not give up in the face of floods! When the floods come, unplug all cable, save important documents and jewelry, and make your family and yourself secure” — AtmaGo User Comments from February, 2015.

On February 10, the Wall Street Journal reported that heavy rains had inundated the capital city of Indonesia.

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Learning From the Field: Expanding the Scope of AtmaGo

Over the past three months, we have been engaged in an intense process of learning from the field—and we have learned a lot! Working with our new Indonesia Field Director, Alfan Rodhi, we have carried out nearly 100 user interviews and tested an early version of the AtmaGo application in several neighborhoods in Jakarta.

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Indonesia is a Success Story—but Water Remains a Challenge

As anyone who has turned on a TV or opened a newspaper knows, the world has been suffering a spate of conflicts and challenges of late. So it was a nice change of pace to hear Fareed Zakaria hold up progress in India, reforms in Mexico and the recent election in Indonesia as global “success stories.”

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