Building Back Better and Celebrating MLK Jr.’s Vision

If 2020 taught us anything, it is the need to build more resilient communities.

At Atma, we envision a world where everyone – regardless of location, age, race, or gender – is resilient to pandemics, climate change, and social conflict. As an Atma ally, we know you believe in this vision as much as we do!

This year has the potential to be a transformative year. We need to expand our impact beyond the current challenges, because the reality is – there will be new challenges.

How can we continue to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? How can we empower vulnerable communities affected by climate change to lead the change they most need? How can we use technology as a tool for good?

We will also see new opportunities for change, new leaders emerging at the community level, and new examples of hope for a better future.

On January 18, in the United States, we celebrated the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King reminds us that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

There is no greater power than the power of people helping people.

It is what we see every day, in communities across Indonesia and Puerto Rico. Every day people who are inspiring, imagining, and initiating change in their communities are the true leaders. It is a privilege to support their impact.

There is so much more work to do.

We are excited to announce that we will be launching a new AtmaGo in 2021 to bring community resilience projects, led by local people for the benefit of local people, to the forefront. We are making it easier than ever for Community Leaders to track and share their impact, engage and expand their community, and generate more support for their work.

Stay tuned to continue with us on this journey!

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Giving voice and tools to people who are not often heard

Giving voice and tools to people who are not often heard

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Dear *|FNAME|*,

We often take for granted how easy it is to recycle our garbage. But in under-resourced countries like Indonesia, managing waste is a huge problem. Everyday, according to the World Bank, Indonesia generates 175,000 tons of waste and about 24,500 tons a day of plastics. Currently 81% of waste in Indonesia is unsorted; making it difficult to recycle, causing plastic waste to end up in landfills or leak into the ocean instead. This waste kills marine animals like turtles and whales, and pollutes the ocean, affecting fishing communities and economies.  But, everyday people like Erlina are organizing their neighbors to do something about it, thanks to the AtmaGo app. Donate today to support AtmaGo users like Erlina!
Watch how Erlina is organizing her neighbors to address waste and build a resilient community with AtmaGo.

This year alone the AtmaGo app has reached over 3.2 million users. On the app these users are connecting, posting and finding information to improve their communities offline. Just $100 helps people like Erlina organize women’s groups that build waste banks and upcycle materials to create an economic benefit. Whether you donate $5 or $5,000 you will be giving voice and tools to people who are not often heard, so they can build a community where they are proud to live.

Join us and donate today! Ari Turrentine, Operations and Program Director
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Atma Honored For Innovations In Disaster Resilience



Helping Palu Rise Again

We’ve been hard at work promoting resilience in the field and documenting stories of recovery in Sulawesi and Lombok. Since earthquakes and tsunamis uprooted those communities in 2018, we have seen neighbors come together to rebuild and strengthen their economies. Watch AtmaGo user Rahma as she talks about the ways in which she uses the app to help Palu rise again after disaster.

Community members are using AtmaGo for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. AtmaGo has reached over 4 million people in 91 locations in Indonesia and is expanding to Puerto Rico this year. Over 2 million users have used AtmaGo to prepare, respond, and recover in the 34 locations hit by disaster in the last year.



Atma Connect staff and partners at the impact report launch event co-hosted by Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™.


AtmaGo: Saving Lives, Reducing Losses

Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ and Atma Connect co-hosted an event in Jakarta on July 17, 2019 to launch the impact report from Center for Innovation in Policy Governance (CIPG) in Indonesia. The independent evaluation found that the use of AtmaGo can extend years of productive healthy life, reduce disability, and reduce economic losses due to disasters. At a reach of about 1M people, this translates to a savings of $106 million in avoided damages, and $4.7 million in avoided healthcare costs per year. The event brought together numerous government agencies, residents, organizations, and over 21 news organizations to recognize AtmaGo’s impact on disaster resilience in Indonesia.

Bambang Surya Putra, Director of Readiness at the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency said, “AtmaGo is such an important platform for us to share information on flooding, fires, and other disasters. It is an active local forum, and it is trusted, and helps us reach poorer neighborhoods throughout Indonesia.” Following the Launch event, Indonesia news media outlets, including the Jakarta Post, wrote articles discussing the potential benefits of mobile technology including AtmaGo. These Indonesian articles build on the great press that the impact report garnered in outlets such as Reuters, the World Economic Forum, and Forbes.




Atma Honored as Innovation in Disaster Resilience

The Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) and USAID joined forces with KPMG and launched an Innovation Challenge designed to identify and nurture innovative organizations that are creating resilience-promoting solutions. Atma Connect won for our proposal: Catalyzing a Paradigm Shift: Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction at Scale. This proposal involves generating evidence to support the cost effectiveness of interventions that train community members to be “next responders” in a disaster. Winners were chosen for their ability to create long-term and inclusive change to promote disaster resilience — and Atma is excited by the opportunity to continue working with GRP.

As a winner, Atma will be presenting at the GRP’s upcoming Investor Forum, Investing in Resilience, in London, UK (more details below).




Visit Atma at SOCAP, NetHope Global Summit

Atma has a busy Fall planned so please visit us — and bring your colleagues!

SOCAP: San Francisco, October 22 to 25
SOCAP is in the vanguard of the emerging global impact economy —  convening ideas and capital to catalyze world change. Atma is pleased to be attending and speaking on the Million Lives Club panel at SOCAP, Tuesday October 22 at 1:30 pm, please come if you are free! Atma will be joined by representatives from other organizations working on innovations that are improving lives at scale.

NetHope Global Summit: San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 21 to 25
Atma is pleased to be presenting at the annual NetHope Global Summit, which will be held this year in the home of our newest expansion location in Puerto Rico. Atma’s Puerto Rico Partnerships Associate, Natasha Mevs-Korff, will be discussing our work on using mobile technology to build social cohesion and improve the resilience of communities to natural disasters. We are excited to share our future plans in Puerto Rico and learn from other organizations who are working to help the island rebuild better than before.

GRP Investing Resilience Forum: London, UK, November 5
Atma’s CEO, Meena Palaniappan, will be presenting AtmaGo at the Global Resilience Partnership’s forum to unlock capital to bring resilience innovations to scale. This event brings together social innovators who are developing solutions that improve resilience to climate change related threats — and investors who want to support these ventures.

We hope to see you there!



The Atma Connect Team





Resilience Means Bouncing Back Better Than Before


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AtmaGo users engaged in Gotong Royong, or mutual support, cleaning up their neighborhood and preparing for potential natural disasters like flooding.

AtmaGo in the News as Disaster Solution

We are excited to announce that Atma Connect was featured in a Forbes article titled, ‘A Surprising Solution To Natural Disasters: Mobile Apps’. Our CEO and Founder, Meena Palaniappan was quoted saying, “Being connected to your neighbors is a powerful resilience tool that is underutilized. We are trying to change that.” We hope you will take a look and share this exciting article far and wide.

Atma’s work was also profiled in a World Economic Forum article, We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them. The authors, CEO and Program Director at the Global Resilience Partnership, said of Atma:

“Social media is the future of early warning systems: …A popular local social media tool called AtmaGo has helped residents in both communities share early warning information on flooding. Used across Indonesia, it is estimated that in Jakarta this app could reduce property damage during a disaster by $324 per household per year for residents. It has also helped residents report littering, which is a major cause of flooding in the region.”

Resilience in 5 Words

For Atma CEO and Founder, resilience means bouncing back better than before. In a World Affairs panel presentation, Meena teamed up with Northern California Grantmakers, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Asia Society Northern California for a presentation and workshop to discuss climate and disaster resilience. Meena had the chance to talk about what Atma is doing to prepare communities most impacted by climate change.

In June, Atma is headed to Tunisia to speak at the global Human Rights Conference, RightsCon. We will be on a panel titled, ‘From Failure to Hockeystick Growth – Human Centered Design and Lean Start-Up to Scale Social Impact’, talking about how Atma and other technology impact society and our human rights. We hope that to see you there!

In this video of AtmaGo user, Fajar, you can see exactly how building social connections is one of the most important ways to prepare and bounce back better than before.

Puerto Rico Expansion

We are so excited about our progress in Puerto Rico. Atma is expanding to the island this year to improve disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts, scale up social cohesion, improve economic development opportunities, and empower women to build their communities. Our Partnerships Coordinator, Natasha Mevs-Korff, has begun the relationship-building process by meeting with community based organizations such as Casa Pueblo and Taller Salud, who are both addressing resilience efforts at a community level. All of the organizations we met were excited about the potential of reaching a broader constituent base and impact with AtmaGo.

Don’t forget to check out our new homepage and follow us on facebook and Twitter. Thank you for your support!


Atma Connect


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From Climate Change To Climate Resilience


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On the first day of 2019 AtmaGo users in Lombok planted Mangrove trees as protection from natural disasters. Mangrove trees provide an effective barrier against destructive storms and flooding, and reduce the momentum and impact of waves.

Climate change is happening and Atma Connect is here to build resilience.

We believe in using technology that enables women and low-income people to lead their communities in building resilience against adverse climate events. 91% of disasters over the last two decades were climate related, and poor people are disproportionately affected. Our mobile app and platform, AtmaGo, has reached over 2,100,000 users across 85 disaster-prone locations in Indonesia, who use it to receive alerts, report disaster-related issues, post local problems, learn about job opportunities, and share news and resources.

Climate resilience works best in partnership.

We are excited to announce that we are a new partner in the Global Resilience Partnership. GRP is a partnership of public and private organizations joining forces towards a resilient, sustainable and prosperous future for vulnerable people and places. GRP believes that, “our collective work on resilience is more important than ever before. If we are to empower societies to transform their futures in the face of increasing uncertainty, shocks and surprises, we need to think and act more innovatively and at far greater scales.” We look forward to working with GRP to put communities at the center of resilience efforts, quantify the cost-effectiveness of these approaches, and develop innovative mechanisms to finance community-led resilience.

Community members are taking collective action to address pollution and climate change.

Users in Lamongan, an area in East Java, organized a community clean-up at the Lovina beach, through AtmaGo. The event, like so many others organized on AtmaGo, was a huge success – 125 community members turned out! The event increased awareness of students and young people around plastic waste pollution and encouraged better waste disposal and environmental protection. Check out the full album of photos on our Facebook page.

2018 was a year of impact and resilience.

We have grown five-fold since our inception in 2015 and owe so much of this success to you. Thank you for joining us in our efforts to use technology to empower millions of people so they can help each other, share information, and build better lives. We are particularly proud of our growth to over 2.1 million users and an independent, evidence-based, impact study about AtmaGo, which we released worldwide in October 2018.

Read the full Atma Connect Annual Report 2018.


The Atma Connect Team


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2018 Sunda Straits Tsunami Newsletter


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AtmaGo helps in recovery from volcano-triggered tsunami

Dear *|FNAME|*,

On Sunday, December 23rd, as most of us in the US were preparing for the holidays, Indonesia was hit by its third natural disaster of the year. A volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami across the Sunda Strait, affecting the islands of Java and Sumatra. As of Wednesday, the Indonesian Disaster Agency estimates a death toll of 430, with 1,495 people injured and another 159 missing. Authorities are evacuating residents of the islands around the Sunda Straits, as the Anak Krakatau volcano continues to erupt.

As one of our supporters, you help Atma Connect reach people and communities that are vulnerable to disasters like this one. Here are some key facts regarding the Sunda Strait tsunami, and how AtmaGo is being used by residents to recover in the aftermath.

Affecting communities across both Java and Sumatra, this tsunami came entirely without forewarning. Although early warning systems have failed in the past, scientific experts agree that this tsunami was impossible to predict. Unlike most tsunamis, where an earthquake is both the trigger and the warning, this event was triggered by a volcanic eruption less than 100 miles away. That short distance left little time for warnings of any kind.

AtmaGo exists because early warning systems aren’t sufficient to help people prepare for and recover from tragic disasters like this one. 

Above: AtmaGo users share a story of hope, as a 5-year-old child was rescued from underneath rubble by local police, the Mobile Brigade Corps, and local residents. For more photographs of the aftermath of the tsunami, head to the Washington Post.

Thanks to your support, AtmaGo users are sharing access to critical supplies like food and clothing, providing updates on real-world conditions, bringing attention to blocked roads, celebrating successful rescue missions, and surfacing community needs such as baby diapers, milk, and psycho-social healing.   

We will keep you posted on what is happening in tsunami-affected communities like Serang, Lampung, Tanjung Lesung, and Pandeglang. As we wrap up 2018, please consider a holiday gift that will expand our on-the-ground efforts to empower neighbors to help neighbors.

AtmaGo connects 1.5M people across 78 communities in Indonesia, and we couldn’t do any of this without you. Thanks to your support, AtmaGo helps low-income people in vulnerable areas to prepare for and recover from disaster and build more resilient communities.

With appreciation,

The Atma Connect team

P.S. Donate to Atma Connect to help recovery efforts across Indonesia!

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