Ashoka, the world’s largest network of changemakers and social innovators, has named Atma Connect CEO Meena Palaniappan to its alliance of changemakers as a Special Relationship (Virtual).
It is the latest honor for Palaniappan, founder of Atma Connect, an award-winning global tech nonprofit that created and launched an innovative platform enabling people in vulnerable communities to collaborate for disaster resilience and become changemakers.
“Meena Palaniappan is a terrific addition to Ashoka’s global network as she exemplifies the concept of ‘Everyone a Changemaker,’ a much needed paradigm for our rapidly changing world,” said Bob Spoer, Chief Entrepreneur for People/Search, Ashoka. “Meena is a leader in large-scale social change, and her experiences and insights will benefit many people, particularly on the topics of civic engagement and disaster resilience while building toward a better, more resilient future for all.”
“I’m inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and the idea of neighbors helping neighbors, and I’m honored to share insights we’ve learned from launching AtmaGo, Atma’s mobile platform, in Indonesia and Puerto Rico, reaching over 7 million people,” Palaniappan said.
People use AtmaGo to share real-time information and solutions to better prepare for disasters, advocate for better government services, and prevent the next disaster by creating more resilient communities. An independent evaluation by the Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance (CIPG) found that people took early action as a result of an early warning on AtmaGo; people evacuated, warned others, and moved valuables. At a scale of 1 million people, this added up to $106 million in avoided property damage and over 6,000 years of healthy life saved every year.
AtmaGo has expanded beyond its roots in disaster preparedness. In addition to news and updates, AtmaGo has offered free telecounseling in Indonesia during the COVID-19 pandemic for those experiencing anxiety, plus hundreds of hours of radio streaming on the topics of local community leaders helping their communities, and entrepreneurship. The organization also provides grassroots trainings to empower people to spot disinformation and misinformation and show them how to be citizen journalists.
About Atma ConnectAtma Connect is an award-winning global nonprofit technology company that uses software to connect people so they can report problems, share solutions, and improve their communities from the ground up. Atma is dedicated to the idea that no one understands the challenges of low-income communities better than the people who live in them. Atma and our mobile app, AtmaGo, have won international recognition and awards for the importance of our work including Tech for Good’s Startup Weekend, the IDEO.org/Amplify Urban Resilience Challenge and the Global Resilience Partnership Innovation Challenge. Atma also is a Vanguard member of the Million Lives Collective, recognizing innovations that have improved the lives of over 1 million people living on less than $5 per day. For more information, visit atmaconnect.org.
About AshokaAshoka is leading the way to an “Everyone a Changemaker” World. As the world’s largest network of changemakers and social innovators with more than 4,000+ social entrepreneurs in over 90 countries, Ashoka aims to bring about large-scale social change. Ashoka supports innovators to get started, grow their ideas, collaborate, reshape whole systems and influence societal transformation. Founded in 1980, by Mr. Bill Drayton with the belief that the most powerful force in the world is a big idea in the hands of an entrepreneur, Ashoka applies insights from the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to set in motion profound societal transformation. Current insights indicate that our rapidly changing world calls for an “Everyone a Changemaker” world, one where every person practices the critical skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and changemaking. For more information, visit www.ashoka.org.
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. This year, we are particularly proud of our growth to over 1.5 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.
New partnership aims to integrate mobile technology into programs that support community-led development and prepare vulnerable communities to withstand disasters
MARCH 22, 2018
The global organization Mercy Corps and nonprofit technology company Atma Connect are embarking on a new partnership to integrate mobile technology into humanitarian response and development programs. The partnership aims to help vulnerable communities become better equipped to withstand crises and manage ongoing challenges in the face of increasing conflict, displacement, urbanization and climate change.
“We are excited to use Atma Connect’s technology to help people survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good,” says Alan Donald, Senior Director of Technology for Development at Mercy Corps. “Atma’s software helps people report problems, share solutions and improve their communities from the ground up, and can also help us transform the way we tackle the world’s toughest challenges.”
Mercy Corps will integrate Atma Connect’s mobile technology, including its AtmaGo mobile app, into new and existing initiatives that reduce disaster risk and provide early warning systems for disasters such as recurring flooding. AtmaGo provides emergency warning system capabilities, community-action platforms and other information-sharing features and will help Mercy Corps reach more people through its programs. The organizations will also explore new ways to use Atma Connect’s mobile tools in areas including digital literacy, education, agriculture and youth programming. Funding for the new partnership is made possible by Mercy Corps and Cisco’s five-year initiative to help deliver aid and development assistance faster, better and to more people around the world.
The partnership builds on a pilot project between Mercy Corps and Atma Connect in Semarang, Indonesia, helping improve communication and early warning systems between upstream and downstream communities prone to flooding. The project’s pilot phase has helped thousands of residents report and respond to local hazards, with Atma Connect facilitating partnerships with the regional disaster management agency and the city of Semarang. Mercy Corps and Atma Connect plan to pursue new opportunities beyond Indonesia to build up community networks and support systems around the globe.
“Atma Connect is excited to work with Mercy Corps to bring our technology-driven approach to community resilience to a global audience of users who are struggling with climate change, rapid urbanization and a lack of existing warning systems,” says Meena Palaniappan, Atma Connect Founder and CEO. “We share Mercy Corps’ mission of empowering local communities and we look forward to working with them around the world.”
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Learn more at www.mercycorps.org
Atma Connect is an award-winning nonprofit technology company that uses software to connect people so they can report problems, share solutions, and improve their communities from the ground up. Atma is dedicated to the idea that no one understands the challenges of low-income communities better than the people who live in them. Our mobile app, AtmaGo, has won Tech for Good’s Startup Weekend and the 2016 Global Resilience Challenge. Learn more at www.atmaconnect.org