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Energize the Chain at Google's First 'Hack4Good'

The Google Alumni Programs team hosted 14 hackers and 3 nonprofit organizations (Energize the Chain, WellDone, and GreatNonprofits) at the first ever Hack4Good event in Mountain View on September 14-15, 2012.

The event supported the efforts of current and former Googlers actively involved in nonprofits by creating technical solutions that will further their impact. The technical solutions will be used to keep vaccines cold in India, provide data about water wells built in Africa, and promote greater feedback and transparency for donors/volunteers across thousands of nonprofits! One organization rep told the hackers, “You definitely saved lives this weekend."

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Article in 'New Scientist' on Energize the Chain

Infectious disease specialist, Harvey Rubin, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Alice Conant, then a student at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, suggested using surplus power from cellphone towers to run the refrigerators needed to keep perishable vaccines cool. Their idea is now being tried out at 10 church-run hospitals across Zimbabwe, with the backing of Econet Wireless, a cellphone provider based in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

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Clean Water, Cold Vaccines, Cell Phones = A Simple Way to Save Lives



Maintaining the cold chain is an almost overwhelming challenge in countries where resources are scarce. The cold chain becomes increasingly unreliable as the distance between primary health centers and sub-health centers increases because of the lack of reliable power sources in the rural areas of developing countries.   This is where the cell phones come in.

Excitement is growing in our team the University of Pennsylvania and with our partners as we continue to plan the pilot project of this technology and anticipate the enormous impact it will have on healthcare in developing countries. We welcome any ideas and suggestions.

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