It’s been admittedly quiet on this blog but plenty has been happening in the background. Here are a few key updates: 

Esperanca, the grassroots organization we’ve supported via our past three events, finally launched the progressive web app we built for them. It is now being used by 300+ of their volunteers to coordinate their walks each week to feed the homeless population in Barcelona. You can read their press release here to learn more about how that app is helping them. 

Bali Street Mums, a nonprofit which combats sex trafficking and generational begging in the streets of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia has made some great progress thanks largely to the website and recurring donations platform we implemented for them. They’re now pulling in upwards of $4k/mo in donations which are being used to feed & educate roughly 100 kids as well as expand the safe house they run to accommodate more guests. 

These are two amazing causes run by force-of-nature founders and we’ve been lucky to help amplify their good work with the support of our volunteers. Covid decimated the events industry starting one year ago and has prevented us from doing further in-person events. We did pull off a successful virtual event but the consensus was that it’s a tall ask to get knowledge workers who are already on video calls all week to donate their weekend and do another long video call.

Causes need us now more than ever so we had to go back to the drawing board and reformulate how we could work together in a way that yields a satisfying experience for volunteers and allows us to continue to support these amazing causes in absence of holding our big group hackathons. 

The solution I’ve worked up is the Problemattic Platform and I’m pleased to announce the public launch of that. You can read more about the rationale behind it and why it’s so exciting in this announcement but basically it yields a few promising benefits: 

  1. It enables a central clearing house of problems, solution and talent which makes it possible to attack societal problems independent of working via supporting charities. Charity Makeover will continue its mission to be about amplifying the impact of worthy causes already working to address important issues but Problemattic gives us the latitude to be problem-centric and spin up new projects if we identify a compelling unsolved problem where there are no qualified .org’s currently attacking it effectively. 
  2. It significantly expands the potential talent pool by giving us a co-brandable volunteer coordination platform that can be given to companies and organizations to help them meet their CSR objectives. Charity Makeover is the first consumer of the Problemattic platform but we’re excited to announce some partnerships that will rapidly expand the reach and enable us to plug into vastly larger talent pools. 
  3. It makes it possible to facilitate both online and offline volunteer efforts and allows volunteers to be selective with criteria about which engagements interest them with variables of timing, location, engagement type, skills, & problem domain. It handles the matchmaking process of pairing up cause founders with project managers and gives PM’s the planning and recruiting tools to propose projects and recruit teams to execute them.   
  4. It democratizes the entire lifecycle with a “Wikipedia-like” ethos that enables anyone to propose a problem and/or a solution then apply either as a volunteer or a PM. The vision here is to create a decentralized, grassroots-driven “Peace Corps of the modern day” and make it possible to orchestrate teams of individuals in attacking the societal problems that governments and companies can’t or won’t solve. 

I’m now working to make our first partnership successful and implementing the prioritized features from our roadmap here as quickly as possible. And in a recursive, “dogfooding” manner I’ve made Problemattic itself a project on Problemattic so that one of the solutions you can apply to work on is the solution itself ;-). 

If you’re interested in getting involved, take the new app for a spin here and leave a comment with your feedback.