Smallbean (www.smallbean.org) provides sustainable computer labs and an innovative technology skills curriculum empowering local communities to document and preserve their endangered cultures and languages.
The Smallbean mission centers on our Citizen Archivist Project, which solves two major problems caused by the rapid expansion of technology in the 21st Century: 1) the technology gap; and 2) the devastating pace of linguistic and cultural extinction throughout the developing world.
Smallbean is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise with our headquarters in Boston, USA.
The key to Smallbean is our Citizen Archivist Project. Utilizing sustainable computer labs powered by green energy, mobile technology, and an innovative “learn by doing” curriculum that guides participants as they document their culture and language, the Smallbean Citizen Archivist Project provides practical technology skills training in global at-risk locations while generating and preserving a richer, more inclusive narrative of human life and experience.
Currently, Smallbean is pursuing our Citizen Archivist Project in two related, but very different directions. Our MobileCAP initiative, which has been implemented successfully in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, provides partner organizations with sustainable and low-cost computer labs accompanied by an innovative technology skills curriculum supplying the means for documenting, preserving and showcasing local cultures and languages.
Our ESCARGO (Excess Solar Power as A Revenue Generation Option) initiative takes a very different approach. Based upon our experiences in Tanzania and other site locations, we've discovered that true sustainability for larger computer installations is not achieved unless these installations are coupled with a means for local communities to generate revenue in support of the lab. In conjunction with Design Museum Boston, MSI, Samsonite, and the Newton-Tanzania Collaborative, construction of our first ESCARGO site begins this summer.