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Platform Targets Social Change

Web 2.0 techniques are being successfully used to combat poverty in India.

The idea of a product that is a platform for innovation has been around for a while and forms the basis for businesses worldwide, including three of the top five firms in the U.S. by market capitalization -- Apple, Microsoft, and Google. We pointed the platform concept at social change and came up with I Got Garbage, an initiative started in the city Bangalore, India, and now being rolled out in the cities of Pune and Bhubaneswar.

The I Got Garbage platform looks at waste management as a supply-chain problem. It aims to enhance the livelihood of waste pickers who once scavenged for waste on the streets. They are trained to be waste managers on the I Got Garbage platform, gaining a dignified, safer, and more lucrative way to earn their living.

Within a year of launch, I Got Garbage diverted more than a million pounds of waste from landfills, doubled the income for waste pickers who use the platform, and served more than a 100,000 waste generators.