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Surviving Hurricane Hugo as a child eventually drove Gaël Musquet to create a citizen-led approach to disaster management. Gaël combines local citizens, authorities, and “hacktivists”—experts who use computers to solve problems for social good—to better coordinate communities before, during, and after a natural disaster.
Wilson Passeto is empowering ordinary citizens to take steps to combat urban water scarcity, by providing them with a series of incentives and technical innovations to reduce their water consumption. He offers training and support to a growing cohort of “water agents,” who then help to change the habits and behavior of their friends and colleagues, fostering a major culture shift across Brazil.
Sebastiao has developed a model for creating sustainable farming practices and increasing quality of life in rural sertão by combining local knowledge with modern agriculture technology. This new development model is spread through Brazil’s northeastern region and can be applied anywhere in the world.
Indigenous people living in remote areas can be marginalized by their lack of access to communication and information. At the same time, the government claims an inability to reach them. Harry Surjadi breaks through the barrier with his Information Broker program. Having developed a groundbreaking news channel using mobile and Frontline SMS texting, Harry has trained more than 500 indigenous people as journalists through this new platform of citizen journalism.
Roberto Siqueira Carneiro is reintroducing rare monkeys into threatened ecosystems, starting with the remnants of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest. Since the monkey can not survive unless the forest is healthy, engaging popular support for the monkeys should be an effective means of protecting the forest as well.
Gaël is encouraging communities to create "digital citizen security corps" to better anticipate and respond to crisis, with an initial focus on natural disasters.