WishVast: Building Trust and Social Capital using Cell-Phones profile

WishVast: Building Trust and Social Capital using Cell-Phones

Pennsylvania State University

WishVast is a cell-phone-based business networking system that harnesses the pervasiveness of cellphones in developing countries to optimize resource utilization and facilitate people-to-people trade, with the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty. WishVast allows its users to join groups of local relevance to exchange information, meet new people based on shared interests, and build trusting relationships. Users can message a group to advertise themselves, their products or services, or get access to resources. Upon completion of a transaction over the WishVast network, users can exchange points to rate the quality of their interaction. Over time, the accrued points allow individuals to quantify their trustworthiness and leverage it with new business partners. Current applications include an ad-hoc job search system, field-tested in central Kenya, and STARTNet, a collaborative venture with North Carolina State University and the University of Pretoria that facilitates rural tourism development and marketing in South Africa.

back to complete list of Open Minds 2011 teams