Unleashing Human Potential

01 July 2015 by Bryan McBride

I recently came across an essay entitled The Servitude Bubble, by Umair Haque, regarding technology and the booming “Sharing Economy”. It’s an interesting read, with the author driving home the point that the tech industry is currently investing too much time and talent building and unleashing eyewateringly, painfully, mind-numbingly trivial apps which are largely based on creating armies of servants.

Collecting Data

This “Servitude Bubble”, exemplified by the growth of services which are geared toward providing the privileged few with increased access to an on-demand pool of menial laborers, is, at its worst, wasting human potential, argues Haque.

Introspective

Reading this prompted me to start thinking deeper about the value of a service such as Fulcrum. At its core, Fulcrum provides easy to use tools for users to design and deploy custom field data collection solutions to a mobile workforce. Fulcrum enables scientists, engineers, students, civil servants, researchers, reporters, activists, or anyone else to capture timely, meaningful information about the world around them. Once collected, this data provides the foundation for sound decision making. Essentially, Fulcrum provides a suite of tools that let professionals focus on their field work without having to worry about traditional IT hurdles.

As an Integration Engineer, I get a firsthand look into some of the amazing things our users are doing with Fulcrum. In a nutshell, Fulcrum is helping people all across the globe do some pretty amazing work!

Case Studies and Blog Posts

We try to be diligent about keeping our user case studies pages as fresh as possible, but I wanted to highlight a few projects that are actively benefiting from leveraging the Fulcrum platform.

  • The HALO Trust has incorporated Fulcrum into their ordnance-clearing operations in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Zimbabwe, and the West Bank. This technology helps them to better assess the impact of landmines in particular areas, is used to log strike footprints, and record locations of found ordinances.

  • GEMS World Academy in Chicago is incorporating Fulcrum into their comprehensive program of Field Studies for students in grades K-12. The school believes that for students to become global citizens, they must explore, ask questions, observe, empathize and act in the world without borders. Check out this educational blog post by Thomas Steele-Maley for more information.

  • Desert Channels Queensland is actively using Fulcrum to track invasive plant species and nuisance wildlife to assist landowners across the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin in Australia. Check out their promotional video for additional information.

  • The International Dark Sky Association is collecting data on sea turtle nesting sites and nearby artificial light pollution, which can confuse turtle hatchlings trying to find their way to the sea. This data helps drive mitigation programs and environmentally responsible outdoor lighting campaigns.

  • Village Earth is working with Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to conduct detailed household surveys to challenge existing Federal Census data. Check out their promotional video for additional information.

  • Premier Utility Services has surveyed 4,000 miles of gas pipeline and inspected well over half a million gas meters with field inspectors equipped with Fulcrum.

  • Nest Builders International has conducted over 20,000 field surveys as part of an initiative to help residents in Freetown, Sierra Leone gain better access to clean water.

  • House Of Hope Community Development Corporation is using Fulcrum to record information directly from the streets in support of their initiatives to research and combat homelessness in Rhode Island.

  • The Built Environment and Health Research Group at Columbia University (BEH) is using Fulcrum to undertake a Community Health Diagnosis for the Rio das Pedras area in Brazil. This informal community of 63,500 residents is lacking many key municipal services and researchers want to collect more data on environmental and health conditions. Check out this needs assessment blog post by Daniel Sheehan for more information.

  • The Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force is conducting an extensive survey on bicycles and cyclist bike locking habits throughout Portland to help combat bike theft. Check out this bike theft blog post by J Allard for more information.

Conclusion

This is just a small sample of the breadth and variety of work our users are accomplishing with Fulcrum. Circling back to the essay I referenced earlier, I think it’s safe to say that Fulcrum is helping to unleash the human potential to enact positive change in the world.

All of us realize how really gratifying it is to be part of this team, working on such a powerful platform and we loving hearing from our users! Please contact me if you’d like to share your story via blog post or case study.

About the author

Bryan is a software engineer with Fulcrum, and works with our web and backend platform.

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