In November 2013 AmA Director Helene Smuts participated in the 2013 Americas
Business Council's abc* Foundation's Continuity Forum in Miami, Florida.
She was one of 21 finalists who, like her are also Ashoka Fellows.
The Ashoka Foundation is the largest network of social innovators in the world, with
up to 3000 fellows, addressing society's most pressing problems with proven tools and scalable
solutions for social change.
She presented the Africa meets Africa Project and plans to upscale to the Americas.
The abc* Foundation is a think-do tank that identifies and supports high impact initiatives
and leaders in the Americas, striving to promote sustainability and prosperity. It supports projects
with innovative, long term and sustainable solutions to social and environmental
challenges. See www.abcfound.org or @abc_found or www.facebook.com/abcfoundation.
In 2013, two finalists from Africa were included for the first time.
Our congratulations to the three winners, especially to Zimbabwian Vengerai Makiba Founder of
the Development Reality Institute (DRI), based in Zimbabwe, utilizes new media and information
and communications technology to empower youth addressing the greatest challenges from
climate change through the Climate Change Virtual School Programme. The two other winners were
Sascha Meinrath, Director of the Open Technology Institute (OTI)) Commotion Wireless Project,
based in the United States, which works to provide free, ubiquitous and safe communications across
the globe using mobile phones and Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect poor, rural and other underserved
communities and Francesco Piazzesi, Fouder and CEO of Echale a Tu Casa, based in Mexico,
who uses innovations in construction technology and finance to enable marginalized communities to
build homes for themselves with proper materials.