“Mobile phones and wireless internet end isolation, and will therefore prove to be the most transformative technology of economic development of our time.”
– Jeffrey Sachs –
Percentage of young people in the developing world who would rather spend their last $10 on a phone than on food
Percentage increase in household consumption associated with just owning a phone
Percentage points of GDP growth in the developing world associated with an increase of 10 mobiles phones per 100 people
In the next 5 years, mobile Internet use is predicted to explode in the developing world, reaching 1.5 billion new users. M4A leverages this historic moment by intentionally designing the next 1.5 billion phones to improve people’s lives so that phones become tools of transformation for the people who need them most.
M4A aggregates demand for phones in hard to reach rural areas and works with MNOs to be sure phones are sold where rural people can access them. We also train sales agents, with a focus on female agents who are more trusted by women, to teach new users on how to use their phones.
M4A partners with MNOs to get phones at cost and crowdsources donations to offer people living in poverty phones they can afford.
Founder, Executive Director
Mindy is passionate about increasing social and economic opportunities for people living in poverty. Mindy has particular expertise and interest in blending mobile technology and behavioral science to make development programs more effective. She is the founder of the behavioral design consulting company, Design for Humans. Mindy has advised governments, companies, donors, and NGOs around the world on applying cutting edge behavioral science to measurably improve programs and policies. In 2013, she was asked to be the the liaison to the White House’s Social and Behavioral Science Team for the US Agency for International Development. Prior to launching Designs for Humans, Mindy was a Senior Researcher with ideas42, a behavioral economics action tank at Harvard University. Mindy received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. Mindy and Design for Humans are based in Washington, DC.
Founder, Board Member
Dr. Helms has spent 30 years finding innovative solutions to development problems across more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Brigit was Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company, where she worked with banks and telecommunications companies to build new business models to reach low income clients. Prior to that, she spent four years in Asia with the IFC working on agriculture development, sustainable forestry, infrastructure, business environment and financial services. Brigit was a founding member of CGAP, a global center of excellence for financial services. Brigit holds a PhD in Agriculture and Development Economics from Stanford University and a Masters in International Studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS.
Katie is a third year Mathematics student at UCLA and a board member of UCLA’s Global Development Lab. Katie’s work focuses on quantitative data analysis. Before working with Design for Humans and Mobiles 4 All, Katie lived in Peru and worked on agricultural development projects. Katie is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, outdoor sports, and reading.
Rita’s work focuses on helping clients implement intricate, multi-stage interventions. Rita draws on years as an English and Spanish teacher to support clients in problem-solving through clear, step-by- step processes. Prior to teaching, Rita worked as an electrical technician, overseeing the programming of complex industrial machinery. As a native Spanish speaker with fluent English and Portuguese, Rita has also worked as a translator. Rita has two children and lives in Galicia, Spain.
Margaret is an entrepreneur with 25 years experience in Africa, Asia, the US and the UK. She works as Chief Strategist at Impact Brands Africa, a Johannesburg-based international marketing advisory firm. The formerFinancial Times journalist has worked on projects across Africa since 2002. Prior to that, she co-founded a New York-based, Silicon Valley venture funded video content management business that Reuters used to disrupt its business. O’Connor built trust in the MasterCard brand in frontier markets as the founding head of New Technology Communications and as Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for MasterCard in the Asia-Pacific region. She left the Woodrow Wilson School’s International Relations program to work for the Korean Minister of Finance.
Hillary is CEO of Esoko, a technology company that links businesses to smallholder farmers, and is passionate about the use of technology to improve the lives of the poor. She came to Esoko from Grameen Foundation, where she led the organization’s programs in Africa using mobile to link the poor to health, financial and commodity markets. Previously, she served as Country Director then Deputy Regional Director at TechnoServe in Africa, where she designed and launched mobile agriculture partnerships with Vodafone and Tigo. She has spent her career in social enterprise and economic development in both non-profit and for-profit firms. She holds a Master’s in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from INSEAD, where she received the Social Entrepreneurship Scholarship.