This interview is with April Allderdice, CEO and cofounder of MicroEnergy Credits. MicroEnergy Credits has developed a mechanism using microfinance institutions and GPS cell phones to allow carbon credits to reach small households in the developing world. Until now the relatively high transaction costs involved in set up and verification of a carbon trade has made the market available only to large companies.
During our interview I was reminded of another fantastic idea with similar characteristics. Simon Berry, CEO of ruralnet UK, proposes “that Coca-Cola use their distribution channels (which are amazing in developing countries) to distribute oral rehydration salts. Maybe by dedicating one compartment in every 10 crates as ‘the life saving’ compartment.” (join the Facebook group here to pressure Coca Cola) Once you plug into Coca Cola’s already-existing distribution channels the cost of delivering small amounts of vital medicines to remote parts of the world drops precipitously.
The genius of both of these ideas is that they are using something “old” to do something very new.
If you know any other examples of innovations that use existing technology to get things done – please put them in the comments.