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October 1, 2008

Creativity and compassion should never be far from what we do

ESPOO, Finland – We spend so much time focusing on the product – what is in a device, when is the device shipping, what tech is in it, how much does it cost, yada yada yada. What I hope we get to do here at Nokia Conversations is also highlight the other aspects of this industry, such great stuff we are involved in that makes the world a better and more beautiful place.

In light of my more morose post yesterday, I’d like to point to things that show that creativity and compassion should always be on our minds.

Just plain fun

Check out this cool post and video explaining how some characters were created for the Nokia screens at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Something simple as ‘make some cartoon characters parade down our screen’ masks a deep level of simulation and complexity.

Cross-over competition

Debi Jones, who has been getting deeper into using mobiles for journalism, points out the Knight News Challenge for innovations in journalism. Of course, her brain is bubbling with ways mobiles can be used to extend and enhance journalism and is calling for mobile folks to participate as well. Considering how people could use the mobile journalism kit or Qik, it’d be great to see a mobile solution (or one that is well complemented by mobiles) as a winner.

Mobile tools to help folks

I’d also like to point out two examples where mobiles have had an impact on people’s lives – for the better. The first is something we wrote about last week, the Nokia Data Gathering solution. Basically, we’ve equipped health agencies with E71s to collect, geo-tag, and transmit survey information. We wrote an article and made a video about it.

The second is a story I only recently found out regarding refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been using mobile phones to collect refugee stories to better show what the UNHCR does, the plight of refugees, and stories around refugee life. As part of Pangea Day back in May, fifty refugees in twenty-eight countries did some videos with mobile phones that showed up on the Pangea Day UNHCR channel on Share on Ovi (the UNHCR also has a YouTube channel).

I spoke with some folks from UNHCR and will see what other interesting stories I can get. But in the course of discussing with them, and with the Nokia Data Gathering in mind, I wondered how the UNHCR IT group has been using mobile tools to better serve the refugees.