"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Location: International

Website: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/a-pilot-the-first-ekocenter-in-action#TCCC

Today, more than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and approximately 2.5 billion don’t have adequate sanitation, making billions of people around the world vulnerable to disease and other development challenges.

To help provide communities in need with access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities, The Coca-Cola Company, together with DEKA, and other critical partners including development banks, NGOs and companies, launched EKOCENTER™ - a downtown in a box - with the Slingshot™ water purification system housed within the community center. The EKOCENTER project aims to improve the holistic well-being of developing communities around the world, focusing on those within the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), the largest, poorest socio-economic group. Globally, this represents nearly 4 billion people who live on less than US$2 per day.

Coca-Cola Company has been committed to making a positive, lasting difference in the local communities in which we operate. Through EKOCENTER, we are striving to continue this commitment. The project, which began as a pilot in South Africa in August 2013, will not only help deliver safe water and other necessities to some of the most remote and distressed areas of the world but also empower community members, especially women, through entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

EKOCENTER is a modularly designed kiosk with Slingshot at its core, transformed from  a 20-foot shipping container into a hub of community activity, offering clean, safe drinking water, alongside other services, such as access to wireless communication, electricity, vaccination storage, and more tailored to address community needs. EKOCENTER strives to help communities thrive— each and every community member—from the people using EKOCENTER to the local entrepreneur operating it.

By 2015, we will place between 1,500 and 2,000 units in the form of EKOCENTERs, “downtowns in a box,” or Slingshot water purification systems to deliver further services beyond clean water, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. Through this commitment, we aim to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water, while promoting greater local development in communities that need it most.

What is Slingshot technology? Each EKOCENTER is equipped with Slingshot technology. The Slingshot water purification system—developed in partnership with DEKA R&D—uses vapor compression distillation (VCD) technology to turn any source of dirty water—river water, ocean water and even raw sewage—into safe, clean drinking water. The technology, invented by inventor and DEKA R&D President Dean Kamen, delivers approximately 800 liters of clean water daily at the hourly electricity cost of less than a standard handheld hair dryer (1kWh).

In 2012, our Company announced a partnership with DEKA at the Clinton Global Initiative to deliver stand-alone Slingshot water purification systems to schools, community centers and health clinics in rural communities in countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, and as an expansion of this partnership, Slingshot will be a key component of the EKOCENTER project.

In 2013, we are deploying units in Africa and Latin America. Building on current pilot work initiated in Paraguay, Mexico and South Africa by The Coca-Cola Company and DEKA, the project will expand in early 2014 to additional markets.

Community participation and support are essential to the success of EKOCENTER, which is why we envision EKOCENTER being operated by local female entrepreneurs, complementing our initiative, and with support from technology, development, and financial partners.

We recognize that partnership with other companies, NGOs and government partners is key to leverage collective thinking, experience, innovation, products and financial support to execute EKOCENTER in a thoughtful manner with long-term viability in mind. Working with business, government and civil society – what we call the “Golden Triangle” – is key to making a positive difference on global challenges.

With help from DEKA, we have developed a partnership to support the EKOCENTER project. Their expertise enables us to do far more than we could alone.

EKOCENTER represents an investment in the future prosperity and progress of some of the most fragile and at-risk communities we serve,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. “Through EKOCENTER we have the ability to change lives by offering access to safe drinking water and other needed resources, all while empowering local entrepreneurs. What started as an aspiration is now becoming a reality as we welcome our partners across the golden triangle of business, government and civil society to scale and improve this innovation.

Located on the ground of Coca-Cola’s Valpre natural spring water bottling plant, the EKOCENTER pilot elevates our Slingshot initiative by introducing a training facility for bottling partners, women and young entrepreneurs as we test this program for future expansion. The project supports our global commitment to replenish the water used in our beverages and their production, and to empower people and communities through employment. 

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