Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DID InSTEDD COME TO BE?
InSTEDD was inspired by Dr. Larry Brilliant’s 2006 TED Prize talk, where he outlined his wish to “build a global system — an early-warning system — to protect us against humanity’s worst nightmares.” In support of Dr. Brilliant’s call to action, Google.org and Rockefeller Foundation provided InSTEDD, with initial start-up funding. With the funding, InSTEDD was established as an international technology non-profit, receiving public charity designation in 2007.
WHAT DOES InSTEDD DO?
InSTEDD designs and applies technology to address real-world needs with partners in countries around the world. We believe in the power of technology and innovation to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. InSTEDD’s offering includes design, development, and implementation support for technology solutions and humanitarian initiatives.
WHO DOES InSTEDD WORK WITH AND HOW?
InSTEDD has grown an extensive network of partners and collaborators, including foundations, international and local non-governmental organizations, individual philanthropists, multilateral organizations, government ministries, and private sector companies. InSTEDD works with partners and the end users benefitting from the technology. We examine real problems in the field, and then we work, using human centered design principles and rapid iteration techniques, to learn fast and innovate new methods, ideas, or products that help people to overcome complex problems.
WHERE CAN I MEET WITH THE InSTEDD TEAM?
InSTEDD is headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley and employs a global staff. Our global team has presence in Seattle, New York City, Buenos Aires, New Orleans, Louisiana. InSTEDD innovation labs (iLabs) are in Southeast Asia and Latin America. We often have team members in the field and have adapted to working as a dispersed team. If you have a problem you want help with, we can talk with you about how we might help you solve it.
HOW DOES InSTEDD CHOOSE WHICH TECHNOLOGIES TO USE IN ITS PROGRAMS?
We look for gaps between knowledge and action and work to bridge them. Where solutions already exist, we integrate them. If another technology or approach can be adapted to meet the needs, we re-purpose it. If a genuine gap is found, where no solution exists and no market pressures are driving the innovation, we build it and provide it as open source.
HOW DOES InSTEDD’S TEAM APPROACH ENSURE LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY?
The people within the communities we serve best understand the challenges and why they occur. With the guidance of InSTEDD’s design and technology expertise, those embedded in the local community are also the best candidates to provide input to crafting a solution to ensure the solution is context appropriate, usable, and sustainable. Long-term impact results directly from empowering local communities to develop the next wave of solutions as needed. InSTEDD prepares them with the knowledge and resources to develop their own solutions, while remaining accessible should another need arise that requires iterative partnership.