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openSAPIoT.jpgI was recently interviewed about a new openSAP course called Imagine IoT. It provides an introduction to the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and trends, a closer look at free IoT tools and resources provided by SAP, and ends with a hands-on IoT prototype challenge. It’s free and open to anyone and is designed so that you can participate in your spare time (you just need only about 3-4 hours per week).

You may have already heard of it and might need to forgive my excitement, as I’ve shared news of this course many times. But one aspect that I’d be remiss if I didn’t share is how SAP is working with charities to help the Internet of Things be more than just the next technological innovation. Often times metrics like “business value” end up being the first driver behind each wave of tech, and don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing! But ultimately, new technology is at its best when it moves from luxury for the early adopters to everyday improvement for the masses.

So as part of the IoT challenge at the end of this course, we really want to jumpstart the discussion on how a smarter, more connected world could make those everyday improvements for all of us. And that’s why we want anyone and everyone to join us in combining Design Thinking, prototyping, and IoT to think up not only how IoT might improve business, but also how it might improve everyday life.

We’ve decided to work with three charities that are already at the forefront of leveraging technology to make a better world. The way this will work is that, as part of the prototype challenge, you will get feedback from five of your peers as well as give feedback to five of your peers. Through some pretty cool “algo-magic” mixed with expert review, the top 10 submissions will be selected. And each of them will get to choose how SAP donates $5,000 to charity for a total of $50,000. So let’s take a look at the charities involved:

Institute of International Education

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Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education® (IIE) is a private not-for-profit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. IIE conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and offers support to scholars in danger.

Wikimedia Foundation

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The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

NetHope

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NetHope empowers committed nonprofit organizations to change the world through the power of technology. By facilitating collaboration between NetHope’s nonprofit members, charitable foundations and tech sponsors, NetHope is a catalyst for productive innovation and problem-solving in humanitarian and conservation work. NetHope works on some of the world’s toughest challenges including poverty and hunger, refugee displacement, human trafficking, gender inequality, and environmental protection in 180 countries worldwide.

And last but not least, I wanted to leave you with a couple videos. The first is a one-minute teaser video for the “Imagine IoT” course, in case you aren’t already convinced! And the second is a 10-minute interview with Elvira Wallis, SVP of the IoT Smart Connected Business team here at SAP. She highlights what the Smart Connected Business team is working on and ends the discussion by talking about the “Imagine IoT” course.

Enjoy and see you next week in the course!

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