2022-2023 F.M. Kirby Impact Prize Finalist Spotlight: Hello World

We are thrilled to share why we are so excited about each of the four finalists for the 2022-2023 F.M. Kirby Impact Prize. Check the CASE blog for posts about the other finalists. 

The Problem Hello World is Working to Solve

Hello World works to address two interrelated global challenges: the education deficit, in which one in five children do not go to school; and the digital divide, in which 40% of the world’s population is excluded from the Internet.  More specifically, Hello World works to solve the challenge that solutions to date have been largely siloed, cost-prohibitive, and not aligned with hard-to-reach communities’ assets and the barriers they face. 

Nepalese community members placing solar panels on the roof of their Hello Hub. Photo courtesy of Hello World.

Why We’re Excited About Hello World’s Impact Potential

Hello World connects remote, hard-to-reach communities to the Internet, education, and skills building.  Using a community-led model, they work in partnership to build “Hello Hubs” which provide durable tablets (loaded with educational software), power to charge devices, and free wi-fi. 

We’re excited about the impact potential for several reasons, including: 

  • Community-led approach. Hello World enters into a new community only at the invitation of that community, and engages in extensive community consultation to inform the design and build. Hubs are a mutual investment with the communities, who contribute resources such as tools, skills, and land.
  • Testing in different geographies. Hello World has tested (and is currently operating) their Hub model in two very different settings – Nepal and Uganda – which gives us confidence that they are learning a lot about what it takes to be successful in different locations.
  • Innovative partnerships. Hello World has partnered with internet service providers (ISPs) in the areas around their Hello Hubs, negotiating free connectivity from the ISPs because the Hello Hubs create value for those ISPs by bringing unconnected communities online.
Training sessions taking place in a Nepalese Hello Hub. Photo courtesy of Hello World.

The Plan to Achieve Impact at Scale

Over the next five years, Hello World is focused on expanding their operations and also deepening the quality of impact within the communities they already serve.  They will also explore replication by others, and ways in which they can create more sustainable income for the organization. 

To achieve these goals, Hello World is planning to deploy the following strategies: 

  • Deepen impact within existing Hubs. Hello World will work to increase the reach for each existing Hub and identify ways to amplify its impact. 
  • Expand to new regions. Hello World will also work with communities in new regions to build new Hubs. 
  • Replication by partners. Hello World plans to train other organizations to replicate its model. 
  • Government partnership. Hello World will explore partnerships with local governments to help ensure long term sustainability. 
Nighttime activity at a Ugandan Hello Hub. Photo courtesy of Hello Hub.

What’s Next?

CASE will announce the winner of the 2022-2023 F. M. Kirby Impact Prize at the Sustainable Business and Social Impact (SBSI) Conference on February 22, 2023.