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Avi Schiffmann: Internet Activism, Dropping out of Harvard, Using Code for Good | EP18

Omar Waseem2023-03-22
thedockpod#the dock podcast#omar waseem#vishal kolar#founders inc#f inc#avi schiffmann#coronavirus tracker#internet activism#ukrainian refugees#ukraine take shelter#nonprofit#doctors without borders#humanitarian#ngo#ukraine crisis#ukraine refugees#covid tracking website#how to start a nonprofit#harvard dropout#dropping out of school#dune#legos#twitter#tech twitter#raising money#ai for good#ea#effective altruism#effective accelerationalism
2K views|1 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The video segments discuss internet activism, humanitarian software, and the development of tools for humanitarian aid. They highlight the impact on refugees, the role of media coverage in boosting visibility, and the challenges of fundraising for non-profits. The team focuses on creating platforms for emergency preparedness, connecting volunteers during crises, and developing innovative technologies for communication. They emphasize the importance of ethical practices, storytelling in media coverage, and the power of internet activism for social good. The ultimate goal is to provide valuable resources for displaced individuals and create a global NGO for humanitarian aid.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
The impact of internet activism and humanitarian software on refugees and protesters.
02:25
Opportunities in the software world for aiding people in crisis situations.
Development of software for humanitarian purposes and leveraging technology for social good.
Importance of secure communication for protesters and finding housing for refugees.
Role of internet activism in utilizing technology for positive social change.
Using web-based tools for humanitarian purposes.
04:07
The speaker transitioned from Video Game Dev to web development due to the ease of sharing information online.
Developed a COVID-19 dashboard in early 2020, gaining over 600 million users.
Emphasized the significance of creating useful products that can spread organically.
Success of the website serves as an example of the impact of creating valuable content.
Emphasizing the power of storytelling in internet activism and media coverage.
06:10
Creating apps for Australian bushfires, the coronavirus, and a website for internet activism is discussed.
Building relationships with reporters for marketing and using the internet as a distribution medium is highlighted.
Projects for the Ukraine refugee crisis and Black Lives Matter protests are mentioned, emphasizing the crafting of emotional stories for media coverage.
The importance of including personal background and motivations when pitching to reporters is emphasized.
Importance of media coverage in boosting project visibility.
09:40
Leveraging media as a distribution tool leads to exponential growth in users.
Utilizing media connections to generate interest and expand reach is crucial.
Narrator's experience with internet activism and launching projects like take shelter.org.
Platform aims to be a valuable resource for displaced individuals by offering shelter and essential services.
Development of a platform connecting volunteers with various skills to assist during crises.
11:37
The platform will allow lawyers to offer pro bono services and tutors to support education during emergencies.
Tools for communication during crises, such as sending offline text messages, will be provided on the platform.
The project focuses on creating online humanitarian tools for individuals displaced by natural disasters or other crises.
Improved software is needed in the humanitarian space to better assist vulnerable populations and ensure user data security.
Development of tools for humanitarian aid.
14:24
Emphasis on bridging the gap between technology companies and humanitarian organizations.
Small team with a frugal approach to operations.
Cost-effective platform for housing over 100,000 people developed for less than $10,000.
Non-profit organization benefiting from free hosting resources and support from companies like Cloudflare.
Importance of Nonprofit Platforms for Syrian Refugees.
16:33
Challenges in fundraising for a startup with a social impact, focusing on building relationships in the nonprofit sector.
Contrasting fundraising for startups and nonprofits, emphasizing the significance of foundations and private donors.
Obstacles in connecting with private donors due to busy schedules, stressing the necessity of warm introductions for meetings.
Fundraising strategies for non-profits.
19:50
Dedication and time investment are crucial for securing donations.
Challenges of applying for grants and importance of successful past projects to attract funding.
Goal of raising $300,000 for operational costs and salaries.
Benefits of going through Y Combinator as a non-profit to receive support without giving up equity.
Challenges of being a non-profit organization and overcoming negative connotations.
22:43
Goal to become a global scale NGO and provide humanitarian tools to change lives.
Creation of a digital platform for emergency preparedness accessible via smartphones.
Vision to converge all tools into one app for a modern-day emergency toolkit.
Importance of having access to tools in times of crisis like earthquakes.
Team working on humanitarian aid projects in Turkey and Syria and developing chatbots for organizations.
24:18
Team members are young, aged 19 to 21, and hired based on commitment and belief in the vision.
Developing tools like hyperlocal mesh networks to empower people for successful revolutions and protests.
Focus on enabling communication in the face of government censorship efforts.
Overview of Meshtastic technology and its potential for revolutionizing communication methods.
27:16
Meshtastic utilizes Bluetooth signals for message exchange without requiring direct connections.
The use of modern tools such as next.js and Versel to bring about significant changes in the world.
Team's engineering workflow involves the use of linear and Slack, emphasizing simplicity and efficiency.
Team consists of young members aged between 19 and 21, with educational backgrounds from prestigious universities like Harvard.
AI Development and Innovation in San Francisco.
29:25
Mention of the potential impact of AI on society and the importance of living life to the fullest by experiencing a variety of activities.
Emphasis on pursuing one's passions and taking risks without wasting time on things that do not bring fulfillment.
Importance of Well-Designed and Practical Items
32:12
Speaker expresses passion for well-designed and practical items, using Lego sets as an example.
Emphasizes the significance of pixel-perfect design in all aspects, including logos and landing pages.
Encourages developing an eye for design by observing and analyzing everyday objects.
Highlights the importance of padding in professional design and points out common design mistakes in websites and user interfaces.
Importance of hands-on learning and experimentation in mastering web development skills.
35:23
Building projects like a weather application using NASA APIs is crucial for skill development.
Challenges of fundraising in the nonprofit sector, emphasizing relationship building and pitching skills.
Mission statement of 'peace through code' for internet activism, expressing optimism for achieving world peace.
Reflection on happiness and fulfillment in pursuing passion in San Francisco.
Speaker's experience in Solaris Community in SF and the motivation found among ambitious individuals.
37:21
Belief that San Francisco is the ideal city for startup growth.
Emphasis on experiencing life rather than solving its mysteries for personal growth.
Value placed on learning from everyday things like design, Lego sets, and psychology classes.
Strategic approach of maximizing exposure to beneficial experiences by being in learning-rich environments.
Reflections on childhood, education, and career transition.
41:28
Emphasis on coding as a form of creation and the importance of humanitarian projects.
Discussion on the potential of AI technology like AGI and a nonchalant attitude towards AI takeover.
Prediction of a future where human presence may be unnecessary due to advanced technology like AR and simulated consumer goods.
Questioning the value of money in a future society dominated by technology.
The speaker's perspective on money as a tool for achieving goals.
42:54
Emphasis on not chasing money but focusing on personal desires.
Fundraising for a non-profit and contentment with current mindset.
Insightful advice received from a Dune quote that changed their life.
Reflection on academic history and the importance of abstract thinking.
Prioritizing relationships with friends and family is crucial for happiness and fulfillment.
45:49
Playing the long-term game and rejecting unethical offers led to winning awards and recognition.
Investing in internet activism and ethical practices results in positive reputation and funding opportunities.
Manipulative behavior may bring short-term gains but leads to isolation and regret in the end.
Helping others is highlighted as a way to achieve personal success and fulfillment.
Importance of optimism and friendliness in achieving success in life.
49:27
Learning about leadership from unconventional sources such as comics and movies.
Discussion on the book 'V for Vendetta' and its theme of government resistance.
Exploration of the concept of Free Will and the belief in individual freedom and autonomy.
Importance of leaving a positive legacy and impacting future generations through internet activism.
50:47
Encouraging viewers to look beyond tech startups and focus on deeper aspects of life to become better founders.
Ending with a message of gratitude and peace to the audience.