Project Noah

Short description

This is one of the most interesting apps this quarter. Both in terms of innovative use of a mobile platform, but also as the ultimate aim is exactly in line with the objective of “Transformative application”. This is what they want to do: “create the go-to platform for documenting all the world's organisms and develop an effective way to measure Mother Nature's pulse”.

Project Noah was launched out of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in early 2010. It all started off as an experiment to see if it was possible to build a fun, location-based mobile application to encourage people to reconnect with nature and document local wildlife. They wanted to harness the power and popularity of new smart phones to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity.

After the official iPhone launch in February of 2010, they received great feedback and decided to push forward. Shortly after launching, they earned a spot in the first Startl Mobile Design Boost where they had the opportunity to improve the design with the help of the Startl team and folks from IDEO. A few months later they won the inaugural “Breakthrough in Mobile Learning” prize from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. With the $50K cash prize they were able to design our next generation software and attract National Geographic as an investor.

The founding members of Project Noah are Yasser Ansari, Martin Ceperley, Peter Horvath, and Bruno Kruse. Collectively, our backgrounds cover molecular biology, bioinformatics, product management, photography, software development, user experience design, and general hardware and software hacking.

The ultimate goal is to build the go-to platform for documenting all the world's organisms and through doing this they hope to develop an effective way to measure Mother Nature's pulse. By encouraging the mobile masses to document their encounters with nature, they hope to build a powerful force for data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation.

Read more about the app here

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ That is developed by a team that think outside the box and want to contribute to positive change.
+ That it has a global goal
+ That it focus on something that is really important
+ That it encourage collaboration in an important area

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- That it is still very US focused
- That the links to consumption patterns and how we often “connect” to nature in a negative way without knowing it when we consume different goods and services are not included.

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

> If they reach their goal it will be a world changes, so let’s do what we can to support them.


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


Getting people to use it is only a first step and they are well aware of this. The fact that they have a more complex goal than just maximum number of downloads should be acknowledged and I hope those with financial resources will understand this.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


Daring to use the global network of users that is emerging to deliver important results is important in itself, but it will also raise the bar for others thinking in the same direction.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


Not as much as it could but the “missions” is a very good first step.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


Getting connected with nature and increase the understanding of our planet is linked to many of the most important issues of our time. The challenge for this app is to chose what other aspects they would like to link to, not finding areas to link to.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


This is a potentially weak part of the app, as the impact of our lifestyles is global it is important to remind ourselves that we are global citizens. The current version of the app does not really address the global aspect, but hopefully future versions will.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


The gaming, the missions and the fact that you carry it all in your pocket is very interesting.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


It is obviously already delivering initial results, but the real impact will come when this app goes global and it could go fast. Maybe Rio+20 could be a good place to launch a global version of this app. Current initiatives by government and business are almost all really boring so something new must be supported unless the worlds governments and companies want to show the world that they are incompetent.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


“an effective way to measure Mother Nature's pulse” does anything more need to be said?

Comments are closed.