Sumit Mehta, the Toronto-based founder of "speakGeo", held a news conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to unveil a new software application that, says Mehta, "will revolutionize community and political action by the sheer velocity of its impact."
"Currently, massive amounts of data is being communicated in record speed in the online, virtual world," said Mehta. "But my application is the first that enables users to harness the speed and capacity of the virtual world to make a direct impact in the real world," said the innovator, who cited Ghandi as one of his political heroes.
Using GPS as the centerpiece of the organizing process, an application user can be at any GPS-mapped location in the world, and issue an immediate call to action –with the capacity to go viral within minutes– to impact a city's, state's or nation's leadership. The same process can be applied with equal success to making an impact on private companies, cites Mehta.
"This tool has the capacity to bring about either collaborative change or revolutionary change, depending on the cooperation of the target," noted the application's creator, with a wink. "As my hope is to amplify the power of the democratic process, I'd like to see this lead to collaborative change between government and the governed."
At the press conference, Mehta cited some examples of how the technology can be applied in an everyday situation. "For example," he said, "an app user can be walking down the street past a dilapidated building being used as a crack house. The app provides for you to instantly start and send a petition to City Hall, which by merely clicking the 'send' button is immediately and automatically linked to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to drive its impact viral."
"Or suppose you are unhappy about the fracking proposed on land down the street from you? Or about that casino being built next to your church? One click of a button can start your own organized protest, one that is re-directed to the appropriate local, state or federal agency ensuring your voice is heard. And if you want to do more than just voice an opinion, you will have a range of options for political action. Since you are globally linked, it doesn't matter if you are trying to get the local bakery to put more blueberries in their muffins or trying to stop genocide in Rwanda. You can take –or join– action anywhere…immediately, while reaching thousands –even millions- with a single click."
As the capacity of the technology is improved and expanded, it will offer its users options to register to vote, link organizations sharing affiliated goals, make political contributions, and even launch acts of civil disobedience if that is the final recourse.
"It's my belief that political parties, elected officials, community action organizations, even lobbying groups will all recognize the potential for this technology to bring about focused action in record speed," said Mehta.
In keeping with its spirit of "of, by, and for the 'crowd'", Mehta is giving the public an opportunity to participate in bringing the application to market through his affiliation with the crowd-funding site "Kickstarter.com." Said Mehta: "I can easily get funding from the traditional Silicon Valley venture capitalists for bringing my product to market, but I wanted to first give the 'Average Joe' –for whom this site was created– an opportunity to participate in its success. Kickstarter is the leading crowd-funding source, and mine is the first company of its type to ever be accepted to participate in Kickstarter's program." People can visit either www.speakGeo.com or http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/speakgeo/speakgeo to learn more about the opportunity.
"I like to joke that the potential for my technology is such that you can launch a revolution at the same time you are shopping for a slice of pizza," said Mehta. "I would conclude 'Only In America'…except I'm from Canada," said the inventor with a smile.