Creating a social impact program that builds business and communities

A webinar with Qualcomm Wireless Reach


Learn how Qualcomm, a global leader in wireless technology, developed a social impact program that connects their business strategy to benefitting communities around the world through the use of mobile solutions.

In this one hour webinar Kyle Moss, Program Manager of Global Development for Social & Economic Impact, and Hiram Lopez-Landin, Senior Analyst Wireless Reach, will discuss the launch, evolution, and impact of Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative which has now grown to over 100 projects in 47 countries. Kyle and Hiram will also provide insight on how to promote a social impact program and how you can implement a similar initiative within your organization.

thinkPARALLAX Co-Founder and CEO, Jonathan Hanwit, will host the webinar, which will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.

Kyle, Hiram and Jonathan will discuss:

  • How the Wireless Reach program got started and why
  • What the life cycle of a program looks like
  • The value in connecting your social impact strategy to business strategy
  • What was the strategic approach to determining key impact areas (Education, Entrepreneurship, Public Safety, Environment and Health Care)
  • Key takeaways or recommendations for others looking to create a strategic initiative that marries both business strategy and CSR
  • What type of impact Qualcomm has seen with communities, governments, NGO, business development
  • How Qualcomm is communicating their impact to key stakeholders
  • And taking and answering questions in real time

This event is appropriate for purpose-driven leaders, corporate social responsibility (CSR) executives, social impact practitioners, and communication professionals.

Please submit the form to access the webinar recording:



Jonathan: Welcome. Good morning or good afternoon. Thank you so much for joining us for our webinar, that’s gonna highlight Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Program. We’re gonna help you understand the process and benefits of putting a social impact program in place, and the benefit that alters the communities that you’re involved with. And I’m Jonathan Hanwit I’m a partner here at thinkPARALLAX, we are in Encinitas, California which is the north part of San Diego. Sunny side of California, not on fire at the moment.

Kyle: Thank God.

Jonathan: We’re a brand consultancy, and we help businesses articulate, activate and communicate their purpose, to benefit the business and the people they’re involved with. And I’m joined by Kayla Moss, who is the program developer of global development for a social and economic impact. And Hiram, who’s a senior analyst at Wireless Reach. Thank you for being here.

Kyle: Of course. Thanks for having us.

Jonathan: Okay [00:01:00] so we have one hour today, and in this hour, we’re gonna explain how the Wireless Reach started, how it connects back to the business strategy, what kind of a lifecycle looks like for an individual program. The pitfalls and the lessons learned over the last, 10 or so years. And then of course you’re gonna explain how you’re communicating all this all to your stakeholders. And then unless I personally ask you any questions, we’re gonna leave at least 10 or 15 minutes for the audience to ask questions.

Kyle: Great.

Jonathan: Ask questions. So we have a PowerPoint that’s gonna kinda help us, guide us the whole webinar. So I think it would be great for us to get started with how, if you could give us some background on how the program started, and what it looks like now.

Kyle: Sure. So thanks for joining us, we’re excited to trial out this fire side chat, if you will. I’m talking about something that both Hiram and I are excited about passionate about, [00:02:00] and Jonathan who’s been a friend of ours in the Wireless Reach team for so long. And like you mentioned Wireless Reach is actually a program housed within the government affairs, department, or team, at Qualcomm. Which is not a typical place for a CSR, or a social responsibility initiative to sit. But in our case the history was that, our international government affairs team, you know let’s say 15 years ago, when mobile devices we’re as pervasive, and weren’t used to access the internet as easily and readily and all these things that we know, today, they were having these discussions all over the world with different governments, on why and how they should adopt Qualcomm technology. Why should the governments who own this spectrum where our technology lives and operates, why should they release that spectrum to Qualcomm, to test out this technology? Right?

So these [00:03:00] team members of ours went around the world they said “Man if we have a tangible example that we could hand to the government of wherever, South Africa, where we’re trying to trial out reaching, it would be so much easier to explain the benefits of this technology to them.” And so the team got together and said, “What if we as Qualcomm, dream with me here, did something where we utilized grant funding and said, ‘Hey why don’t you as a local organization, a non-profit or a social enterprise, why don’t you, try out our technology alongside us, pilot it out? And then at the same time we’ll then produce a program that can be used as that example of the benefits of our technology?’” So it was this really really great approach where we weren’t set out to say “We needed social responsibility within the walls of Qualcomm more so than we’re already doing, it was our mission our strategy, was that this international team [00:04:00] needed to tell Qualcomm’s story in an easier way to the government, to their stakeholders.

And Wireless Reach has just birthed out of that, which is kind of this incredible way over the last 11 years now, that we approach the work that we do, and holding true to that government relations and that government piece, is working alongside the government, in all of these different areas, to implement social impact programs, for their local communities.

Jonathan: And so do you know where the very first program was?

Kyle: Yeah so both Hiram and I are new enough to the team that, and we can talk a little bit about our spells and whatnot, which we didn’t really introduce ourselves but, I’ve been on the team for about seven or eight years … I should probably look at that. Hiram about a year and a half?

Hiram: Year and a half yeah. And currently manage programs in South East Asia and Europe, and excited to work alongside Kyle, to really provide these innovative technologies that we’re developing and bringing in to local communities to improve their lives.

Kyle: [00:05:00] We always talk on the team “What was the first program?” And we have some of the programs that have been well established even before I started. So some of the flagships that we’ve begun right at the beginning of our initiative. One was in Indonesia, and it was an education program in a really really small remote village, working with Cisco and some other partners, which we’ll get to on our approach to how we work with other stakeholders in this programs. But that was one of the first ones, and it was creating a school for both the students the teachers and then the community to utilize and access the internet, more than they ever would have or ever have the ability to before that.

And then you probably know a lot about our program in India, the Fisher Friend program, which has been also one of the initial flagship programs. And has continued to adapt itself. So we made an investment, a long time ago which has grown and changed and adapted. And we learned a lot from that but that was another initial [00:06:00] program of ours.

Jonathan: I know were getting to it cause I have a lot more questions on that. But the very very first one I know you worked there, but someone from the government affairs put the dots together saying “Well there’s this school that has this problem, there’s a gap here.” And they put it together and they contacted the person from the school board …

Kyle: So the conversations happened very interesting, it was this off site that the government affairs team had and said “Gosh what if we had these programs in place?” And so some people took that to heart on the government affairs team there were a few champions on it that said, “I’m gonna do this. I’m just gonna take the budget that I have, and I’m gonna find a partner.” And we have a office in Jakarta, so we have [inaudible 00:06:38] on the ground where people were saying, “Okay, we would really like to influence these players or these folks or work with these folks or display this.” So it was a few folks that started that were extra motivated to go out and find organizations to work with, that aligned with our government strategies. And then a really active local team, both Qualcomm and [00:07:00] the partner. That was how the final decisions, of the first program were solidified.

Jonathan: Got it. Someone was on the ground.

Kyle: Sure.

Jonathan: So I guess when it comes to running businesses, they’re watching they just think of “Where is there business? What communities are they impacting? What network do they have in place, that could potentially play together?”

Kyle: Absolutely.

Jonathan: I’m gonna go off on a tangent here. I guess we can move on, if Hiram you wanna talk about the impact of that we’ve kind of moved from … Just bring us up to speed. It’s global, it’s massive. You know talk a little bit about, where it’s gotten to today.

Hiram: Yeah absolutely and so as Kayla mentioned we’re a corporate strategic initiative. And we really focus on ensuring that, we’re linking the commitment of quality of the company to social responsibility. And we do it in five different areas, and that’s fostering entrepreneurship, looking at enhancing that delivery [00:08:00] of health care, also improving the education system sort of through enriching teaching and learning, providing aid and public safety, and looking at improving the environment.

And so as we look at our portfolio programs we look at in these five areas. And it’s really strengthened social and economic development programs, most of which are locally run. But in some cases we actually do work with entities that are global organizations that work in different countries. And so today we’re actually celebrating this year our 10th year anniversary and we’re very happy and proud, of the accomplishments that we have.

And you see on the slide, 119 programs since being the inception of Wireless Reach, which is significant and that’s in 47 countries, globally.

Jonathan: Crazy.

Hiram: Right the kind of footprint that we’ve established so far. And we’ve done this together of course with 660 stakeholders, that include non-governmental organizations, often times government institutions as well, academic entities, and the local implementation partners that may be non-profits. [00:09:00] We in some cases also have private sector companies that are helping to do this. So we do this together in a collaborative effort. And we’ve impacted 1200 beneficiaries as a result, which is a staggering figure for a company that’s based in San Diego, that has global reach.

Jonathan: Yeah 47 countries. Then there’s this five key impact areas, so I know that maybe they were chosen before you two were there, but how do they determine how, or whomever you determined those all are the five areas?

Kyle: Yeah so that is a question that we get a lot. It was something that was determined before we came. But we have reevaluated that as time as gone on to say, “Where do we see, grantees or potential grantees in the areas we want to work? Are they prepared to be grantees? Do we come across organizations that could or are working towards a social impact, and then could utilize technology? And then do these areas then still align with what we’re seeing, within that kind of social impact, social entrepreneurship, that innovation space?” [00:10:00] So certainly it was something we established early on in the initiative. But you can also imagine, health care and education are two really big, utilizers in those sectors of technology already. So it’s an easy explanation it’s an easy fit. There are a ton of players in those spaces.

And then, with the other three entrepreneurship which I love to focus on, and that’s one of my protocols my focus areas, it just it kinda bleeds out in to every other area. It costs cuts, is that what you wanna call it? It cost cuts everything. And then in the environment and public safety, just to have a healthy portfolio right. Yeah it rounds it out. They’re a little bit one [inaudible 00:10:46] for us, and maybe a little less heavy in our investment areas but we’re looking to build those out, just like we’ve focused heavily on education and health care and now entrepreneurship. We’re looking at the environment and public safety. So if you’re on the line and you are impact team where [00:11:00] an organization in those areas we would love to talk and, to hear more about what you’re doing and how you’re utilizing technology.

Jonathan: And you vet these grantees?

Kyle: Mm-hmm .

Jonathan: I mean just to be clear you’re not a foundation right?

Kyle: We’re not a foundation we are still housed within the government affairs team. We maybe look from the outside like a foundation because we do provide grant funding. But with that grant funding comes a lot more than what a typical foundation would offer. What comes with that is, a very strong program manager, [00:11:30] you’re looking at that right here. So but a very strong relationship between your organization and our organization, and that could convince us of a lot of things depending on who you are. If you’re a two person start up, then that could be “Hey we’re gonna start from the beginning building your capacity to ensure, that you can withstand an investment of this size. And you can execute on the outcomes we’ve all set and agreed to.” But then if you’re a large organization, it could be that [00:12:00] you’re already really well established, and our grant funding is just going towards more devices in your case.

But yeah it does come along with a relationship, it comes along with other players that we can bring to the table. Like with background in IT tech support when and if needed because we obviously, have a slew of engineers at Qualcomm, we’re 70% engineers so, we’ve got that that comes along with our grants as well. So we’re definitely deeper engaged than what you would typically think of as a foundation.

Jonathan: Right. Much much more engaged. [00:12:30] Which leads us very, nicely into our next slide. Can you explain the process on how you actually choose, the grantee, right?

Kyle: Sure yeah we call them grantees, because they are receiving grant funding …

Jonathan: You mean grant funding is synonymous with non-profit foundations you said that, that’s the right terminology to use.

Kyle: Sure yeah I mean we’re providing a grant. And it’s all at once, it’s one large chunk you get your grant it’s not like we’re giving it to you in segments and installments, you are getting a grant.

Jonathan: One, [00:13:00] chunk of money.

Kyle: Yep.

Jonathan: Which I think you mentioned it’s for two years?

Kyle: Yeah that’s a great question. Most often times we look to make investments in an organization, for a period of three to five years. But what we say is every year it’s a new grant, so it’s a new grant cycle every single year.

Jonathan: For the same-for one …

Kyle: For each grantee after a calendar year they would reevaluate to say “Okay, what are we looking to do now, in this next installment? Are we looking for more grant funding? Or are we just looking to work seamlessly together?” It just depends on the unique implementation.

Jonathan: So does every grantee, each year, resubmit for funding?

Kyle: If they’re interested in continued funding and they’ve used up that grant over the period of the time that they had then yes, they would reapply for grant funding.

Jonathan: So just out of curiosity, how cumbersome is the process of them submitting?

Kyle: That’s a great question. We have done a really really targeted job and we’ve [00:14:00] gone really deep in trying to off load the grant process from a grantee. And we do have a long conversations before the grant process opens, and I’m doing this because this is my calendar year, this is like January to April. And then the May to December time frame is a three round process where we determine, whether or not you will get a grant or, what that grant would be used for, for this calendar year. So what we do is we try to say, “When we invite someone,” cause it’s an invite only process, to apply for that grant funding …

Jonathan: It’s an invite only process?

Kyle: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So that means you have to be invited to apply.

Jonathan: So that means if someone from your team has invited someone …

Kyle: Correct, correct. Yeah and that’s why.

Jonathan: So someone’s watching that sees this they can’t just say “Hey I’ve got a great program in Sudan and ”

Kyle: They can. That’s what we do is we do is we have these conversations in this period of time, you come to us you’re interested in Wireless reach you’re interested in our approach, let’s have a discussion of the next few months from January to April-

Jonathan: To reach out to you.

Kyle: To determine whether or not you would [00:15:00] be a good candidate to go through this, sometimes cumbersome process.

Jonathan: So how do they start of in the beginning by reaching out to you saying “Hey I’m in Sudan I have this need for, X Y Z technology. Can you help those?”

Kyle: Well those are the lines so if you’re ever exposed to Wireless Reach and you’re interested, you could reach out to us. We have a Contact Us form on our website, that would come directly to me. So you would hear from our team directly and we would evaluate “Okay this is an interesting organization.” But back to the conversation of, most of the investments we make, each calendar year are in continuous programs. So there’s a very small portion of grants each year that are brand new, we’re investing in.

Jonathan: How many?

Kyle: So out of our active 40-50 programs every year about five to seven are brand new, three to seven. It just depends, it depends on priorities that year, it depends on those who are interested in applying and the conversations we’ve had in this portion of the year.

Jonathan: Got it. And are you at liberty to say the amount of funding they [00:16:00] can get each year.

Kyle: Yeah that’s a great question. So we don’t talk about specifics, but we do certainly in that conversation time want to set expectations that are appropriate for everyone. And for a new program we look for grant sizes anywhere from 50,000, to about 300,000. And it can very, we’ll certainly work with a grantee to establish what’s appropriate, as they’re outlining what they’re looking to do. So we’ll help them, and guide them to that appropriate amount.

Jonathan: Okay. So basically essentially someone in the field of the government affairs office in that region of the world, says “Hey I see a potential opportunity.” Maybe they get to know the school, or the X Y Z organization. They say “Hey I think this is a good idea for you submit, potentially an application to be a grantee but I see some synergies here .” So how I guess, maybe this is a stupid question but, it’s like 100% strategic in your thoughts around like, “We need X Y Z in this region under entrepreneurship or under health … ”

Kyle: Sure [00:17:00] well that leads us to this slide to like what is Wireless Reach doing? And then the next slide talks us through the criteria we would walk through. So you can see essentially on your screen it talks a little bit about how we’re taking Qualcomm technology, that’s been created by our work force, and we’re utilizing that to show the positive benefits. The next slide talks about how we would go about determining, a selection of a grantee.

So when you come across a grantee, or when we get sent a priority of Qualcomm’s, how much is strategy I think you’re asking, and how much is a healthy CSR portfolio? And we always do because it’s a balance, it’s a very fine line. We as program managers, are identifying, which ideas we’re gonna vet and put in front of our executive committee to be funded ultimately. So a lot of the information we are gatekeepers, does this fit within the portfolio, does it need a strategy and does it have social impact? And does it fit our overall kind of holistic [00:18:00] portfolio look very mature in terms of, a strategic CSR program. So there’s always this fine balance.

We do certainly look at our different business units, and we work differently in South East Asia than we do in sub-Saharan Africa, than we do in Japan or Europe. And I point those out because those are the regions of the world we cover. But maybe you can give an example of working with your local teams and how they help you set a strategy for program choice?

Hiram: Yes absolutely so I can certainly cover that. And I think what’s important and I think Kyle alluded to that is that, our programs serve as proof points to the government and how it’s benefiting, how our access to ICT is benefiting and improving Qualcomm’s, and communities, at large. And so when we look at programs we look at it through the criteria you’re seeing here on this slide, but before we even get there we have internal discussions with stakeholders from our business development [00:19:00] side, our government affair colleagues in region, other groups within Qualcomm and identifying key markets. And also looking at key objectives of the company and government affairs objectives as a whole. So we narrow down regions, perhaps countries, and specific areas from the five areas that we cover from education entrepreneurship public safety the environment. Of course so we look at that and then we have these discussions with partners we start aligning those, with the discussions we’ve had internally.

And when we discuss these potentially opportunities with applicants or grantees, we look at it through these five criteria. So first and foremost all programs that we invest in, need to demonstrate how we’re improving people’s lives through the Qualcomm technology. And that’s really central to all programs that we have, we look at our portfolios of technologies from smartphones to tablets to other [00:20:00] internet of things to devices that can actually be used to be, impactful in those programs. So that is from the get go one of those main criteria. And often times, potential partners come in with an idea already. And in some cases we don’t so we walk, with them through that whole process.

The second it must be in line with one of the five areas, and often times it may be that it’s an education program but it’s also [00:20:30] helping support the environment in one way or another. Or it could be entrepreneurship and nature as well. So it’s gotta align with one of the five areas. And early on in the discussions we tend to figure out where exactly will it fit in those buckets.

We certainly look to collaborate with cultures, in an earlier slide we saw that there were about 660 stakeholders that we work with over the course of the lifetime of Wireless Reach. That’s key to all programs, [00:21:00] we know that when more partners are involved including government agencies, there is a higher likely of investment and also a higher likely of growth and sustainability over the time, that we’re funding as Wireless Reach and beyond. And so that’s very key, in working in programs. It’s great if we can get other private sector companies to fund the program, it’s also great if we can get government agencies to not only support the program, but also come in with in-cash contribution. And you’ll see a slide in a bit demonstrating the types of contributions we’ve been receiving to help support the lifetime of it.

It must meet a community need, that’s point number four. And it’s gotta aligned to some sort of strategy, of the government, whether it’s an objective a policy. It could be through the information of communications and technology department. If it’s an education program it could [00:22:00] be aligning with some sort of ministry of education goal. It could align with ministry of health, it’s a health related program. And so we look at that because of course if we can get the buy in from the government and the program can seamlessly align to a strategy of either a local national or federal government, it’ll be really set for success.

In the last criteria it’s about sustainability and growth. So we tend to find on the annual basis it’s not uncommon for Wireless Reach to be funding two to three years or sometimes a little bit more the Fisher Friend program in India we’ve been funding for quite a bit, and we’ve seen quite a lot of growth over time. So it’s gotta be sustainable and we have these conversations early on with partners and set it up for success because Qualcomm funding, will not be there forever, and it’s gonna dry out at some point. And so we wanna make sure that from the beginning, we set it up so that it’s gotta track or a path for growth and sustainability [00:23:00] over time.

Jonathan: Yeah. Really well said we’re talking to other businesses and our business, and they have not similar programs. The big difference is that it’s extremely strategic and you’re saying “Okay were balancing SSR and the strategy piece.” And then often times we see where they’ve given money or they volunteer time or their services it doesn’t relate back to the business. And it’s like this common problem and I’ve seen this over and over and over in yours, gone through kinda great lengths to …

Kyle: To ensure our own sustainability. From a Qualcomm standpoint you wanna ensure that you’re continuing to infiltrate your own technology. We’re a corporation, that’s why we exist. And at the same time, we can do a lot of good. Especially with Qualcomm technology because it’s incredibly pervasive, why not take something that every one already has and ensure our own sustainability, Wireless Reach’s sustainability, and local organizations sustainability around the world.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Kyle: It’s just a win win around [00:24:00] the world.

Jonathan: I talk about the programs and it’s hard to wrap your head around it cause it’s 47 countries you’re talking to a smaller business for a business that’s only in America, it’s different. But the process and the strategic like how you’re putting everything together strategically, is the same idea needs to be kinda rolled out

Kyle: Yeah and something we both we were at an event yesterday and I love the insight that someone said to a lot of startups and “Don’t try to start a company.” Or “Don’t try to [00:24:30] start an initiate within a company, just have a mission. And then figure out how to mark towards that mission. March mark march towards it right.” I’m getting a light tongue tied but, that’s kinda how Wireless Reach was birthed. It wasn’t like again we set out to have more corporate sustainability actions. Yes we want that. But we want it to be thoughtful, we want it to be strategic so it again helps everywhere. So why don’t we with the goal of helping our international government affairs team, that’s what makes a difference to [00:25:00] us. Right it might not make sense for everyone but if you do set your eyes more on a mission rather than, a company an initiative or we have to have this, I think it does become a lot more authentic in your approach.

Even though we are strategic and we keep talking about that, which we are, I will never hide the fact that we raise the visibility of Qualcomm’s name, we’re certainly a reputation builder, but we’re also really flexible to meet different needs. If we’re in a room with executives, obviously we’re gonna talk about the strategy behind Wireless Reach and you’re gonna talk about it in a different way, you’re gonna have “Oh this is our impact and this is who were reaching. And this is so and so, this is how we’re using devices. Or this.” Or whatever it is right?

But at the same time you can be in a room full of folks that are interested in social impact and talk about the handful stories that we’re gonna talk about next. So we’re flexible. I think that’s a really big, [00:26:00] piece, of why we’ve been successful in the way that we have. You have to be flexible with different audiences when you’re working in this space and when you have that fine balance between strategy and social impact.

Jonathan: Yeah and your audiences are global and the products are so diversified that you [crosstalk 00:26:18]. It says it on one of the slides, but I think it would be nice of me to hear from you, a day in the life of what your job is you traveled around the world like I think you went to Africa, and South of Asia and, remind me where you

Kyle: I know. We’re both everywhere.

Jonathan: Just really quickly remind me of, quick day in the lives of, what your approach to

Kyle: Yeah yeah and maybe we can do both of us.

Jonathan: I think you have one of the cooler jobs in the company.

Kyle: We have the coolest jobs at Qualcomm.

Hiram: We do.

Kyle: We’re very very fortunate … But there’s also personalities like ours that are interested in this not everyone is interested. And the cool thing about our job is that we can tell our [00:27:00] engineer workforce, “Keep doing what you’re doing, because your work is enabling our work.” Which is a beautiful story because not everyone wants to go and you know for me, I go to sub-Saharan Africa and, not everyone wants to go to Nigeria to open a health clinic, to see how they utilizing the tablet, and tracking the healthcare workers there. Not everyone wants to do that but that is our job, to ensure that we know the true impact on the ground of the work that we’re doing, we are, we have to we are required to visit our programs.

Jonathan: Do you fly around, different times?

Kyle: We do.

Jonathan: How often?

Kyle: Well it varies. The goal is to see programs at least twice a year, but that could be us once and then a local government affairs Qualcomm teammate, or it could be a consultant it just kinda depends on each government.

Jonathan: So there’s 119 programs right?

Kyle: Yeah and how we got that 119 is that only [00:28:00] about 40 of those are actively being managed, the rest have been rolled off into sustainability, where someone else is spearheading that. So of those, I’ve got about nine, 10. It does look very different.

It can be a lot of travel, which is very exciting, again for certain personalities. And you know you have to be adaptable, adaptable, you have to adapt [inaudible 00:28:26] you have to adapt to a lot of local culture. I’ve got a story about a program I’ll talk about, but we’re on the phone all the time with these grantees, “How are you tracking towards your progress? What can we help with? Have you identified any new, device you’re gonna use? Have you trained users? Are you talking to local players about X Y and Z?” You know it varies, about what were talking about. We’re reviewing there, monetary evaluation reports which we can talk a little bit more about with the required to report to us. We’re [00:29:00] doing a lot of relationship management and building, there’s a ton of things.

Jonathan: We should get on to your programs, just use that as a test case. I ask too many questions.

Kyle: No that’s great. So Senegal is one of my favorite programs, and all of them are my favorite, all of them are my favorite. So they’re all my favorite but this one is really, unique, in a lot of different ways. We talked a little bit about our Fisher Friend program in India which was a flagship program we’re continuing to invest in, and because we saw the success there in the fishing community using mobile devices, we said “Well wait a minute … ” I’m gonna sound silly but I think we’re pretty much at 70% of the earth is water, we’ve got a ton of fishing communities, why don’t we see if the program in India could be adapted to another fishing community. And because Senegal at the time was a market that was of interest to Qualcomm they were, trialing out 4G at the time, this was a few years ago, we very strategically approached some players [00:30:00] that we knew were active, like active in the local Dakar market and elsewhere, and some of the fishing ports. And we said “Hey, we’ve got this idea. We’ve got some lessons we’ve learned in other fishing communities around the world, do you think it would be of interest to trial out mobile devices in the hands of the fishing community here in Senegal?”

And we got a few organizations that were interested. So we had to work with them like “Oh okay how does this work? What does this look like? What are you trying to do? What would your ideas be? How strong are your relationships on the ground?”

Jonathan: And is this a non-profit that, works specifically with fishing communities?

Kyle: So well what we did was we kinda talked to who we knew was active in Senegal and said “Would this fishing program, or anything of the fishing industry be of interest to you to explore, with the use of mobile devices?”

Jonathan: And I’m not sure mentioned it but Fisher Friend is, they’re using the scheme specifically to, tell them …

Kyle: Sure yeah mobile devices in the hands of fishermen, who then are able with an application that was specifically [00:31:00] developed for their use, can have access to potential fishing zones, weather patterns, government messages about the ocean or whatever it may be. There’s a whole slew of different things that are very specific to a fishing community.

Jonathan: And like market prices?

Kyle: So in India no, but that’s what happened in Senegal was, we had these discussions with local organizations and said “Would you be interested in trialing out with these fishing communities, an application … Do you wanna develop an application alongside of us based on lessons learned in another program for Wireless Reach that would help your specific communities here in Senegal?” So we said “Okay we’ve seen success with this approach, and we have a strategy and a reason to be Dakar, is there a way to do and make a social impact to do a program for Wireless Reach to put on provided grants, and so that’s why happened. So we now have a program called WISE, which you can see on the screen. It stands for Wireless Solutions [00:32:00] for Fishery in Senegal, which is a little loose the term, Wireless W-I Solutions, it was a little stretch. But in any case we call it the WISE program that was not my name … But side note the organization they came to me and said “We got it. We came up with a name, it’s called the Moss Program.” And my last name is Moss and I’m like “No no no no we can’t have a program with my last name.”

So in any case what we did is we adapted it and you say women on your screen because not only in Senegal are we providing mobile devices to the fishing community and fishermen themselves to help with the weather, with where to fish, with what fish are active where. But then like you said “Oh what is the price of these fish now? What am I selling this price for?” Right because then it helps this other group of women, who are the go-between, they’re fish processors. So not only do we work with fish [00:33:00] community, like fishermen themselves, but these women who now buy the fish from the men and process them. So they dry them they salt them they do whatever and then they sell them wholesale to other cooks. So there’s a whole different community, that we needed to learn in Senegal versus India. It was a really neat way to adapt what we already knew, to learn new lessons based on our local contacts and our local needs. And we’ve gone above and beyond the next …

And their application also allows them access to microfinance loans, it allows them access to videos and instruction of, best practices of fishing or fish processing. Health care information that is very pertinent to these specific communities. It gives them a communication platform, so between themselves between the fisher. And like you said helps them, trace the market prices so that they help them understand what’s fluctuating, what fish are going to be available, how that can change. And [00:34:00] it’s immediate it’s readily available. And now the government can go “Okay, now we better understand where fish are coming from, what they’re doing once they’ve been caught, where they’re being sold, how they’re traveling around. And then what the pricing is going to be.” So they can even better understand health, outcomes based on the fish.

So it’s just its crazy things that you’re like, “What?”

Jonathan: The connectivity is just, mind boggling.

Kyle: Yeah and in this piece it was so neat because, when you have that mobile device you also have GPS tracking and that capability. So in this specific program we had a fishermen who this summer, was out on the water, had his device, which he wouldn’t have had otherwise other than this program, so he had his device which he used all the time he uses all the time … But he was about to capsize because something happened to his boat. He would’ve lost his life, he and his crew. And because he had the phone in his hands he was able [00:35:00] to use the GPS to say, “I know that there’s other boats in the area.” He could send out a signal through the application, and they could track exactly where he was. And two boats came to their rescue and saved this fishermen and the crew, because he had access to a mobile device and this specific application.

It’s mind blowing. So we get really excited about that. It’s not an everyday occurrence but it certainly is something that we couldn’t have planned on and we didn’t set out to save lives of fishermen in Senegal, but here we are. We’ve gotten these stories and it’s not uncommon to hear that. So that’s just one example of our entire portfolio, and its interesting because it does touch on entrepreneurship, it touches health care. It touches a little education because you’re talking about, the environment and public safety because we’re talking about … It’s just a unicorn, of a program. So we’re excited.

And the last thing I’ll say about this program and you touched on this a little bit, the goal in this one is to say “How [00:36:00] do we get local governments to buy in so much, that they’re then taking ownership?” And in October, The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, so ICT along with ministry of finance, so national governments, convened a meeting around this program and said “You with this program are already achieving our digital strategy that we set for 2025. Now we want you to take ownership of how we replicate the success in to not only the fishing community at large, but also into other sectors.” So that’s like the exact reason we get so pumped about the work we do. That is goals, we want the government to take ownership for that work. We want them to say “Yes we’re proud of this, this is ours.” So we’re excited to work ourselves kind of out of the equation in a good way. And that’s starting to happen with this example.

Jonathan: That’s nice, that’s a great flagship, kind of example.

Kyle: Yeah.

Jonathan: I [00:37:00] have more questions but I’m gonna hold off

Kyle: Okay.

Jonathan: Maybe Hiram you can talk about this next program. But I’m just curious to think how are often are people that are part of the grantee program, it’s their first time ever using a mobile device. And do you need to something I mean the fisherman travel a lot right how can fishermen  Have they ever even used mobile devices? I mean in general of all programs, how much just ground level education is there?

Kyle: Sure oh so like mobile literacy.

Jonathan: Yeah mobile literacy.

Kyle: Yeah it’s definitely a portion of a lot of the work we do, I don’t know if we have a specific example but, we definitely encounter a lot of what we call as the beneficiaries of a program whom … It’s more rare now that they haven’t had access to a device in the past. I would say at the beginning of our time at Wireless Reach it was more common that they had never had a mobile device, never done email. Or they think Facebook is the internet. “Oh its Facebook it’s there.” And I’m like “Well … ”

Jonathan: Really?

Kyle: [00:38:00] Oh yeah people always think Facebook is the internet. Which is a beautiful platform that connects so many people and does so many things so it’s great. More and more though now in 2017, even in rural areas … And that’s been a lesson learned sometimes is that you go in thinking “Oh let’s provide mobile devices and people already have one or two ” I think mobile devices have now surpassed ownership of toothbrushes in the world so there’s more mobile [00:38:30] devices in the world than there are toothbrushes, which can be used for good things which we’re trying to focus on, and trying to make happen. But yeah.

Jonathan: Dental health issue, hygiene problem. We only have 20 minutes left so let’s move in to your program.

Hiram: Yes yes absolutely so another good example of a successful program with our health core portfolio is actually one in Mexico. So actually one of the leading causes of death is actually Diabetes. And actually in 2015 data shows that in fact 15% [00:39:00] of the adult population had Diabetes, which is a staggering figure and it’s only projected to increase. So what Wireless Reach did is we collaborating with the Mexico for Security Institute, and other partners as well, to implement Wellness in Tijuana. So in essence what this program is doing is it started as a clinical trial, where we were looking at whether in fact a chronic disease care law combined with 3D technology to actually help improve the health outcomes of patients with Diabetes, primarily in underserved communities. And so what we did was we recruited about 300 participants to a study, they’re split in to three groups. The first group of 100, participants, would actually receive the traditional standard of care from the clinic that we’re working with. The second group, the 100, received the more sort of tailored Diabetes care [00:40:00] model with enhanced education. And the third one received that same care model, but in addition had access to 3D technology.

And in essence the doctors, nurses, the patients and also the health promoters, also known as promotoras were able to seamlessly communicate with each other via their 3G phones. They all had access to a digital register system. They also all had access to information about scheduling, patients would get notifications, they had access to an application that provided multimedia information and videos that helped them care for their Diabetes. At the conclusion of this study, it showed that all patients, from three groups, were able to lower their blood sugar levels. In particular the third group that had the access to the 3D technology we saw [00:41:00] a more significant drop in, blood sugar levels. And of course in terms of dropped blood sugar levels, there’s less risk associated with taking care of Diabetes. There’s also less cost associated with paying for care and also, human resources associated with it. So over all, it was so successful. And the findings were actually published in a renowned journal, The Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, and as a result the clinic, who I’ve been closely working with is now moving from a research program, to actually implementing this in their daily work at the clinic. And even more so now they’re creating a toolkit that can be taken and replicated in country or outside for other, clinics that would actually like to use this type of platform and curriculum, to go through it.

And we’re currently working [00:42:00] with the clinic as well, and partners to update, the application that’s associated with it. So this program gives you an example of, starting from a pilot, research focused, and really to demonstrate how 3D technology can help to improve health outcomes, to then into publishing findings. And ultimately looking not only to implement within the fabric of the work that the clinic is doing, but also replicating elsewhere. I mean overall this is just on the slide here it’s of one of the patients who previously wasn’t taking care of her Diabetes, but because of this program she had access to 3D technology and all the different benefits associated with it. So it goes to show how 3D technology can actually improve health outcomes, over the long term. Just a really great story to tell, and ultimately it’s helping individuals on the ground.

Jonathan: Yeah I think that [00:43:00] all these stories have so many tangible outcomes. When you try to explain even what Qualcomm does, it’s kind of difficult.

Kyle: Yeah it humanizes Qualcomm, and the technology. It’s an easier way to explain, what we do. The cool thing is I love … So this woman, who’s name I won’t use but she not only saw her health outcomes change, and she lost a ton of weight, her family also benefited. And so she had a daughter who got involved not with the devices not in the study but it was like okay, we also see a trickle down effect, where someone I think lost about 60 pounds. I think it was her daughter, but she was telling us some incredible stories of the impact far and beyond what we can even measure, as part of our program. So it was just a really really great, I’m getting goosebumps too because this is our local community, this is Tijuana. So it’s really fun for us to have that local impact cause, we do talk a lot about our goal impact. But we have investments right here in San Diego and right across the border which [00:44:00] we consider our larger community. So we were really excited to consider the outcomes of this program and again that trickle down effect that we saw. Which we also see in a ton of programs. Which is really exciting.

Jonathan: That leads us, easily seamlessly to our next slide of your, accomplishments. We’re down to 15 minutes so …

Kyle: Sure and we can jump through these. We don’t have to talk through each one of them they’re just really neat to see, we require a lot out of our grantees, in terms of very structured monetary evaluation. We worked for the last few years on proprietary system, based on the sales force platform that allows our grantees, to report back to us, what they’re tracking in terms of their outcomes. What they’re seeing, and what their numbers are. And so we work at the beginning in the of proposal process to set a logical framework. Right so to walk through “Okay you’re saying this is what you wanna do but, what are you putting in to it? What are you getting out of it?” We wanna walk through that exercise, so that we all agree as a program manager and we have a monetary evaluation lead, on our [00:45:00] team, so that we all agreed “Okay, these are our top outcomes that we’re all agreeing-like the grant team wants-and we want to talk about it in terms of this program. So how are we going to do that?” I laugh because it’s a multi-tab, reporting structure that each grantee is responsible for on a quarterly basis.

Jonathan: That’s great.

Kyle: Its awesome and that’s why we can very much, strongly stand behind the impact numbers that we do have. And one of those we get rally excited about it is when we make an investment, we can now track that, the stakeholders are now getting back up over a dollar, for every dollar we’ve invested in a program, which is a really really neat story to tell. Like yeah were a grantee funding machine, using technology strategically, but our partners obviously see the value and are matching what we are putting in to that. So both in kind and financially.

We place a very heavy emphasis on tracking and monitoring the success of these programs for the grantees benefit and also for ours. We get excited and we can talk [00:46:00] a little bit about those but, you see the numbers, these talk for themselves.

Jonathan: They can quantify everything. Cause if you need to state the case ever …

Kyle: Precisely.

Jonathan: You have those numbers. I think the next slide is success stories and lessons learned …

Kyle: Sure.

Jonathan: It all sounds like success, that’s all I ever from the outside. So if you could just about lessons learned of things that weren’t successful.

Kyle: Sure. Oh yeah one of our bigger ones was, one of our flagship or our early programs, again in Indonesia, we worked with the Crimean Foundation, which most people are familiar with that name. We pretty, I can’t say completely blindsidedly went in to the program thinking “Let’s provide mobile devices to these folks that are living, under the poverty line, at $2.50 a day or less. Let’s give them devices and it’s gonna be great.” And there was more thought put into it .

Jonathan: For what reason?

Kyle: Well the [00:47:00] biggest reason at the beginning was so that they did have to walk miles to use the phone or, there wasn’t a community phone available so they could then become a community phone. So it was just the use of the mobile device, access to that.

Jonathan: Were they reselling like time

Kyle: They were topping up every time and that was the original lesson learned was, they already have devices. We are not setting ourselves apart by just giving devices, this is a waste of time and energy if we think we’re gonna go in and drop a solution, without having done any of these assessments, and really strongly evaluating, what are they demanding? What do they need? So that was a huge lesson learned was, we need to be very targeted with how we choose partners and programs, so that we understand the local community and what they’re asking for. Or else we will not be successful in using technology. If you’re not using it thoughtfully, it’s not going to be used well.

Jonathan: How do you think, you or whomever [00:48:00] who was part of that, how would that-should they have done it differently?

Kyle: So we learned the lesson very quickly, and what we did is we adapted our approach. And said “What a minute, if there’s already devices in the hands of these folks, how do you we better use the device by offering them services on their device?” So that’s when the air time, re-topping up of air time minutes came in. That’s what we developed we kind of call an app store, for this community. So we developed applications that allowed them access to air time, access to bus tickets. Access to the job market, so a lot of these folks were day laborers, so they would go and they would waste all this time and energy to find a job for the day. So it’s like “Well if we could bring all that information into the phone,” to say like “Oh I’m looking for this job, is this available?” So they could better and more easily get their information more immediately, rather than wasting time and energy.

So there were very specific applications that we birthed, out of this [00:49:00] program, out of this lesson learned, and from that, was birthed a social enterprise called Ruma, who is now operating fully sustainable on their own. It has been for years and have reached millions of customers at this point, using mobile devices and this app store approach. So it’s really incredible that, we were able to learn a lesson, and then adapt really quickly based on what we were seeing.

Jonathan: It’s good to admit you’re not failures. People often  with big corporations they just talk about all the positive things that have happened this happened, we learned our lesson, we grew from it.

Kyle: Failure’s good. You have to fail to know what success is.

Jonathan: Trust me.

Kyle: Qualcomm was founded by seven people in a garage, a den of someone’s homes right? And those original engineers, they failed over and over before they were successful, even with the original demonstration of CDMA technology which is what we know today. I always go [00:50:00] like this, “Where’s my mobile device?” But even with that, they were so close to failing and they ended up having up having to stall and stall. So Dr. Jacob, you know the story yeah, was up there having to like talk and talk until the demo actually worked. And had that not worked, we would not communicating in the ways that we are today. So we are based on good failure, we were founded by good failure. And so is Wireless Reach.

Jonathan: Well communicating is a good segway into almost our last slide. Because, obviously important here we’re communicators at thinkParallax, it’d be great for us to hear from you, from you both how you’re sharing the story, and to whom? audience, and to these folks, these are the methods and the tactics that we’re using, to communicate them.

Kyle: Yeah we are all individual program managers so we can maybe both take this. What I love to say is that, our partners and our grantees, grantees directly and then stakeholders in our program, [00:51:00] we’re there to ensure their success. So their story is our story. And that’s the best vehicle, to tell our story, is through the work that they’re doing locally. So certainly we look to finding opportunities for our partners and grantees to speak and present, and flourish in whatever they’re doing, locally globally whatever it may be.

Jonathan: Are you helping them, facilitate aid? And giving them X Y Z to help them make a presentation? Or are you helping them find

Kyle: Sometimes. Just last week this week actually, the Global Digital Health, there’s a global health event going on, and so we said “Hey were gonna be there, one of our teammates will be there. What if we invited this partner and this partner, from the Philhellenes, from our Fish Farm project, from our Indonesia program. And they all come and they get to present or just be in that space.” Yeah so we do that all the time. And that’s telling our story, its free advertising [00:52:00] for Qualcomm. They’re all excited to have been working with us for this long. So they’re gonna get up and speak about their success and “oh by the way, it was all with the help of Qualcomm.” Which is such a great way to really raise the visibility of Qualcomm everywhere. So that’s the approach that we take and a lot of times what I do is just again, how do I look for opportunities, to gain visibility for my partners?

But you know we obviously use social media we use these kinda thought leadership discussions … Leadership we were at an event yesterday together and I was on a panel talking about the impact from a corporate channel. So yeah lots of good rep channels. But yeah, did you wanna talk more about …

Hiram: Some other examples would include when we do launch events at the program and we reveal them to the public, we invite media to attend. We of course invite all of the stakeholders and grantees to be part of, if it’s a panel or if it’s a series of presentations. We also invite government officials, [00:53:00] we invite the public to participate. And so it’s through that venue that we’re able to begin sharing the success and the stories of the program.

Also it’s not uncommon for us to do international press trips and take journalists with us, to be actually able to interact with beneficiaries themselves and to see for themselves the impact that’s happening locally, and then to actually write a touching story, an impactful story out [00:53:30] of that. Often times [for all of our 00:53:32] programs we take really great photography, we capture video footage that then can even be turned in to, now virtual reality settings so we can actually share it internally, or externally and folks can actually be able to see, have a more immersive experience, with beneficiaries and the work that’s happening locally. So a lot of different ways. And of course also getting selected to receive [00:54:00] a prestigious award at the international level at the local level, and gain the benefit of being recognized for such an innovative program. And it’s telling the story through that. But absolutely the best vehicle is to have our grantees and our stakeholders be able to tell the story, for us. Instead of us up here, telling it.

Jonathan: That much more effect. So we have five minutes left, so if there’s any questions any one wants to ask feel free to do so. I see a couple of them up here. But I guess it’d be good for us collectively while the questions come in, just to talk about how, like I said it’s a business and just think smaller than … How many employees do you have?

Kyle: At Qualcomm?

Jonathan: Yeah.

Kyle: Qualcomm is currently, around about 30,000.

Jonathan: Said you have 300 or 3,000 employees …

Kyle: Sure.

Jonathan: If someone’s looking to start a social impact program, it’s just some [00:55:00] big high level ideas on things they should be thinking about. Think small.

Kyle: Sure sure sure. Well like Hiram said in the beginning, what is your mission? Don’t think outside of what you do. Everyone is doing something, so how do you just use that for good? Everyone should be giving back I think and it’s just my opinion, in your area of expertise. Are you storytellers like your organization? Okay then lets help people tell a better story. Let’s do some of it maybe subsidize cost or whatever it may be, I don’t know. But don’t think outside of where you’re already. Stay in your lane in a good way. It would not make sense for us to go out and put shoes on people’s feet, unless they’re IOT shoes and they did something. I don’t know also tracks their pulse and whatever … Right? You stay in your lane and just do what you do really well, and then just figure out how can [00:56:00] we also do this for good? Right like how can we offer this to a different subset of our community? Think local.

We are in San Diego so we definitely make investments in San Diego, and across the border. So do what you do stay in your lane, and look for the impact you can make with what you know.

Jonathan: So you basically are saying use your services or products, and or skill set within your team, and partner with an organization that aligns strategically with what your business has potentially, use those skills to make a positive impact?

Kyle: Yeah. And another one too is like look at your internal audience, what are they saying they wanna do? If you’ve got a whole team-

Jonathan: Your employees.

Kyle: Yeah right your employees, what do they want to do? And you’re going to be the most successful at whatever you personally all agree upon as either your strength or your interest.

Jonathan: Does Qualcomm at all do that?

Kyle: Oh yeah. This is just one example, Wireless Reach is a part of Qualcomm’s sustainability. We’ve got other efforts that work [00:57:00] with middle school students, we help them learn about stem education and then coding. We’ve got employee voluntary hours, we they can match employees for board service, or for just volunteering where they may be interested. There’s a ton of a different things-We’re a large corporation of course we’ve got those. Wireless Reach is just a more strategic example, of how we both engage employees in what they’re doing and how they can be impactful and then also, be responsible in your community that we’re working in, all over world.

Jonathan: And are they, out of curiosity are employees, asked of what or how they could potentially be involved, based off their personal interest?

Kyle: In Wireless Reach?

Jonathan: No no I wouldn’t Wireless Reach but with other programs that they could be involved.

Kyle: Oh yeah we’ve got a ton of ways for our internal employees to be engaged. Just like week we had a craft fair on campus, and then there were volunteer opportunities [00:58:00] right there like “Hey put together crafts for, senior citizens that are local, or put together … ” I don’t remember what but we’ve got opportunities all the time to engage our employees and for them to volunteer in specific areas they’re interested in, which they can put in, “I’m interested in this, can you match me with a volunteer opportunity, locally or wherever it may be? I would be interested in volunteering with my family, do we have identified opportunities?” “Yes we have a ton of programs just like that.”

Jonathan: Course you do  other question. Let’s go back to [00:58:30] the social impact workplace, should you be thinking like short term long term? It’d be good just to think “Okay what does this look like for my organization?” Of course you’re it should be somewhat long term but “Hey let’s just try something out for the next six months to see if it works.” Cause again you can’t look back before you were there, were they thinking “Oh were this is gonna become 47 countries,” were they thinking that far in [00:59:00] advance?

Kyle: I don’t think at all. Well I’ll first speak to something and id love hear your input but, you hope for the absolute biggest and best, and then you where are you realistically for the now? I think that’s really applicable to the social … If you dream of something and you’re like “I can’t even chew on the idea of 47 countries in 10 years, that’s overwhelming.” Start right now, start here with a small goal. So know hope for that big impact and start with the realistic approach.

Jonathan: Which is  I agree 100% that’s nice to hear it from you and the potential is already there because the infrastructure’s in place for you to be but you kinda started off on this more organically.

Kyle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jonathan: It’s kinda good to hear for somebody else who has 30 employees or 3,000 employees, just much more realistic.

Kyle: Yeah sometimes it’s just going to an event that talks about social impact, and figuring out what everyone else is doing. Sometimes this is your first stab is being [01:00:00] on a webinar. And I know I we’re out of time do you

Hiram: I think it’s important to recognize that, if you’re starting something or you have something, what kind of value are you bringing to the company? So in our case, our work is uniquely tied to the long term business goals of our company. And we are housed within the government affairs department so we’re very strategic. So we are bringing value to the company long term. And so when you think about initially when you’re starting, start [01:00:30] with that, what kind of value are bringing in to the company? Because when you look at it through that lens, sustainability can be endless. Because there will always be value attached to the work that you’re doing. And so if you start from there, I think that will get you to a place that you may be seeing 10 years from now similar to our we’re at 119 projects in 47 countries.

Jonathan: Yeah it’s, very impressive. All of it. The whole program the idea of it the two of you…

Kyle: Obviously.

Jonathan: Thank you so much for being here. Thank you all so [01:01:00] much for being here. We’re at time so if they have any questions can they reach out to you specifically?

Kyle: Yeah please, we’ve got an email address Again, it will come to me. But that’s our first step if you are interested. Our team is only 90 people, so we will chat and we’ll get you in the hands of the right people if you’re interested in connecting. So please do reach out. Or you can follow us on Twitter, all of the typical social channels, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Even Instagram I think. If you can’t find us then look through and we’re also connected on those platforms.

Jonathan: Thank you very much. Have a really good day, the rest of your week.