Guest Post: Ryan Moede // @rmoede
While traveling in Africa in 1988, Simon Berry discovered you can find an ice-cold Coca-Cola anywhere on the continent, but you can’t find basic medicinal supplies. The kind of basic medicine that prevents sickness that kills one in every five kids under the age of five from dehydration caused through diarrhea. Yet, where others saw obstacles getting supplies to those who need it most, Berry saw an opportunity to leverage the soda giant’s amazing distribution network for good.
He created the idea of ColaLife – a project to swap out one row of Coca-Cola bottles in each delivery crate with a ColaLife AidPod – a special pod stuffed with simple medicinal supplies like rehydration salts to delivered across the vast Africa continent. At first, Berry’s idea fell on deaf ears at Coca-Cola. But after launching an online movement, Berry has recruited thousands of supporters, who through Facebook and Twitter, have now lent ColaLife the momentum and voice to work with Coca-Cola in collaborating on their first trial run in Zambia.
ColaLife beautifully illustrates the idea of solving for pattern – an idea from another Berry, which is “the process of finding solutions that solve multiple problems, while minimizing the creation of new problems.”
I continue to be inspired by ColaLife’s creativity and elegance in discovering a way to utilize the best of big business to give a lifesaving service to those who need it most.