Jacob Colker

2010 Young Laureate, Applied Technology
United States, Born 1983


Project Goal

Enable smartphone users to become volunteers by donating spare minutes to charitable, scientific and community organizations

Location: United States

"Sprinkle these 'do good' moments throughout the week, then multiply that figure by the many thousands of registered users currently comprising the network, and suddenly you're dealing with an enormously effective movement."

Tapping into the latest trends in information and telecommunications technology, Jacob Colker has combined volunteering, the internet and mobile phones to pioneer a new form of activism in which almost anyone with a smartphone can devote spare minutes — waiting for the bus or to see the doctor — to a useful charitable or scientific task.

Over 40,000 volunteers have now signed up for “micro-volunteering," carrying out a wide range of tasks, from helping NASA identify galaxies by examining their shapes to translating the CVs of newly arrived immigrants who are looking for work. Colker will use his Rolex Award to expand micro-volunteering to more internet uses and gain publicity to “encourage millions of people to volunteer."

388 million

hours spent on Facebook every day by users worldwide


the year Jacob founded The Extraordinaries


percentage of people who say volunteering improves physical health

Other 2010 Young Laureates