Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Vesper AI

What is the name of your solution?


Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

A mobile deployed platform that turns crowdsourced data into operational intelligence for missions of human security and humanitarian impact.

What specific problem are you solving?

The global frequency of climate related disasters is increasing every year. 2021 saw nearly 400 global climate-related disasters, over 200 of these were caused by flooding and 150 more related to storms and fires. In 2020 alone, over 50 million people globally were directly affected by climate related crises, and this number is only getting worse. What's clear is that the response and recovery system is strained and struggles to meet the worldwide humanitarian demand to disasters related to climate, among other conflicts. 

Some of the key critical challenges that organizations and communities face are:

  • Data gaps: Data is all around us, but for impacted communities and organizations operating in these communities, the right data at the right time is not at hand. There does not exist a single, integrated system to link data sources together, elucidate missions, and make them more efficient and effective.
  • Lack of impact evidence: Many organizations operating in disaster zones lack the ability to demonstrate impact of the millions of dollars they are utilizing and delivering around the world, which is needed for ensure their missions can continue and succeed.
  • Limited monitoring capacity: In a sector and environment of constant funding challenges and shortfalls, the capacity to robustly monitor programs is vulnerable, compromising the quality of assistance efforts for impacted communities.
  • Slow response: Today, the response and recovery system is designed in a way that is inherently slow, manual and not able to predict where and when help is needed most.

Vesper tackles all of these challenges head on to change how organizations and communities predict, respond and recover to climate disasters, to make their missions more efficient, cost less and ultimately get help to the people who need it most in a more timely and impactful manner. 

What is your solution?

Vesper is a mobile app and platform technology that is built to solve the described challenges. It closes the data gap by turning crowd-sourced data into operational intelligence, making each mission smarter, more efficient, predictive and impactful. 

Vesper empowers in-country humanitarian and disaster response staff with a tool, on the mobile phones they already own, to capture mission events: events include photographic and video data along with tagged descriptors that are all geolocated, encrypted and transferred via chain of custody to a back-end platform for analysis. 

Advanced AI processes events to match them based on location, and pull-out insights based on metadata, important visual markers and time to create custom reports that help these organizations assess their work, build models to predict how to make their operations more efficient and effective, and ultimately document the impact of their work. It’s taking the manual process they deploy today and automating it so they can spend their time on activities that matter most. 

It allows all in-country and office staff to access the data in real-time to gain situational awareness of the impacted environment and their mission efforts by connecting and shortening the communication feedback loops. It is also meant to be deployed to an entire community to enhance data collection and on-the-ground insights to turn an entire region into a recording and response network--essentially crowdsourcing the data sourcing and mobilizing the local communities in partnership with the on-the-ground organizations.

With Vesper, everyone can see what is happening around them, whether that be events or incidents that need attention; where and when aid has been delivered and ensuring it reaches the right people; or anticipating and proactively planning where resources need to go before a storm hits.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Vesper's target populations are:

1) The network of humanitarian entities working in climate disaster and crisis -affected communities globally. This includes international NGOs, local and national NGOs, UN humanitarian agencies, government agencies, the international Red Cross, national disaster management authorities, and humanitarian arms of regional intergovernmental organizations.

Today, these organizations handle increasingly complex missions in increasingly challenging parts of the world. Complete situational awareness is limited in many cases, and filled with data gaps with no easy or simple way to fix. Processes are manual and cumbersome, and chains of communication can be long and lagging. What's more, funding challenges make the integration of innovative technology solutions limited to many field operators who need to focus on just getting help where it is needed most. It's these groups that need a new way of approaching their programs and missions-- an operational tool to simplify their efforts, link disparate data sources, gain better insights into their environments, and predict where resources need to go.

2) Local communities most affected by climate-related and humanitarian disasters. Anyone with a cell phone can use Vesper and contribute to its mission to enhance the human security of their environment.

The people who live in affected communities can be some of the most powerful sources of data to inform community organizers and aid response organizations and entities to get assistance to where it is most needed. It gives communities the power to crowdsource reporting, broadly inform neighbors of incidents and incorporate climate risk into their daily lives.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

One of the Founders of Vesper, Priscilla Koepke, worked very closely with international NGOs across the Asia region for a period of her career, while also performing an oversight function of their activities and level of funding they received from the US Government. It was during this time, she personally witnessed the disconnect between on-the-ground missions, understanding the impact of their work, how this data was collected, and how this impacted was reported. By personally working in countries like Burma, with local political parties and civil society orgs, both Founders recognized there was a way to do things better with the help of technology. 

Our founders have many personal connections with on-the-ground organizations who would use Vesper; and, the team has spent a considerable amount of time collaborating with a variety of people in the space who are currently managing humanitarian programs to tackle crises and climate disasters in order to help inform the needs, functionality requirements, and methods that would be used in the deployment of Vesper in different communities. 

For it's first pilot, which will be rolled out in Central America this summer, the team is working with a regional disaster response organization that is represented by 7 nations to use Vesper to help document the impact and better respond to incidents from rain and flooding. The MVP of Vesper has been designed to support the needs of this organization's use case and in coordination with the organization, the specific requirements have been integrated in complete cooperation with the organization to support their local efforts.

The Vesper team is also coordinating with another NGO that has projects in a few other regions around the world to start solutioning around the requirements and capabilities that need to be integrated into Vesper's development roadmap to support their programs and get tested in the field.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Help communities understand and incorporate climate risk in infrastructure design and planning, including through improved data collection and analysis, integration with existing systems, and aligning financial incentives such as insurance.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Oakland, California and Chicago, Illinois

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • United States

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization testing a product, service, or business model with a small number of users

How many people does your solution currently serve?

Approximately 1000 people. This is through our first pilot. For this deployment of Vesper, we are helping our client's member countries reduce disaster risk and community vulnerability to climate disasters, bolstering their disaster risk management capabilities, and responding to flooding related to storms and seasonable weather systems. 

Why are you applying to Solve?

First and foremost, we are looking for help in advancing the reach of Vesper through partners who can help with data source integrations and use case testing in different global locations. We are constantly looking for feedback and strategic guidance from mentors and coaches across a variety of sectors to ensure Vesper is strongly positioned and taken to market in the correct way. Gaining opportunities to expose of the potential of Vesper is a top priority and why we are very excited about being included in the Solve program this year.

Second, we are also looking for technical and financial assistance in the development of Vesper as we expand our reach and analytical capabilities. We have a roadmap of capabilities that we want to build into Vesper and assistance with the ability to do this in a timely manner would increase the impact and potential of Vesper greatly.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business Model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Financial (e.g. accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. delivery, logistics, expanding client base)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Priscilla Koepke

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

The humanitarian world is at an inflection point of facing crisis trends that will require a greater integration of technological innovations to respond to and prevent having catastrophic impact on communities around the world. The manner in which humanitarian networks manage their operations to respond to climate disasters as well as other disasters and crises is reliant on old technologies. These systems have large data gaps, use technologies that lack data integrations or use of AI/ML and blockchain to derive insights quickly and validate data being documented in the field. Today's interconnected world is being driven by drastic technological advancements that require the use of innovations applied to old systems to remain effective, secure, and impactful.

Vesper is providing a solution that innovates upon the current system of disaster response, recovery and aid operations around the world. It empowers the community and field operators with a platform to take geospatial data and turn it into operational intelligence with the help of AI and blockchain so that human security challenges can be tackled in a proactive and immediate way. Vesper is sustainably scaled using mobile devices people already own, and crowdsourcing that data into a consolidated dashboard, giving organizations and community leaders situational awareness of their environments in real-time. It is a tool that can empower communities and individuals to take action and build an understanding of climate risk into their daily lives.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

1-Year Impact Goals:

Execute successful pilots in 3 countries that: 

  • Measurably augment the disaster management, preparation and recovery in such countries;
  • Augment local government's and disaster risk management organization's mission capacities by helping them make decisions faster and reducing their respective response times to climate disasters;
  • Demonstrate Vesper as an optimal operational tool to coordinate responses, reduce regional asymmetries in disaster management, and articulate response and impact strategies to the local communities; and
  • Measurably eass the coordination of global humanitarian assistance among relevant regional network entities involved in responding to climate disasters.

Vesper is built to impact the above subjects and goals. Deploying Vesper in prospective pilot opportunities will prove out these impact goals, and all business efforts will be directed at supporting the needs of the entities/organizations of these countries to demonstrate that Vesper can indeed improve these processes and address these challenges in responding and managing efforts related to climate disasters. These pilots will also demonstrate Vesper's impact in enhancing the local communities' awareness by involving them in the response processes raising their understanding of climate risk.

5-Year Impact Goals:

  • Get Vesper adopted as a primary tool for impact reporting and program management by 3 nations by their key humanitarian and aid agencies. 
  • Strengthen the humanitarian network's resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.
  • Get 5 unique countries or regions to adopt and implement plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop holistic disaster risk management programs.
  • Reduce the number of people affected and decrease the direct economic losses caused by disasters, including water-related disasters. 
  • Increase resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through technological and technical support to least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States overall. 

These are long-term goals that extend from the 1-year goals. Proving out the initial pilots will lead to broader opportunities to subsequently demonstrate the impact Vesper can have for organizations, local communities and countries by using AI and geospatial technology to address the challenges they face today in responding to, managing activities, consolidating data, extracting insights for predictive purposes, and demonstrating impact of efforts. The Vesper team intends to achieve these goals through critical partnerships with organizations within the humanitarian network that believe in the mission, understand the problems and want to transform this space across the world.

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Regarding the 5-year impact goals, these are some of the broader indicators we are using to measure Vesper's progress:

  • Goal: Reduce the number of people affected and decrease the direct economic losses caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, as measured by:
    • 15% decrease in the number of deaths in deployed locations;
    • 10% decrease in direct economic impact to global GDP from climate disasters in deployed locations;
    •  20% increase in access to basic services and support in response to climate disasters and crises in deployed locations.

  • Goal: Get 5 unique countries or regions to adopt and implement plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and holistic disaster risk management programs, as measured by:
    • 5 procurements or contracts with entities in unique countries or regions to use Vesper as part of broader plans to address disaster risk management.

  • Goal: Strengthen the humanitarian network's resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, as measured by:
    • YoY decrease the number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters;
    • YoY increase in the number of countries and local governments that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies.

  • Goal: 5 countries or regions within 5 unique countries and a proportion of their local governments using Vesper to implement local disaster risk reduction strategies, as measured by 5 unique and new locations broadly adopting the use of Vesper.

  • Goal: Increase resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through technological and technical support to least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States overall, as measured by:
    • An increase in total official development assistance support to infrastructure programs; using Vesper to 1) demonstrate the impact of using geospatial data and AI in a platform that establishes a operational data fabric to shorten communication loops, 2) demonstrates rigorous evidence of on-the-ground impact of disaster risk management programs, 3) using data to build predictive insights to plan for and respond to climate disasters in a way that reduces disaster's impact on infrastructure, and 4) the immense value in engaging local communities and crowdsourcing field data to enhance situational awareness at all times.

What is your theory of change?

The Vesper team believes this technology will have a discernible impact on communities around the world and the humanitarian organizations helping them to save lives and empower missions to be more efficient and effective.

Our Outputs Include:

  1. Increased data collection and integration to create management efficiency for NGOs and Intergovernmental organizations.
  2. Enhanced situational awareness for humanitarian staff, leading to better decision-making and faster responses.
  3. Customized reports that help organizations document impact and optimize operations.

We expect our solution to have the following outcomes:

  1. Increased efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian missions, resulting in more people being reached and helped.
  2. Improved data-driven decision-making, leading to better use of resources and ultimately, increased impact.
  3. Greater transparency and accountability in humanitarian / climate disaster operations.

We have evidence from studies that show that using technology to automate data collection and analysis can improve the efficiency and impact of humanitarian operations (Custer, 2021). By providing real-time data and customized reports with the use of AI, Vesper can help organizations make more informed decisions and optimize their operations, ultimately leading to increased impact and saving lives. Additionally, crowd-sourced data has been shown to improve the accuracy and completeness of data collection, which can lead to better decision-making (UN Global Pulse, 2019). By empowering in-country staff to capture mission events, Vesper can help improve the quality of data collected by humanitarian organizations, and empower them with the right data they need to respond more effectively, efficiently and quickly.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Natural disasters strike without warning, leading to destruction loss of life, and displaced populations. Therefore, early detection and response are essential in not only mitigating the negative impacts but helping with distribution of aid. Technological advancements have made it possible for AI, blockchain, videos, and computer vision to be utilized in the Vesper AI technology. 

Among the technologies employed are deep learning algorithms that help identify patterns in data that can be used to predict natural disasters, and blockchain provides a transparent, decentralized system for ensuring a much-needed response. Technology behind its artificial intelligence is a critical component of the overall technology powering Vesper. Machine learning capabilities will allow for the identification of patterns in data to predict particular events and provide lifesaving alerts in real time. The Vesper solutions will employ convolutional neural networks (CNNs), recurrent neural networks (RNNs), and long short-term memory (LSTM) models to analyze data from multiple sources and detect patterns during and after particular events. The models will help generate alerts that enable the authorities to respond on time and minimize casualties, they will be also able to provide the recommendation on where the help and in what quantities should be provided first.  Vesper utilizes computer vision to analyze and monitor natural disasters and the affected areas. Computer vision algorithms can identify and recognize objects in images and videos using features such as shape, size, and texture, which makes it possible to identify specific objects critical to disaster detection and response. 

Blockchain technology plays a critical role in securing and managing the data generated in the disaster management process regardless of its source (See videos section). The solution utilizes blockchain’s immutability traits to create a transparent and secure system that enables responders, citizens/communities, and other stakeholders to access vital information, including information about evacuation routes and status, shelter locations,  safety alerts support availability, and aid distribution. 

Videos play a significant role in providing real-time footage and data about the extent of damage caused by natural disasters. Starting with the Android application, Vesper's solution will employ several ways of recording and providing information on particular events.  The integration of aerial drone data will provide a birds-eye view of affected areas, enabling authorities to better monitor and respond to climate disasters; mobile phone's video recordings which, using Computer Vision technologies, will be analyzed against the time and location instantly forming the map of the event and its scale. Emergency responders and local authorities will then be able to analyze the blockchain-secured data provided by the videos, which facilitates the wider distribution of resources and proper planning to minimize casualties and damage.

Some other aspects of the technology and considerations in the development process:

  • Given the need for extreme reliability and speed of response where seconds make the difference, specifically nowadays with recent challenges with CPUs and GPUs (chip shortage, growing deep learning models etc), Vesper will utilize AWS services due to its reliability with on-demand provisioning of GPU resources. 
  • For Android mobile application development, the Vesper application will use Kotlin application deployment. With the expected application dynamics, frequent changes to meet the demand, kotlin application deployment is lightweight, faster to compile and - what matters most, prevents application from increasing its size allowing nearly all device models to operate seamlessly. 
  • Automatic application deployment is also considered in order to save time and ensure smooth operations anywhere in the world. The Vesper team has significant experience with application deployment platforms, limiting user interaction and securing Vesper availability at all times without the need of updating it during an event.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Blockchain
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Imaging and Sensor Technology

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Guatemala
  • United States

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Panama
  • United States
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

2 Full-time, 9 Part-time (software development, legal and marketing)

How long have you been working on your solution?

1 year

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Vesper is led by a female founder and is committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive leadership team as the business grows. To date, all Vesper's partners bring additional layers of diversity, representing many regions of the world for example, while ongoing business development efforts are focused on collaborating with programs/local organizations in parts of Africa, South America, the Middle East and SE Asia. Vesper is meant to be used by all peoples, communities and organizations around the world. The Vesper MVP is available in English and Spanish, and the development roadmap is to continually add more languages to make it accessible and inclusive. 

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Vesper's key customers and beneficiaries are the many entities included in the humanitarian network, including international NGOs, local and national NGOs, UN humanitarian agencies, national disaster management authorities, humanitarian arms of regional intergovernmental organizations, civil society groups, host communities, and governments. These are the entities that could use Vesper as a platform to help them manage their on-the-ground programs, efforts to engage with local communities, and to build comprehensive AI-based insights and reports from the many disparate data sources available today, ultimately helping them deliver the same/better assistance at lower costs over time, reaching more people in less time, and responding faster.

Development finance funds are also target customers as they need evidence of damage and loss to receive emergency funds. Vesper is a tool they can use to crowdsource damage data from climate disasters, and build and provide reports. The current process for these reports can take months, so with the ability to use Vesper, integrating AI and blockchain to authenticate the data, reports can be produced quickly and provided as evidence to receive funding.

Vesper will be available as a software license, SaaS subscription either unlimited or pay for what is needed (ie # of users). The pricing will depend on the type /size of organization in recognition of the limited funding for technology that humanitarian entities often face, as compared to broader national government entities. 

Vesper AI's partners and stakeholders will involve advisors and advocates in the humanitarian development field, including aid and assistance organizations that are seeking technologies to approach crises and climate disasters in a new and innovative manner. Vesper AI is currently building partnerships with organizations that want to solution for challenges together and participate in informing Vesper's development roadmap so they can use Vesper as a platform tool to better operationally manage their missions and programs. 

Vesper AI will also utilize these partners as channel partners to reach new audiences and potential customers, including data and platform partners that would want to integrate and enhance the insights available through the platform (as described in the technology section).

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

To date, Vesper AI is funded by its parent company, Hayden AI, for all technology development and business development costs. We are looking to support future development plans through grant opportunities, as well as selling the Vesper app/platform post pilot testing. This involves selling to both NGOs as well as government entities.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

To date, we are funded by our parent company, Hayden AI, for all development and business management costs.  We are pursuing additional resources through grants to help support the development roadmap in the future.

Solution Team

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