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Everyone stays busy these days, and carving out a whole day or even a whole hour to volunteer can seem next to impossible sometimes. Lucky for you, Jacob Colker is on the case. Colker is one of six young people earning a spot in the 2010 Rolex Awards for Enterprise Young Laureates Programme. Watch him in action here:

Announcing their first ever Young Laureate winners, Rolex pointed to Colker's forward thinking. "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. Nearly 30,000 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." You can learn more about Colker's idea at

This Colker fellow is in pretty amazing company. The other five Rolex Young Laureates include Nnaemeku Ikegwuonu, a Nigerian who wants to help millions of farmers in his home country exchange information via radio, and Reese Fernandez, a woman in the Philippines who's helping families earn money by turning scrap materials into fashion accessories.

The six winners earned $50,000 each, which is hopefully enough to keep them on the path toward real innovation that could improve an untold number of lives. To read more and watch video interviews with all six winners, visit


Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.