Bottom App – Decisions from the Bottom UP


Nicolas Monge Iriarte founded Bottom App one and a half years ago with a vision to turn top-down decision-making on its head and start building social change from the bottom up.


The inspiration for the technology-based solution, Bottom App, came about over the course of volunteering on several social projects where Nicolas and his co-founder Pablo Roselló uncovered a common theme.  They found that so often when stakeholders were not on the same page, it was extremely difficult for them to work together to solve the challenges they were tackling.


An example Nicolas shares is a project implemented in the South of Chile.  The indigenous language of the Mapuche people in the “Araucania” region of Southern Chile is slowly-but-surely disappearing.  A project created by a well-meaning organization aimed to implement an educational program to help revive the local language and preserve it for future generations.  It wasn’t until after the program was underway that the locals shared their true desire – to learn English; the program was mis-aligned with its target audience, and was ultimately a failure.


With the goal of avoiding further examples like this, Bottom App was created to gather information directly from the community through an easy online tag and mapping system.  Individuals can use the app to tag areas of concern in their neighbourhoods as well as add notes about what changes they would like to see.


Once multiple people in the community have inputted their concerns, then companies, NGO’s and municipalities who are looking to deliver social projects in those areas can work on projects that are directly informed by the public.


Nicolas realizes that the technology Bottom App provides – the online aggregation of the public’s concerns and ideas – is just one piece of a much larger and more complex puzzle.  For this reason, in addition to the Bottom App tool, he and his team are working on developing a full methodology for guiding communities through this “bottom up” process for social change.


Building off current partnerships with social innovation think tanks, NESIS and Socialab, the next steps for Bottom App include finalizing their NGO status in Chile and developing their app integration with Facebook to further their reach.   With his belief that social innovation starts with the people who have the problem, Nicolas and his team will continue to give a voice and visibility to the many social innovators in every corner.


For more details, visit, and watch the video below!


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