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School budgets are in terrible shape in the United States. Recently I attended a protest that gave voice to the littlest victims of this situation -- elementary school children. Watch this short video clip of inspiring kids who stand to lose the most in this budget catastrophe:


As a parent of a kindergartner newly enrolled in public school, it's hard not to feel completely helpless in the face of such massive budget shortfalls, while at the same time knowing how important this is to our children's -- our own -- future on this planet.

Looking through the budget handout information at a school meeting last night -- figures printed on various pieces of reused paper from whatever scrap the school could gather, sometimes in tabular format, sometimes hand-scribbled -- I was hopelessly confused. Then someone brought up the idea of making a pie chart that could help visualize key areas for funding -- and cutting. Then I got to thinking: Isn't that the business we do at SAP?

Is there a way to provide accessible analytics for cash-strapped schools to help sort through this mess? Does BOBJ Explorer already do this -- or do you still need the respected talents of consultants to rig it all up? Is there someone or something that SAP can offer in its vast community passion and wisdom that can help? There must be parents out there who have used or know how to use SAP tools to help struggling schools -- or non-parents who know how and have the time. It's got to be lightweight and agile for a school that has about $-350K to spare.

If there is an answer, I'm certain it lies within the SAP Community Network.

SCN itself was recently lauded by an Aspen report that cited the SAP Community Network "as illustrating perhaps the most extensive use to date of social media by a corporation" with its "power to give employees at all levels of the company real-time insights into customer needs, interests and problems." [Aspen Institute Report Cites SAP(R) Community Network as Social Media Forerunner]

This is a question of corporate social responsibility -- but also of human and civil rights at the deepest core of our community and communities around the world. Can we help?