Tech for Good 10: Colony, Civil, Arriba Mexico and more tech-for-good innovations

31st October 2017 Posted by: Sam Firman

Welcome to the Tech For Good Ten, where we share the best 10 links in the Tech For Good world from the past seven days.


We’re aiming to share a wide range of links, meeting the people behind the latest digital innovations, showcasing the greatest tech for good products, looking at the future of social change technology, and exploring the themes and social issues that technology is tackling locally and globally.


Most importantly, we’ll be meeting the people and institutions who are actually using this technology, showing the positive difference it makes in their lives, their communities and the world around them.


We’re also encouraging debate around “What exactly is Tech For Good?” Join the debate in the comments below. We’re here to discuss all things Tech For Good. Got a link to share with the Tech For Good Team? Tweet us at  @techfotgoodtv  or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


Tech For Good Ten | 31.10.2017



1//  Colony: truly open online organisations

Colony is a platform, or infrastructure, to be used by organisations that inspire to be genuinely open. A “colony” is an organisation that gives reward and influence (through the medium of tokens) based on workload and merit, not hierarchy. We encourage you to read more and consider how the platform, or at least the principles underpinning it, might be usefully applied to organisations you work in.


2//  Civil: progress for the blockchain journalism platform

Civil is a blockchain-based journalism platform edging closer to reality. It promises three core benefits: incorruptible, distributed archival storage; the ability for citizens to directly fund journalists; and a sustainable financial model for journalism. The idea has had its critics, and caused much confusion, but as investment begins to roll in, heads are turning.


3// Arriba Mexico: Airbnb for disaster relief

Arriba Mexico is a website that resembles a home-rental site, but allows people not to stay in the home, but donate to help the people that live in it. It was designed by two directors from the Mexico City creative agency Anonimo, and has led to over $500,000 of donations.


4// Facebook announces it will show who buys political ads

Facebook has announced that it will show who buys political ads, following sustained controversy over the role of political advertising on the platform since the 2016 US election. A pilot is set for Canada.


5//  The rise of flying warehouse drones

Is it possible for the realisation of science fiction to be mundane? If so, flying drones in distribution warehouses might be an example. They are becoming increasingly common, saving money and mistakes, but costing jobs. To what extent is this tech for good?


6//  Sinar Project: info for citizens in preparation for Malaysia's elections

Malaysia is expected to announce elections very soon, and those elections are expected to be the closest race in the country’s history. The Sinar Project is a civic-tech organisation playing a major role, seeking to use open-source technology to make the Malaysian government transparent, accountable and open to citizen engagement.


7//  A history of the Government Digital Service

In an instance of what it calls “an exercise in deliberate institutional memory”, the Government Digital Service has published an account of how it came in to being and where it is going. We highly recommend it.


8// Outreach Grid: helping police combat homelessness

To combat homelessness, the West Sacramento Police Department has begun using a tech platform called Outreach Grid, which allows them to map homeless encampments, consolidate client info from multiple agencies into one platform and customise intake forms based on needs.


9//  The power of Google Docs

One feature of the torrent of sexual-assault accusations in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations is the role of technology. In particular, the public-slash-private Google Doc has played an important role.


10// Linux introduces the Community Data License Agreement

The Linux Foundation has announced a Community Data License Agreement, an effort to define a licensing framework to support collaborative communities built around curating and sharing open data.


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