Tech for Good 10: My Society's conference overview, political engagement among young people, the UN's AI office and more

3rd 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 | 03.10.2017



1//  My Society's Civic Tech Conference

My Society’s Impacts of Civic Technology Conference was held between the 11th and 13th September. The team has just posted a overview of what went down, including links to all manner of projects and resources for further reading.


2//  New campaign to boost political engagement among young Americans

The Omidyar Network, Reid Hoffman and the MacArthur Foundation have injected $8.6m into a new civic-tech campaign. The project - hosted by, the digital platform for youth-led social-change campaigns - aims to boost political engagement among young people in the US in preparation for the 2018 midterms.


3// Nesta conducts Digital Culture survey

Nesta has conducted its annual Digital Culture survey, designed to track the perceived importance of technology to arts and culture organisations in England, the activities they use it for and the impact that results. Here the team presents five headline findings, as well as the whole report.


4// UN opens office to monitor AI

The UN has opened a new office to monitor the impact of AI on security and jobs.


5//  Report into social benefits of social-media intelligence

At a time when social-media networks (Facebook in particular) are taking a lot of flak, Gov Lab has produced a fascinating report into the potential social impact of social-media intelligence. The executive summary captures the essential points, if you don’t have time to read the whole report.


6//  Nissan develops sweat-detecting chair to reduce accidents

Nissan has exhibited a prototype sweat-detecting car seat that it claims could save lives. Research shows dehydrated drivers are as likely to cause accidents as drunk drivers. As a potential intervention, Nissan’s seat changes colour if it detects sweat high in salt (a sign of dehydration).


7//  Simplifying social-media companies' terms and conditions

In response to the Children Commissioner’s recent Growing Up Digital report, the Commissioner and law firm Schillings have published simplified versions of major social media companies’ terms and conditions. The reason behind the move is to make it clearer to young people what their rights are when using social media, although critics have argued stripping terms and conditions down can lead to more confusion, not less.


8// Google announces end to "first click free" policy

Google has announced it is going to change its “first click free” policy, which requires digital-content outlets to offer three free articles per day in exchange for visibility on its search platform. The move is designed to support digital subscriptions in journalism, as news outlets struggle to find sustainable business models in the digital age. Consumers might interpret this as a negative development, but there is a strong argument that moves to support subscriptions, especially from giants like Google, represent a sustainable future.


9//  Guide to Doxxing protection for campaigners

Mobilisation Lab has published a useful guide for campaigners on how to protect against Doxxing attacks. Campaigners across the political spectrum are at particular risk of such attacks, which are becoming increasingly common.


10// Festival exploring the future in Adelaide

I can’t remember the last time we shared a story from our friends in Australia, and that has to change. So here is the excellent looking Open State Festival, happening now in Adelaide.


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