Tech for Good 10: the tech for good helping storm victims, a pen diagnosing cancer, lots of solar panels, women and gender non-conforming thinkers and more

8th September 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 | 08.09.2017



1//  Communicating during natural disasters using Zello

In the midst of a tragic period of damaging, fatal storms, it’s worth highlighting that even humble tech can play a valuable role in humanitarian efforts. Walkie-talkie app Zello, for instance, has helped survivors of Hurricane Harvey access assistance.


2//  And surviving through mapping and crowdsourcing

Another example is HoustonHarveyRescue - a simple map, designed by Matthew Marchetti in three days, that has allowed people in need of rescuing to register their location. After just one day of the site going live, over 5,000 people had signed up, with 2,700 of them already safe.


3// A list of women and gender non-confirming tech-for-good experts

This is a fantastic resource: a list of women and gender non-conforming scholars, researchers, activists, writers and speakers writing about tech. Tuck in!


4//  MasSpec Pen: identifying cancerous tissue in 10 seconds

A handheld device named the MasSpec Pen can identify cancerous tissue in 10 seconds, with 96% accuracy, according to scientists at the University of Texas. They say it could make surgery to remove a tumour quicker, safer and more precise.


5//  The shoe attachment helping Parkinson's patients

Path Finder is a shoe attachment, designed by Walk With Path, that provides visual clues for the feet to help people suffering from Freezing of Gait - something commonly seen in Parkinson’s and other diseases.


6//  Using VR games to tackle drink driving

In US government-supported research, participants navigating the world of a first-person shooter have been shown posters warning against dangerous behaviours. The findings promising suggest embedding such messaging in video games could effectively reduce drink driving (and other harmful behaviours).


7//  Solar panels and mushrooms working together

A new Japanese solar project will see solar power generation mixed with mushroom farming. The project, by Sustainergy and Hitachi Capital, will have a capacity of 4,000 kW. Cloud-eared mushrooms are grown underneath the panels, because they require so little sunlight.


8// 800,000 low-income UK homes to receive solar panels

Solar panels are to be installed in 800,000 low-income homes across England and Wales over the next five years, as part of a new government scheme. The panels, which will be free to tenants, are expected to cut hundreds of pounds from energy bills, according to the UK firm Solarplicity.


9//  Obama Foundation launches new civic-tech programme

The Obama Foundation has launched a fellowship program for “outstanding civic innovators from around the world in order to amplify the impact of their work and to inspire a wave of civic innovation.” The programme includes training, mentoring, access to a global cohort and other Obama Foundation opportunities and a chance to shape the programme itself.


10// Hero Quest: tackling dementia with VR

Sea Hero Quest VR is a virtual-reality game which is set to help in the fight against dementia. The game hopes to gather data that will feed into the early identification of dementia signs.


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