Tech for Good Ten: A new global address system, the social network for community projects, the Dalai Lama's new app and more.

17th May 2016 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 | 17.05.2016


1//  The new LED system that warns vehicles when cyclists are approaching

The city of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, is trialling a new LED system that warns vehicles when cyclists are about to cross the road. If successful, the system could mark a significant increase in safety and convenience for cyclists, not to mention yet another pioneering cycling innovation coming out of the Netherlands. 


2//  Research using virtual reality to treat paranoia through tube-train simulations

As virtual-reality technology looms large, researchers at Oxford University, backed by the Medical Research Council, have demonstrated that it can be used to achieve "major reductions in paranoia."


3//  The elegant solution tackling the myriad problems of poor address systems

What3words is an innovative organisation that, by dividing the entire globe into 3-metre x 3-metre squares and assigning each a unique three-word 'address', is combatting the acute problems resulting from being unaddressed or poorly addressed. Their latest project sees them working to help the unbanked access microfinance in Liberia.


4//  The startup promising to slash the cost of renewable household energy

Renewable-energy startup Bulb have just moved out of beta. By combining expertise in technology and energy trading, they are hoping to pass efficiency savings on to customers and prove that renewable energy needn't be too expensive.


5//  Can the power of social networks and crowdfunding be used to create a one-stop shop for community-project funding?

Neighbourly, recently recognised as one of Bloomberg's top 50 innovators of 2016, is hoping to become the Facebook of community projects.


6//  Mapping plant genomes to help protect vegetation

Scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens have succeeded in mapping the genomes of 139 vascular plant species - a crucial development for learning how to protect the world’s vegetation.


7//  Creating toys that help people with paralysis to play with their children

360i are modifying toys like baseball pitchers and racing cars to help people with paralysis play with children in ways they wouldn't otherwise be able to.


8//  Data science is helping charities map, understand and tackle hunger

The Trussell Trust is using data science to understand and combat hunger in the UK in increasingly sophisticated ways.


9//  Blockchain technoogy is set to have considerable social impact

Much of the discussion around the potential impact of Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies is financial in nature. But as such developments become steadily more mainstream, it's important to remember the potential social impacts, too.


10//  Last but by no means least: introducing the Dalai Lama's new app, aimed at revolutionising secular emotional wellbeing

The Dalai Lama, arguably the world's greatest spiritual leader, has commissioned a new app, for around $750,000, aimed at improving secular emotional and mental wellbeing (although he prefers the paper version himself).

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