Tech for Good Ten: a food-sharing platform, upcyling waste plastic bags, robotic receptionists and more

14th June 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 | 14.06.2016


1//  Olio: sharing food waste amongst your local community

Olio is a food-sharing app that allows people to share surplus food with people in the local community. Given that a despicable 1/3 of food produced for human consumption goes to waste, sharing platforms like Olio could point to the future of food-waste management.


2//  Turning plastic bags into designer furniture

Cairo’s Reform Studio is using Egyptian handlooms to to turn waste plastic bags into furniture. Alongside efforts to increase the use of reusable shopping bags, the initiative could both reduce the damage of plastic bags on our planet, and sustain the traditional but ailing Egyptian handweaving industry.


3// Solar canopies for higgledy-piggledy rooftops

Engineers at Brooklyn SolarWorks have developed a canopy with solar panels raised on stilts. This allows solar panels to be installed on all roofs, regardless of whether they have much flat, open space - an important innovation if highly populated urban areas are to move to clean energy.


4//  Bark: the internet watchdog that automatically detects when children are in danger

Bark uses advanced technology to notify parents when potential issues are detected, without parents reading through all of their child's online activities. This approach saves time and helps to build trust and an open dialog within families around internet safety..


5//  Saip: French government app that alerts and advises people on attacks and disasters

Developed following the Parisian terrorist attacks in November, and released as the Euro 2016 football championships get under way in France, Saip directly alerts people in the vicinity of attacks or other disasters, and advises them on what action to take.


6//  Special iApps: developing apps for children with special educational needs

It was announced this week that Special iApps were one of the winners of the UnLtd 2016 Big Venture Challenge. The company develops apps for children wth cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, Down syndrome and other learning disabilities.


7//  Turning waste bottles into 3D-printing filament

Amsterdam startup Reflow is hiring waste pickers in developing countries to collect used bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to be converted into 3D-printing filament. The venture aims to spearhead an environmentally friendly 3D printing movement whilst improving the lives of waste pickers in developing countries.


8//  New York’s Civic Hall launches Civic Hall Labs

As the new non-profit, research and development arm of Civic Hall, Civic Hall Labs seeks to reimagine civic participation for the 21st century, expand the role of civic tech and demonstrate a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to designing and building technology for the public good. An exciting development!


9//  Free wifi in exchange for clean air?

Amsterdam entrepreneur Joris Lam has development an ingenious prototype aiming to combat Amsterdam’s pollution problems. By combining air-quality sensors with wifi routers in public spaces, the idea is to offer free public wifi if, and only if, the air sensor detects a satisfying level of air quality.


10//  Robot receptionists introduced in Belgian hospitals

Finally, hospitals in Liege and Ostend have introduced robotic receptionists to greet and escort patients through the hospital. They humanoids, called Pepper, can reportedly detect human speech in 20 languages and determined whether the person is speaking to a man, woman or child.

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