Tech for Good Ten: a summit, a conference, an event, a new ed-tech initiative, a pioneering media organisation and more (mad and sad) tech-for-good news

21st February 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 | 21.02.2017


1//  New York City School of Data Conference open for registration

New York City School of Data - a community conference showcasing NYC’s civic design, civic and government technology, and open data ecosystem - is now open for registration. The conference aims to improve New York's civic-tech sector through sessions and workshops, and will take place on Saturday 4th March (International Open Data day).


2//  First Tech for Good Live event of 2017

The first Tech for Good Live event takes place tomorrow (22nd February) in Manchester! The show will feature discussion around digital exclusion, a talk from Lisa Lee of the Good Things Foundation and space for lighting talks on tech for good from the audience.


3// Nesta launches Open Up Challenge

Nesta has launched the £5m Open Up Challenge. The challenge aims to ensure the opportunity presented by open banking delivers game-changing benefits for UK small businesses. The funding will support and reward at least 20 teams developing next-generation services, apps and tools. Nesta is looking for entrants who can bring a combination of insight into the problems small businesses face, technology, and commercial know-how.


4//  14 year old designs homework-tracker bot

A 14-year-old boy named Alec Jones has developed a bot that allows school pupils to easily schedule and track their homework tasks. As Dave Lee reports for the BBC, it represents a relatively rare example, in a world saturated with bot ideas, of a bot actually being the best solution to a particular problem.


5//  Open Bionics win $1 million prize

Open Bionics, which uses 3D printing and scanning to produce bespoke prosthesis for those in need, has won the $1 million prize for the international category at the UAE Robotics for Good Awards in Dubai. The team say the money will go towards hospital certifications and providing more prosthesis to young patients.


6//  Pigeon.ly: helping inmates stay in touch with loved ones

This week we wanted to spotlight Pigeon.ly, which allows inmates and other underserved communities to stay in touch with their loved ones. This would be worthy in itself, but Pigeon.ly is more notable for having been created by Frederick Hutson whilst he was himself an inmate, as detailed in a recent Long + Short profile. An excellent example of tech for good.


7//  Mayardit FM: solar-powered radio in South Sudan

Another fantastic example of tech for good comes from Issa Kassimu, an electrical engineer who came up with the bright idea of setting up South Sudan's first solar-powered local radio station, Mayardit FM. The station has been running on sunshine for some time now, and offers invaluable information services to millions of people in a region blighted by insecurity since its recent independence.


8//  Latin American Alliance for Civic Tech seeking support

The Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology is seeking applications for support. The deadline to apply is March 31st. The Alliance, which goes by the acronym ALTEC, is a joint project of the Omidyar Network (a major supporter of Civic Hall and Civic Hall Labs), Avina Americas, and the Avina Foundation.


9//  Otherlab designs biodegradable humanitarian drone

One of the most promising emerging applications of drones is the delivery of humanitarian supplies. However, there remains problems to solve, such as how to safely deliver supplies in times of crisis, and how to avoid littering the landscape with drones. In response to a DARPA call for ideas, Otherlab came back with a completely biodegradable stealth drone.


10// Mark Zuckerberg updates Facebook's mission statement

Finally, Mark Zuckerberg has written a long letter updating Facebook's mission statement. The letter has flamed wide-ranging discussion, started during the US election and accompanying speculation that Zuckerberg was thinking of a career in politics, about Facebook's role in the world. What do you make of this role, and of the stance outlined in the updated mission statement?

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