Tech for Good Ten: giving ex-convicts a second chance, the Kenyan village chief reducing crime through social media, reducing phantom pain and more

6th December 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 | 6.12.2016


1//  Clear My Record: giving ex-convicts a second chance

Jzmyn Latimer, the lead designer on Code for America’s Safety and Justice Team, is set to help manage a new app called Clear My Record. Using Proposition 47, the app will help people remove or reduce charges from criminal records to reduce barriers to employment and other second chances.


2//  Kenyan village chief wins award for innovative use of social media

Francis Kariuki, a village administrative chief from Kenya, has won the Champions’ Award at the Kenya Open Data Initiative Awards for innovative use of social media. Kariuki has used Twitter to help reduce crime and help with other village problems and affairs.


3// Seeds: encouraging social-impact in-app purchases

Seeds is a new software development kit that leverages the popularity of apps to encourage users to make socially beneficial in-app purchases to micro-finance organisations.


4//  Augmented reality used to reduce phantom pain

A new type of therapy developed using augmented reality is proving effective at reducing phantom pain.


5//  WhaleWatch: protecting blue whales from shop collisions

NOAA Fisheries, along with researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Maryland, has created an app that uses historic data to notify ships of likely blue whale positions. The app is intended to reduce ship-whale collisions, which kill at least two of the endangered creatures per year, and whale entanglement in nets and traps.


6//  MyShake: using smartphones to detects earthquakes

Seismologists at UC Berkeley have published the promising early results of an app they released in February, called MyShake, that uses smartphones to detect earthquake tremors.


7//  DigitalAgenda Impact Awards now open

The DigitalAgenda Impact Awards are accepting tech-for-good entries, across a range of categories, until Friday 20th January.


8//  Giving Tuesday raises record total

As something of an antidote to the consumerist tornado that is Black Friday to Cyber Monday (and any arbitrary number of days either side), Giving Tuesday, with technology at its centre, raised a record $168 million for charity this year.


9//  Social Enterprise conference this week in Birmingham

This Friday, SEFORIS are holding a free conference in Birmingham to gather and impart insights from social entrepreneurs on the challenges of governance, financing, innovation and scaling.


10// Hacking Amazon's Dash button to track your toilet usage ...

Finally, a second seemingly-frivolous-but-not-so-frivolous toilet-related news item in two weeks. James Smith, of the Open Data Institute, has hacked the Amazon Dash button to allow him to record when his family members go to the toilet. Seems ridiculous, until you consider that his daughter suffers from a genetic condition that requires just that.

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