Tech for Good Ten: my Society civic-tech conference, drones delivering aid, platform cooperativisim unconference, the return of Black Mirror and more

25th October 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 | 25.10.2016


1//  Drones begin delivering aid in Rwanda

Following a successful trial, drones have started delivering aid to Western Rwanda. With the new programme, which sees the Rwandan government partnering with drone company Zipline, clinics can place emergency blood orders by cell phone text and the distribution center will send one of the 15 drones out for delivery. The drones can fly 150km round trip even in wind and rain and carry 1.5kg of blood, which is enough to save a life. They can make a deliver within about 30 minutes.


2//  Platform cooperativism unconference set for New York

From 11th - 13th November, Civic Hall are holding a three-day unconference in New York to generate ideas about how platform cooperativism can be developed as an equitable alternative to the winner-takes-all on-demand economic model. Platform cooperativism has gathered considerable momentum in recent months, and represents an incredibly exciting way to potentially make the so-called sharing economy genuinely mutual and beneficial for communities. Don’t miss out!


3// Driverless buses set for real-life tests in Singapore

Driverless technology is expanding in Singapore after a successful pilot with taxis. Full-size city buses will now be tested in real-world situations. The new bus program will see two electric hybrid buses begin to ferry passengers between Nanyang Technological University and CleanTech Park, and potentially even beyond to Pioneer MRT station.


4//  mySociety announced The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (including a call for papers and workshops)

mySociety has announced The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference, in Florence, on 25th and 26th April 2017. Returning for a third year, the conference will focus on the impact that civic technology and digital democracy are having upon citizens, decision makers and governments around the world. mySociety are also accepting proposals for talks and workshops.


5//  UCL computer scientists build AI that could assist with human-rights cases

After a breakthrough study by a group of British scientists, AI could be used to predict the outcome of trials. Software that is able to weigh up legal evidence and moral questions of right and wrong has been devised by computer scientists at University College London. In a remarkable 79% of 584 human-rights cases, the AI reached the same conclusion as the human judge. But the scientists behind the technology say they don’t envisage AI actually replacing human judges.


6//  Tech for Good Manchester set for app and mobile project showcase

This Thursday, Tech for Good Manchester are showcasing a range of tech-for-good apps and mobile projects. Don’t miss out if you’re in the area!


7//  Designer creates typeface for dyslexic people

Typefaces may be a seemingly minimal aspect of our technology. But not for people with dyslexia. Thankfully graphic designer Christian Boer has created a typeface specifically for improving the reading skills of people who have trouble reading. The letters are designed to make it difficult for people’s brains to flip or twist them while reading, using letter weights which are bolder at the base, and with larger capital letters and bigger spaces between words.


8//  Crowdsourcing gun-violence research

The people at Gun Violence are using newspaper and television reports to build a database of gun violence incidents in the US, so that researchers can analyze the many forms gun violence takes and how it differs across the country. What’s more, they are crowdsourcing part of their process, so you can help them collect the data they need.


9//  Sigora International: building 100% renewable grids for Haitian towns with no power

In Haiti, startup Sigora International Is building 100% renewable grids for towns with no power. After Hurricane Matthew, the company was able to restore power in 55 hours, long before the rest of the country.


10// Black Mirror returns

Finally, this week saw the return of everyone’s (our) favourite tech-dystopian drama: Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. Black Mirror brilliantly offers a much-needed critical perspective on some of the world’s emerging technologies. All 12 episodes of the new season are now available to watch on Netflix. Enjoy!

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