Tech for Good Ten: Skeptech, Nesta's tech-for-good report, New York's homelessness data innovation, a host of events and more

16th May 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 | 19.05.2017

1//  Skeptech: a new platform for criticality in tech

Skeptech is a new project, conceived by Mark Hurst. It is a platform that will critically question today’s technology; explore how it operates, often to users’ detriment; and discover ways to create and use better technology - tech for good. It will also highlight the people, tools and media contributing to such tech for good.

2//  Nesta publishes Digital Social Innovation report

Nesta has published its What Next for Social Innovation? report. The report maps the European projects and organisations using technology to tackle social challenges, and explores the barriers to the growth of digital social innovation (or tech for good) across Europe. There is sure to be something of interest in here for all involved in tech for good.

3// Cityflag: socialisation and gamification in 311 civic tech

Cityflag is a startup applying gamification and socialisation to 311 (the non-emegergency phone number for municipal services in the US) engagement. Beyond the techniques it is employing, Cityflag is looking to go beyond other 311 apps like FixMyStreet in terms of the types of engagement it facilitates (beyond the reporting and fixing and problems). The company has just won its first US contract, in San Antonio, Texas.

4//  New York set to measure homelessness in city

New York is set to deploy a new tool to count every homeless person in the city. In the hand of workers that reach out to the homeless every day, StreetSmart will help them track health, income, demographics and other figures. Unlike the siloed databases currently used by individual departments, the city wants everyone canvassing homeless populations - civic employee and non-profit worker alike - to feed into the tool to create a comprehensive data collection.

5//  Yes Share conference finale set for Paris

On 25th May, in Paris, the Yes Share (or Oui Share, given its French roots) social-innovation festival circuit will come to its climax. Drawing on the insights that have preceded it, the Paris conference will discuss the urban realities, ideas and innovations that can help build stronger and more sustainable cities.

6//  Bethnal Green Ventures Spring 2017 Demo Day

Bethnal Green Ventures’ Spring 2017 Demo Day is set for the 7th June. The event will showcase and celebrate the latest cohort of tech-for-good projects to emerge from the accelerator programme.

7//  Open Data Innovation Summit set for London

The Open Data Innovation Summit is set for the 12th and 13th June, in London. The conference will bring together Europe’s leading open-data pioneers, analysts, distributors and aspiring users from a range of industries.

8// £5m Open Up Challenge to innovate banking

The Open Up Challenge is a £5m prize by Nesta at the forefront of open banking. Prizes - up to £1m, equity-free - will go to up 20 teams anywhere in the world whose ideas and execution could shape the future of small business banking. Applications open on the 23rd March.

9//  Combining digital nomadism with volunteering

Venture With Impact is a new initiative looking to combine remote digital working - digital nomadism - with local volunteering opportunities. The risk of becoming another channel for “voluntourism" needs to be avoided. However, the model represents an interesting way of trying to direct the growing popularity of digital nomadism, especially among young professionals, to more tech-for-good ends.

10// Outside Play: encouraging parents to encourage kids to play outside

Outside Play is an app, developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia, aimed at encouraging nervous parents to allow their children to play outside more. If this is a sad sign of our overly health-and-safety conscious times, it is also probably valuable tech for good for precisely that reason.


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