Tech for Good Ten: tech and tools against Trump, wide-ranging African tech for good, London tech-for-good conferences and much more

7th 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.


This week, the online tech-for-good space has been awhirr with opposition to a variety of Trump's first moves as US President - most notably his barring of refugees from seven Muslim countries. Tech-for-good responses to this move rightly head this week's digest, which also includes two exciting conferences and two digital-health breakthroughs.


Tech For Good Ten | 07.02.2017


1//  Tech firms array against Trump's refugee ban

Around 100 tech firms - including Apple, Google, Microsoft and now Tesla - have filed opposition to Trump’s travel ban on grounds of illegality, innovation and growth. It’s good to see such explicit opposition from the tech community.


2//  New tools against Trump proliferate

In response to Trump’s election, progressive tech tools are belatedly but usefully springing up left, right and centre (but mainly left). Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus are launching a platform to collect and fund progressive initiatives; MovementVote.org allows people to fund organisations resisting Trump; Meetup have launched Resist.Meetup.com to catalyse new resistance groups; TechResistance.org helps develop opportunities to allow technologists to support resistance efforts; and the Progressive Coders Network also matches coders with progressive causes.


3// 22 digital projects funded through innovateAFRICA fund

innovateAFRICA.fund has selected 22 digital projects for $1m in seed grants and technology support to tackle issues as diverse as fake news and frontline war reporting, as well as innovative ways for watchdog media to use robots, drones and sensors to improve their reportage. The field includes much excellent tech for good.


4//  SIX Wayfinder set for London

SIX’s Wayfinder will explore the next ten years of social innovation. Even if you are unable to attend, be sure to stay tuned through the relevant media channels for highlights and overviews.


5//  Open 2017 set for London

Open will explore platform cooperatives - an emerging and exciting field - and the collaborative economy more widely. Again, be sure to stay tuned if you can’t make it.


6//  Y Combinator calls for startups in jobs, news and democracy

Y Combinator, the world’s most famous incubator, has issued a call for startups seeking to improve news, jobs and democracy - three areas, it is fair to say, undergoing enormous and controversial changes.


7//  Drone innovation in conservation efforts

Drones have been used to study and protect endangered species for years now, from patrolling for poachers to counting chimpanzees in forest canopies. However, a new fixed-wing drone, fitted with thermal cameras coupled with analysis techniques used to study objects in space, represents new technological ground in conservation efforts.


8//  Bioengineers develop low-tech, low-cost 'paperfuge'

In a great example of using a low-tech approach based on existing technology, in this case a classic children's toy, to overcome a barrier to improving lives and health outcomes, Stanford bioengineers have developed a low-cost and zero-electricity method of centrifuging blood samples. The 'paperfuge' developed by the team could potentially bring more precise diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and African sleeping sickness to poor regions of the world.


9//  Deadline approaching for Rockstart smart-energy accelerator

There are ten days left to apply for Rockstart’s smart-energy accelerator programme. The programme, based in Amsterdam, offers €20,000+ in funding, mentorship, an investor network, validation opportunities, office space, personal development, alumni support and more over 150 days.


10// Code for America reduce FTA rate in excellent tech-for-good example

Finally, a Code for America solution for reducing the FTA rate in Salt Lake County represents an excellent example of simple, effective, impactful tech for good. Although engineered last year, it can now be said the solution is an everyday part of case managers’ work.

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