Tech for Good Ten: the power of text messages, post-Brexit discussion and a host of tech-for-good opportunities

28th June 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 | 28.06.2016


1//  MMOS: Fusing video games and citizen science

MMOS, or Massively Multiplayer Online Science, is a platform that seeks to connect scientific research and video games as a seamless gaming experience. Research tasks completely integrated with game mechanics, narrative and visuals can open up a new channel between the gamer and the scientific community. Converting a small fraction of the billions of hours spent with playing video games will bring an enormous contribution to scientific research, and in the meantime will change how video games’ expertise is perceived.


2//  Crisis Text Line: Leveraging text messages as counseling services

Crisis Text Line, a non-profit text-message-based counseling service, operates a hotline for people who find it safer or easier to text about their problems than make a phone call or send an instant message. Over 1,500 volunteers are on hand 24/7 to lend support about problems including bullying, isolation, suicidal thoughts, bereavement, self-harm, or even just stress.


3// Two opportunities from the Open Data Institute

The Open Data Institute have launched two new initiatives. The first is an a year-long, bespoke accelerator programme for data-oriented startups. The second is a showcase calling for projects that demonstrate the real-world impact of data innovation.


4//  Flashfood: The latest app combatting food waste

Flashfood is an app looking to tackle the massive problem of global food waste by allowing people to buy discounted food before it’s discarded. Given a third of food produced for human consumption goes to waste, all such platforms are warmly welcomed..


5//  The GODAN Open Data Challenge is now open

The GODAN Open Data Challenge, now accepting applications, seeks new, innovative ways to unleash the power of open data and solve specific challenges in agriculture and nutrition. The challenge has two tracks: a policy challenge and an open-data maker’s challenge.


6//  Text4Baby: Using text messages to provide new mothers with health information

text4baby is a simple initiative that leverages the ubiquity of text messages to provide mothers with access to health information for their babies.


7//  The NASA Space Apps Challenge: 2016 winners have been announced

Digital Gov have announced the winners of the NASA Space Apps Challenge: 2016. The apps represent innovative tech thinking across a range of pertinent issues, including lifeline wearables and climate change.


8//  Pitch Palace 6.0 announces technology theme

It has been announced that the theme for Pitch Palace 6.0, to be held in November, will be Technology. Pitch Palace offers entrepreneurs both pitch training and the opportunity to pitch to a room of industry influencers and investors.


9//  White House report outlining the impact of tech-for-good initiatives

The White House this week released a report detailing the impact of 100 initiatives that have expanded U.S. capacity in science, technology and innovation over the past eight years. The full list of initiatives can be found on the White House website.


10//  Civicist leads post-Brexit filter-bubble debate

Finally, in a week rocked by Brexit, Tom Steinberg of Civicist has been at the forefront of a discussion on how the ‘filter bubble’ effect - written into giant tech platforms like Facebook - is hindering political discussion and diversity of dialogue.

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