Tech for Good Ten: Zinc Transformer Programme, tackling misinformation, crowdfunding for female entrepreneurs in developing countries and more

28th June 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 | 28.06.2017



1//  Zinc Transformer Programme deadline approaches

There is two days left to apply to the the Zinc Transformer Programme. The programme is seeking 40 people to build new tech-for-good businesses from scratch, aimed at improving the mental and emotional health of girls and women in the developed world. The full-time, six-month programme will run in London, starting in October 2017. No established ideas or teams are required - both will be taken care of during the programme.


2//  Knight Foundation announces support for projects tackling misinformation

The Knight Foundation has announced support for 20 projects aimed at combatting the spread of misinformation online. The projects will receive a share of $1 million through the Knight Prototype Fund. The projects align around three core themes: citizen journalism/news engagement, media/news/information literacy and fact checking. We urge you to check out the projects, which collectively represent an exciting array of tech-for-good potential.


3// Womentum: crowdfunding for female entrepreneurs in developing countries

Womentum is a new pay-it-forward non-profit crowdfunding platform for women entrepreneurs in developing countries. With funding from the Professor Ram Kumar Memorial Foundation, a grant will also fund women within 10% of their funding targets.


4//  Artificial intelligence used to protect endangered species

Artificial intelligence software installed into drones is to be used by US tech company Neurala to help protect endangered species from poachers. The software is designed to monitor video as it is streamed back to researchers from unmanned drones that can fly for up to five hours, identifying animals, vehicles and poachers in real time without any human input. It can then alert rangers via the mobile command centre if anything out of the ordinary is detected. The software can analyse regular or infrared footage, and therefore works with video taken day or night.


5//  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft create anti-terrorism forum

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft have created a joint forum to counter terrorism following years of criticisms that the technology corporations have failed to block violent extremists and propaganda on their platforms. The forum will focus on technological solutions, research and partnerships with governments and civic groups.


6//  EveryElection: alerting citizens to local elections

NewFounders has launched the EveryElection app, aimed at alerting citizens to all the elections they are eligible to take part in. The team found that many voters didn’t know when or how to vote in anything but the Presidential election (EveryElection is unfortunately a US-only app at the moment).


7//  Estonia announces data embassy

Estonia, the country the World Bank’s World Development report last year labelled the closest to a digital society, has announced a pilot “data embassy” to be operational in Luxembourg by the end of the year. The embassy is designed as a secure place to backup the country’s most critical data, and could blaze a trail for other countries in the near future.


8// CityTree designed to reduce pollution

Green City Solutions has designed the CityTree to combat urban pollution. A densely packed moss culture packed in a square unit, the CityTree reportedly does the work of 275 trees in filtering air within a 50 metre radius. It also doubles up as a billboard, displaying lettering, images or digital data via a QR code.


9//  Read Across the Aisle: popping the filter bubble?

Read Across the Aisle is an app designed to help us break out of our filter bubbles. The app allows users to select from a variety of news sources, all of which are coloured according to their political affiliation. A dial at the bottom of the app measures how politically balanced the user’s reading has been that day.


10// Pollicy fellowship programme for Ugandan civic-tech students and professionals

Pollicy’s fellowship program aims to introduce Ugandan students and young professionals to civic-technology initiatives and enable them to utilise their data skills to add to the knowledge base of the field. The three-month fellowship, in Kampala, will include opportunities to meet with civic-tech innovators, conduct exploratory research on topics related to using civic-techn for improved government services and bolster their capacity in using data. Fellows will be expected to use their time to develop a final body of research, multimedia products, blog posts and curricula, finally culminating in a presentation of their work to the civic technology community. The programme includes work space, a modest stipend and active mentoring. If you know of any civic-tech students or professionals in Uganda, please do share the opportunity.


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