TFG Ten: Peace Tech, Digital Deserts and #TheDress

10th March 2015 Posted by: Ben Matthews

Welcome to this week’s Tech For Good Ten, where we share the best 10 links in the Tech For Good world from the past week.


We’re aiming to share a wide range of links, meeting people behind the latest digital innovations, showcasing the greatest tech for good products


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: 10.03.2015

1. Future Makespaces

The potential for smaller-scale manufacture has been made possible by a combination of new technologies, small-scale flexible manufacturing equipment, and new manufacturing processes. In turn, these changes are driving the development of new business models and supply chains, changing dynamics of work and communities, and have immediate implications for industrial and social policy.


2. Mobiles give city residents a voice with government

If I found other people available to do neighborhood cleanups with me, maybe they have the knowledge to know what permits are needed and can help find solutions to these neighborhood problems. I see it as a move toward sustainability versus 'Tell me your problem, we'll come and fix it.' How can we give people the tools to solve problems?


3. Turning Europe’s digital desert into a digital rainforest

Europe should engage in open data, open innovation, and value-sensitive design, particularly approaches that support informational self-determination. So everyone can use this data, generate new kinds of data, and build applications on top. This is going to create ever more possibilities for everyone else, so in a sense that will turn a digital desert into a digital rainforest full of opportunities for everyone, with a rich information ecosystem.

4. Why technology is the key to womenomics

At the most basic level, technology allows women to go about their lives – personally and professionally – in ways that simply weren’t possible even 10 years ago. It’s enabled flexible working, working on the go and start-ups from home. As a working mum myself, much of my work now gets done on trains, and increasingly in airports.

5. PeaceTech Lab

Unlike many tech developers, PeaceTech Lab is focused on building solutions for environments where violent conflicts occur, which are often low-bandwidth, power-deprived, and dangerous. PeaceTech Lab will inspire an industry of peacetech entrepreneurs who innovate and build products that both save lives.


6. Crowdfunding a new high street

Small businesses and community groups on London’s high streets are set to receive a share of up to £9 million of funding from the Mayor of London to help revitalise and potentially reinvent the way we use our high streets. The Mayor has allocated a portion of the funding through crowdfunding website Spacehive, where community groups are able to post their ideas and ask for financial support.


7. Open Data Apps Directory

Open data is everywhere. But how are people using it? Oxford's Internet Institute is aggregating tools from across the world that help us transform statistics into understandings. The site also offers powerful viualizations of the open data ecosystem, including ways to find out what applications are available where and by whom.


8. Solar powered plane completes first leg of round the world flight

The point of the flight isn’t to produce commercially viable solar-powered planes—the technology is far from being able to power commercial flight—but to prove what’s possible. “When the Apollo astronauts went to the moon, it wasn’t to launch tourism on the moon and open hotels and make money,  it was to inspire the world.”

9. Wittgenstein, #TheDress and Google’s search for a bigger truth

There is no current reason to see sinister motives in Google’s search for a better web: it is both honourable and good business. But one might ask how, for example, Google Truth might determine established truths on net neutrality.


10. Technology should be used to create social mobility


Technology brings productivity gains to social programmes. Basic sanitation, green revolution crops, cheap material production, and access to vaccines and mobile internet devices allow states to lift the desperately poor into a more sustainable existence for less than ever, affording stability to wealth gaps that might have invoked the guillotine in previous centuries.


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