Unicef's Wearables for Good Challenge

21st July 2015 Posted by: Abby

In March this year, two of our team curated and spoke on a panel at SXSW about 'wearables for good'. We’d been collecting stories (though thin on the ground at this point) about how wearables were being created to address social needs rather than just being designed for the 'worried (wealthy) well'. Our panel asked the question 'can wearables give the fashion industry purpose?' and our hope was the panel would inspire more people in the fashion industry to shift their attention and growing interest in wearables towards 'tech (and design) for good'.

When we heard about Unicef's Wearables for Good Challenge a few months later we were really excited that they were addressing such things. We went to visit them this week and will be following with interest as well as telling the stories of those who take part. It's open to absolutely anyone from scientists to social workers, designers to entrepreneurs. in their words 'the aim is to develop innovative, affordable solutions to make wearables and sensor technology a game-changer for women and children in resource constrained environments.'

Unicef have worked with ARM and Frog Design to create a very open and inviting project, they want to combine their very real experiences helping people on the ground with the tech-based insights from people around the world. This challenge will bring together the design, technology, and social impact communities to encourage the creation of wearable solutions for social good. (To bring these communities together is potentially an interesting challenge in itself). 

To give anyone interested a head start Unicef have compiled stories of their experiences and outlined constraints in this handbook. It describes specific use cases and principles—through the lens of UNICEF Innovation—so that the design, science, impact, and technology communities can work together to create solutions for some of the world’s most serious challenges. 

The closing date is next week, 4th August, so get your applications in asap!


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