Monday, 10 March 2014

Notes from Tech for Good meetup

Tech for Good is a meetup that tracks how technology can help with social issues. Lily Ash Sakula- partner at Bethnal Green Ventures chairs the event.
I came in towards the end of @markoneinfour's presentation

1. Mark Brown - One in Four Magazine. Doc Ready App
Problems when developing apps for people with mental health issues:
Too little horizon scanning in mental health, and too little money

People with mental health difficulties aren't problems to be solved, we're peoplewith problems to be solved.
Doc ready makes the doctor visit easier, it doesn't directly make people need to visit the doctor less. It doesn't cure the mental illness but it helps to deal with it.
Social Spider CC

2. Belinda - app Kosu @kosumobile
Kosu supports teachers in dealing with students. Taking advantage of small screen experience. It's not a one-way form of broadcasting. Students in class only need to have app on their phones. Teachers control.
Also have an emulator online that simulates the mobile experience.
Teachers can send reports back to students.

Not about replacing the teachers.

4 areas where edtech makes sense

  • Complementary tool
  • Exploratory, in context (e.g. vocational training)
  • Bite-sized, quick learning
  • Primary access - mobile devices as primary source of education

3. Kieron Kirkland Hardware for Good
Open source electronic prototyping platform. 
site of learning. Maker Space, Maker Faire

One of the ways hardware is starting to be used for "good" is sensors and data. 
  • Quantify self - for older people: Sentimoto
  • Sensors to detect water level
  • Create your own geiger counters
  • Fizzie - quantify self for children

4. Marina - Measuring your impact. 
NPC - new Philanthropy Capital. 
Measures companies' social and economic impact. We live and breathe social impact
3 key points: 

1. Inclusivity. 
When measuring impact, don't just think what the outcome should be with your colleagues. Engage everyone - beneficiaries, trustees, staff. Why is something meaningful to them. Include indirect beneficiaries, too. Families of children in need for example. Ancillary benefit: IKEA effect. By engaging people in the process you help them build the solutions. 

2. Unpack the black box between activities and outcomes. 
Intermediate outcomes: What are the short term / mid term steps that happen between the activities and the final outcome. 
E.g. empowering young people to lead more independent lives. What are the intermediate steps I can track to see if I'm doing well? 

3. Using diverse set of tools.
Quantitative vs qualitative. 
Quantitative: use stats to explain aggregate data.
Qalitative: Helps understand in depth. E.g via in depth interviews. 
Self-reported tools lead to subjectivity. 
E.g. you collect surveys from young people. Also interview coaches to get their views on how they're doing and progress. 

Surveynet - source of good surveys, validated. Health, crime, environment. - good access to impact measurement tools. 

Launching in summer: Tool called Measuring Up. Orga answers a survey and w tell them where they stand in terms of impact measurement and provide them sources

5. Sarah Drinkwater (Google)
Encourage more women/mums into the tech scene. 
Campus for Mums, free, nine-week baby friendly startup schoool. taking you from biz planning to a demo day through talks, workshops, mentoring and more. 
Check out - Application Form

6. Glenn Mehn from Bethnal Green Ventures
The way you go to a doctor's appointment is very similar to what it was 100 years ago. 
Same with education. So many other things have changed - the way biz is done has been completely transformed by the internet. There's not enough innovation in the social space. 

What we want you to do is quit your jobs and start a venture for social good. 
Deal from Bethnal Green Ventures: Applications are open 
£15k for 6% equity. 3 month programme. Mentors, workshops, support, office space.


Towards the end I met Henry Morris, Founder of UpReach (@up_Reach), a really interesting tool that helps employers make better hiring decisions by making social background an irrelevant variable.
If as an employer you get two applications for the same job, and one from a well known school, you will be biased towards the school you know. And you might disregard someone from a more bland school who however has performed at the top of his class.
They have two sides of the business: tech-empowered (helping unis and undergrads to achieve their potential) and tech: tool for employers

A very worthwhile endeavour, particularly in England. 


Post a Comment