This week Google announced their nominees for the Google Impact Challenge UK. Google are searching for the most inventive ideas that support social change, so it’s unsurprising that mobile technology accounts for 60% of the shortlist nominees.
The Google Impact Challenge asked UK NGOs to display how they could use technology to transform lives.
In recent years mobile technology has helped people in disadvantaged situations to become increasingly independent, and the promotion of self-sufficiency was definitely a hot topic in this year’s Challenge.
LIKECHARITY have selected their top three favourite projects that embody all mobile for charity has to offer:
3. We Are What We Do: Mental Health Training
25% of people living in the UK will be affected by mental health disorders within their lifetime, half of which will begin before the age of 14.
Early intervention is key as 75% of people who suffer with mental illness are teenagers or young adults under the age of 25. We Are What We Do promotes stress management and emotional training for adolescents. For the Google Impact Challenge they presented a wearable wrist-band combined with an Android game. The games asks players to navigate a series of tasks while the wrist-band monitors their heart rate, providing game rewards for players who remain calm in stressful situations. The game allows users to confront and attempt to train their emotions and reactions.
We Are What We Do hope to develop and launch their mobile game in order to reach an audience of 35,000 young people within the next three years. Their plans also include school level well-being programmes and training courses. We Are What We Do aim to help young people understand, strengthen and manage their emotions, in a bid to lower the risk of mental illness.
2. Carr Gomm's Click Go
Carr Gom are a UK based agency that provide support services for people with disabilities. Through their research it became evident that people in need of support services often feel a ‘sense of disempowerment when it comes to their own care’, from this observation they created Click-Go.
Click-Go is an easy-to-use app that allows those utilising support services to choose which social worker will visit them and schedule their visit at a time that suits them. The app gives its users the ability to control their own social care, monitor their support budget and keep track of their care schedule.
The aim of the app is to allow people with disabilities to control their own schedule and assure they are always comfortable with their social care. Click-Go also allows care givers to respond to requests and queries quickly and easily.
The interactive platform is password protected for each user, but can be shared with family members. This allows families to keep track of who is caring for their relative, what support they are receiving and when their appointments are scheduled.
In three years, Carr Gomm's Click Go project hopes to enable at least 13,000 people across the UK to exercise direct choice and control of their social care support, with the aim of eventually making Click-Go available worldwide.
1. The Cafédirect Producers' Foundation: WeFarm
Farmers in rural areas have limited access to information that could greatly improve their farming and most don’t have large sums of money to invest in their farms. Easy access to advice and information could transform their livelihoods
WeFarm is a communications service that allows farmers to ‘share ideas and crowd-source innovative solutions across continents and languages’.
This gives farmers the ability to interact, sharing tips and advice on farming within limited means.
The company’s prime example is how a Peruvian farmer, struggling to buy fertilizer, was given instruction on how to organically make his own by a farmer in Kenya.
WeFarm aspire to tackle global poverty by helping to ensure food security for farmers’ families and communities. They hope to make WeFarm available to five million small farm owners worldwide.
These three and seven others finalists will now present their ideas in front of a judging panel consisting of entrepreneur Peter Jones of Dragon’s Den, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Emma Freud, director of Red Nose Day, as well as representatives from Google and Nesta. Three winners will be selected, receiving a £500,000 grant from Google’s Charitable Giving and Advocacy Programme. A public vote will determine the People’s Choice winner, who will also receive £500,000 toward their project. Each winner will have access to technical support and assistance from Google’s own team.
You can review the rest of the nominees and vote for your favourites at Google Impact Challenge.
UPDATE: Since publication of this post it has been announced that We Farm has been awarded a £500,000 Google Impact Grant.