REFUNITE – “Connecting families”
REFUNITE believes that “everyone has the right to know where their family is.” Its mission is to reconnect refugee families across the world, empowering refugees and displaced people to find their loved ones using any type of mobile phone, computer or REFUNITE’s free helpline. It is an independent technology-based non-profit organisation that has created a user-friendly online global database for people to search for their missing loved ones. Over 590,000 users have registered so far, making it the world’s largest platform for displaced persons. Users can register via SMS and USSD in Iraq, Jordan, Somalia, Turkey, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And its web platform can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and for free in 14 selected countries thanks to a collaboration with Free Basics by Facebook.
Winner of the 2016 Tech4Good AbilityNet Accessibility Award, Wayfindr is a joint venture between The Royal London Society for Blind People and ustwo (a global digital product studio) that “empowers vision impaired people to navigate the world independently”. Launched in 2015, the Wayfindr Open Standard will allow developers and built environment owners to provide users with directions to stations, hospitals and shopping centres. The long-term goal of the project is to provide navigation wherever the user wants to go regardless of where they are in the world. Wayfindr has been trialled in London and Sydney and is now entering its next phase of development.
iCow – “A farmer’s best friend”
iCow is the world’s first mobile phone based agricultural information platform that provides smallholder farmers with SMS messages to help them increase productivity and reduce risks. Designed in Kenya it aims to help farmers across Africa become climate resilient and food secure. iCow is currently available in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Simple, reliable and cost effective, iCow works on all phones “dumb and smart”.
RapidPro in Cambodia
UNICEF Innovation launched its open source product RapidPro in 2014. It has become UNICEF’s common platform for developing and sharing mobile services that can be adapted for different contexts and sectors. It enables users to “design, pilot, and scale services that connect directly with a mobile phone user without the help of a software developer”.
In Cambodia, where an estimated 25% of children under 5 years of age do not have a valid birth certificate, RapidPro is harnessing mobile technology to improve the birth registration system. Using simple mobile technology powered by Unicef’s RapidPro platform, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system has been introduced for collecting real-time information on supplies for birth registration. Find out more on how RapidPro is being used in Cambodia here.
The Machine to Be Another – “Embodied narratives, stories shared through the other’s perspective”
“What would the world be like if one could see through the eyes of another? Would it help us to understand each other? Would it help us to understand ourselves?”
One of three winners of the European Social Innovation Competition 2016, The Machine to Be Another seeks to test this theory out through a virtual reality experience. Designed in Spain it aims to recreate, replicate, and share experiences enabling the user to have a first-person experience of what it’s like to be a refugee. It uses a pre-recorded audio ‘narrative’ to create a story and shares these encounters through immersive virtual reality technology. The project plans to create stations of archived narratives from refugees and migrants all around Europe and the world in schools, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions.
Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) is a global movement towards a better drinking culture. It provides users with a free online program and online community to help them change their drinking habits through a period of sobriety. By sharing their story, each person’s stand is a unique and essential contribution to a better drinking culture. Founded in Australia in 2010, HSM has grown to the largest online movement for alcohol behaviour change in the world with a community of over 40,000 people worldwide.
United for Wildlife, with support from Google.org and ARM, launched WILDLABS.NET to close the information-sharing gap in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and other pressing issues facing our planet. WILDLABS.NET aims to connect conservationists, technologists, engineers, data scientists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to support them to find, share and create effective technology-based solutions to protect threatened wildlife and habitats.
Andiamo is a UK-based organisation that uses 3D scanning, 3D printing and an advanced clinical service to ensure that no child anywhere in the world has to wait more than a week for orthoses. Currently, many people have to wait months to receive their medical device. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014, Andiamo has started to prototype the service in the UK and plans to roll it out globally over the coming years.