Amidst the many informative talks, startup demos, and networking events at this year’s Web Summit, we had a chance to learn about some inspiring projects focused on engaging people to improve society in the domains of education, healthcare, civics or environment. It’s arguably one of the most exciting times to work in software when our prefered modern web and mobile technologies are being put to such excellent use, one app at a time.
The Going Green for Social Good Initiative
The US Embassy in Dublin and Web Summit launched a juried competition and invited startups with a cause to compete for a chance to receive a spot to speak at Web Summit.
The winner was Irishman Michael Kelly and his organisation Grow It Yourself, which is helping school children and employee groups to grow their own food so they better understand the food cycle and can make healthier choices.
Grow It Yourself has launched over 800 community projects and involving 50,000 people in Ireland alone.
Exploring Models for Social Innovation
Founder of charity: water Scott Harrison spoke about his organisation’s work with Google through the Global Impact Awards. This allowed them to implement a new remote sensor technology to transmit real-time data to their partners telling them whether water was flowing at their well projects in Africa. Their goal of advancing transparency and sustainability in the water sector is now underway, with around 70 sensors currently in operation in Ethiopia.
Their app puts “case-solving teams” comprising medical professionals and regular folks together.
What Greenwalt says they’ve found is that they can capture the wisdom of patients, who then become good at helping other patients with a similar illness. Rather than remaining isolated, the sufferers of rare illness can use her platform to connect and share knowledge. Their biggest challenges are getting people to accept the new paradigm of taking advice from untraditional experts, as well as getting the necessary funding.
More Social Good Apps Exhibiting at Web Summit
This year Philafy showcased their new social marketplace and network for changemakers and nonprofits. It’s designed to get people to think about what matters to them and then pledge small donations to make a larger impact over time.
By connecting nonprofits’ shared content, they use a ‘1Click’ microgiving mechanism, enabling gifts as small as 50 cent so network users can raise funds in an instant. How refreshing! Now maybe our social media post statuses, snapshots, tweets and direct messages can be put toward the social cause of our choice.
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