Mash Up: #Tech4Good
This quarters Mash Up was focused around the topic ‘Technology for Good’. The four speakers, coming from a range of backgrounds and companies, tackled this issue in a concise yet varied way. Presenting using PechaKucha format: 20 seconds per slide for 20 slides, each speaker explored the main topic in relation to their areas of expertise. This innovative presenting format was new for many of the speakers, providing a great learning process for the speakers and the audience.
Dietmar Millinger – “Helping volunteers to do good better”
Dietmar started the evening addressing the topic, ‘Helping volunteers to do good better.’ He explored this topic using the platform he is currently working to develop. This app will allow charities and NGO’s to release ‘Tickets’ asking for the help they need. For example if they need water they will release 20 Tickets for 2 litre bottles of water. This shows up on ‘Volunteers Feed’ as a call for water bottles. The volunteer then commits to a number of Tickets. After the volunteers have brought 20 bottles of water the ‘Ticket’ has been fulfilled. The aim of this app/platform is to ensure that the NGO’s get the donations they require at the time they need them. It also addresses the issue of wasted donations, which is especially prevalent for food donations. ‘Help Today’ are aiming to make donations more efficient, by getting the right solution to the right place, which will help change the lives of those who really need help. Wnat to know more? Get in contact with Dietmar here.
Simon Schmitz – “Being in Sync with Nature“
Simon is the CEO of aWATTar, a power supply company that encourages customers to time their energy usage when there is a surplus of green energy by giving them a monetary incentive. Currently there is a problem with storing energy, so when there is a surplus in green energy (wind and solar) the price of energy drops dramatically, creating a negative cost. The customer however pays the same rate regardless, allowing the energy company to profit massively. aWATTar is hoping to change that system. Last year there was 100 hours where the energy cost was negative. aWATTar is the first company to transfer this profit to the customer. On top of this they are introducing smart sensors into the home which automates certain functions in the house to turn on when energy is the cheapest. Using electric heating as an example, Simon explained that these devices would account for when energy is cheapest, due to a surplus, and then turn on the heating during these times. aWATTar have a big mission, and are currently facing a few roadblocks. For example, only certain houses have the necessary smart sensors installed. However as the world is shifting towards electrical energy usage, aWATTar are well positioned to offer a great solution to the standard energy provider. aWATTar are not only providing answers that address climate change, but also helping their customers save money. Find out more about aWATTar.
Lena is the Communications Astronaut at Three Coins, a company which researches and develops methods which foster financial literacy. Lena explained that with technology, we have a unique opportunity to help educate the younger generations concerning financial literacy. This is especially impactful, as many physiologists believe financial behaviour is learnt through our interactions with technology. Three Coins has developed a game to address financial literacy, as they wanted a scalable solution that tackled the problem before it started. This approach is in stark contrast to the current reality which mainly offers a one to one basis with a financial accountant after the issues already develop. She spoke about some of the issues Three Coins has faced as they developed a game for educational purposes.They found that although it reaches a lot of people, youths often need a follow up session or workshop, to ensure the learnings have successfully transferred. It helps the youths take in their game experience and apply it to everyday situations. This solution however routes back to one of the issues within the financial sector in the first place, that the solutions aren’t scalable. To address this issue, they have started their “Train the Trainer” program, so they can spread their knowledge to other people around the globe. Find out more about Three Coins.
Anna, Co-Founder at Robo Wunderkind, began by emphasising the difference between the growth in the toy market verses the rest of the world. Lego started using their plastic bricks in 1960, and still uses the same design today. However, in comparison, we need only look at architecture in 1960 verses today: we see a big difference in growth and change. She explained that Robo Wunderkind are addressing this gap in development, while educating future generations in the process. Robo Wunderkind have designed a modular robot, which can be programmed using a smartphone/tablet app. This allows children learn coding by gamifying the experience. They believe this early interaction with coding will help future generations revolutionise technology in the future. The Robot they have designed can be built by combining different cubes. Each cube has a different function: infrared receivers, light receivers sound receivers, speakers and motors, just to name a few. Robo Wunderkind are not only aiming to change the face of toys, but also change the educational opportunities children have with toys, hoping to create a spark the minds that will change technology in the future. Learn more about Robo Wunderkind.
After the event we were lucky enough to grab the four speakers for a few quick interviews to delve further into their topics.