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Tech for Good talks: How can technology realistically help a rapid global recovery?

The last few months have been a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but it hasn’t been all bad. The role of technology in medical research, communication, community tools, WFH and education has advanced leaps and bounds.

Event

Rapidrecovery

Technology has proven time and time again to be an absolutely invaluable aid in modern society. The question begging to be asked, however, is how can technology realistically help a rapid global recovery?

We wanted to lend our expertise to the cause, so we hosted Tech for Good talks, a virtual event, that is part of a series for senior innovation, product or marketing leaders. This particular event aimed to initiate a high level conversation around how to best evolve in this fragile recovery time.

Impact on businesses

So what has been the impact of lockdown on businesses? Our MD, Rich, and Chief Changemaker, Puff, looked at some current examples of organisations that have had to do a complete 180 and pivot their primary business. These organisations have quickly adapted and embraced innovation in order to stay relevant. 

 

AirBnB 

Back in March, the tech giant launched a new initiative that offered opportunities for 100,000 key workers to stay in AirBnB residencies that were close to their place of work and help make their life easier. 

There were a few hitches to begin with and the validation process was definitely not flawless, but you can see that this was a really quick response to the pandemic. This has now evolved and the vetting process is a lot better. Sometimes it is good to just get something out there to meet the demand. It’s a great example of agility and pivoting a service. 

 

Path Finder

A Norwich based start up, known for their beacon technology. They have repurposed their beacon technology to enable people to wear beacons to monitor their social distancing. So if someone was to come within a 2 metre radius, the device would vibrate to signal that someone has breached the wearer’s personal space. 

This is ideal for large organisations with lots of employees that are unable to remotely for example factories. This shows how repurposing technology has been a key response to a crisis. 

 

Netflix

A controversial one! The newly launched Netflix Party feature allows large groups to watch a tv series together and chat via their TV screen or online. 

 

This is fantastic for people watching a series on Netflix whilst messaging a friend and looking for a shared experience. This feature may be something Netflix has been exploring for some time or perhaps it’s just a marketing opportunity?!?

Recovery at speed

As an agency that proudly specialises in tech for good, we exclusively take on clients and organisations that mirror our tech for good values. This means that we are able to produce digital products that genuinely make a difference in thousands, if not millions of lives. 

Whilst we are living in these changing times, we’re keen to facilitate “good” more than ever, we have been working with numerous organisations to help speed up their recovery. 

However, this isn’t unusual for 3 Sided Cube, we have been focusing on positive impact initiatives for a decade – helping to reduce deforestation and the damage of plastic pollution on the planet. Though the current global pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, the Cubes focused on the role of tech and it’s power to support recovery from this particular disaster. 

The Red Cross approached 3 Sided Cube with the idea of a platform that allowed users to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. Our disaster management app needed to be robust enough that people could rely on it, but also simple and streamlined enough to be user  friendly and intuitive in a crisis. 

There was a glaring need for an app that could educate and prepare people for emergency situations and alert them when they were in immediate danger. It was important that the tech was robust enough so that people could really rely on it for their own safety as well as friends and family. 

We provided a solution by developing a suite of life-saving mobile apps for different natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados, all of which were customised for the user’s location, dangers and preferences. The apps track disasters and map areas that are affected by different hazards, providing fact files and information like what to put in an emergency kit and giving users the ability to find their nearest Red Cross shelter in case they have to evacuate.

Future gazing

We’re keen to provide some key takeaways around what we have learnt through our projects and what we feel may be helpful for organisations looking to carry out these types of innovation projects;

  • Transparency and collaboration: it’s important to be able to rapidly develop products, whether with a team or an agency, and make decisions quickly. 
  • Agility: explore your existing technology (it’s likely you don’t need to reinvent the wheel) as this can help quick solution development. 
  • Stakeholder management: make sure you have the right people in the room as well as getting the protection of the C Suite buy-in on the project.

Hopefully everyone enjoyed this virtual event as much as we enjoyed doing it! It was great to showcase some of our work that has yielded a rapid turnaround, but has also delivered a massive positive impact. As well as showing some recent examples of how technology has been used to think outside the box and pivot organisations. 

Please contact us if you would like to talk about any of the elements discussed in this session or if you have a project that may be a good tech for good fit.

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Published on May 20, 2020, last updated on May 20, 2020

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We dedicate 15% of our team's time to explore emerging technology and work on projects they're passionate about. So far we've developed a Jenga game in augmented reality, an app that mimics the human eyes and an interactive map that tacks natural disasters in real-time.

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