January’s a tough month. Post festive holidays, bad weather, empty pockets…but before you crawl up in a ball and bemoan the state of the world – read this! We’ve rounded up a few lovely examples of web-based campaigns and projects that are doing great things for the world while promoting better lives and new opportunities for people, young and old. Sure to warm even the coldest of winter hearts.
The Amazings (Startup)
Heart Warming Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
The retired and elderly community not only have the most time and the most experience but also benefit from meeting new people, interacting with the young and reminding themselves of their life’s achievements and skills. All-round genius idea, with a whole lotta heart:
The Amazings is a truly heart-warming digitally empowered community project, which aims to revitalize society’s appreciation of its elders. By crowdsourcing the retired and elderly community’s wealth of knowledge and skills The Amazings facilitates workshops where skills can be passed on to paying participants. Over to the A team to state their mission;
“The Amazings was born out of a single, simple idea. Society has always learned from its elders. But somewhere along the way we have lost that connection between generations – which means losing rich, valuable, and rare skills. We’re on a mission to fix this.”
Classes held by skilled and creative elders include gardening, baking, writing, massage, dance, yoga, and life skills, for example ‘How to buy and sell on the property market’.
The Amazings initiative was created by Sidekick Studios, who have created a series of start-ups aiming to ‘solve problems that matter.’ Their ‘Buddy’ app provides a digital support system and diary for those undertaking therapy and follows trends towards health support to take advantage of digital’s ‘anytime, anywhere’ capacities. Similar to our project with Maggie’s Cancer Online communities and centres it shows how the convenience and immediacy of online digital can very much offer human, helpful support to those who need it when and where it suits them, with the privacy not available in public health centres. Buddy works by users texting a mood diary, with analysis tools, goal setting and therapy session planner to make the most out of a course of therapy and aid times between sessions.
Another Sidekick project worth a mention is the League of Meals, which takes older chefs up for training those in cooking more resourcefully, with less waste and crowd sourced recipes.
Technology Will Save Us (Organisation)
Heart Warming Rating: ♥ ♥
TWSU is clever, creative and has its heart firmly in the right place:
TWSU is a web-based project aiming to educate and encourage people to understand, create, improve or fix technology rather than just consume it. Fuelled by the notion that technology can empower people and society is shifting towards a more inventive, resourceful phase TWSU believes that more people should add technology to their skills. Collaborative work on then creating new technological services and products are then the order of the day for the web platform…
“We see an opportunity to ‘pre–skill’ people around these modern technologies and see what new services and products we can create together.” Also key to the business is the notion that old school, offline activities actually enrich our understanding of technology and encourage people as a whole to live more sustainably, creatively and consciously;
“Whether it be learning how to sew, garden, build furniture or bake bread – the desire to produce, invent, make and fix things is re-emerging in London. There are also skills we have never actually learnt about, which are key to understanding many of the modern technologies we take for granted.”
Bright Eyes is one of the company’s projects. Bright Eyes is a kit containing a pair of LED glasses designed to inspire people to learn programming. Read about how it works here.
Heart Warming Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Although the issued of global hunger is a well publicised one, its urgency hasn’t lessened. By assembling an A-team of global campaigners for equality and using smart digital clout the If… campaign has the potential to kick some serious butt on the world stage. Consider your heart warmed:
Our very own new MD Adam Croxen worked briefly on the If… campaign tackling the issue of world hunger, which launched last week. The ‘If’ campaign brings together 100 NGOs and faith groups such as Oxfam, Christian Aid and Save The Children, to lobby the Prime Minister ahead of Britain’s presidency over the G8. Going for the figurative jugular the campaign targets ‘land grabs, tax avoidance and the lack of transparency over investments in poor countries’ as major causes for hunger in the world. The campaign is trying to raise awareness, encourage engagement and then hopefully achieve real participation of supporters of the cause by using social media integration as a lobbying tool.
Adam says; ‘what this campaign brought home for me was how digital, as such a powerful tool, can really have a global impact for good when leveraged skillfully. If digital can change minds and save lives that’s truly inspiring.’
The Everyday Sexism Project (Campaign)
Heartwarming rating: ♥ ♥
Not exactly heart warming stories, but necessary to fight everyday instances of sexism against both men and women. What warms the heart, is people supporting each other via digital channels, bridging geographical and social gaps across the world:
Everyday Sexism is a web and social media campaign that aims to catalogue, call out and tackle sexist behaviour by amplifying every day cases of sexism via the web. Started on Twitter by Laura Bates, E.S has garnered huge attention and contributions from around the world. E.S is currently nominated for a Shorty social media award.
Reason Digital (Creative Agency)
Heartwarming rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Call me anti-establishment but Reason’s tagline ‘Because making rich people a little richer isn’t any fun’ warmed my heart to the core:
Reason are a social enterprise ‘supporting people to use digital media for social good’ do some wonderful creative work for various charities, such as their campaigns with British Heart Foundation and promotion of ethical shopping with Co-operatives.
So there you have it. The world doesn’t look so gloomy after all; as January 2013 comes to a close Digital is empowering, inspiring, educating, engaging and bringing together people for good. Lets hope digital projects with good hearts snowball.
Have any more examples of digital making a difference that you’d like to share with us? Tweet @futureplatforms