Nominet Trust unveils 100 of 2016’s most inspiring examples of tech for good
Nominet Trust reveals the 2016 NT100 with support from judging partners Big Lottery Fund, Cancer Research UK, Comic Relief, Nominet, Oxfam, Telefonica O2 and Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
14th December 2016, London – Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, has today unveiled the 2016 NT100 - a celebration of the 100 most inspiring social innovations using digital technology to drive social change around the world. Now in its fourth year, the 2016 NT100 gives special recognition to ‘Everyday Tech Heroes’ — the inspirational people who have first-hand experience of the challenges they are tackling with tech.
The organisations chosen for this year’s NT100 have wide-ranging purposes, from those determined to democratise access to quality education and healthcare, to those connecting minority communities and evoking empathy. As in 2015, improving humanitarian response was again a strong and topical theme. But while the projects featured in the 2015 NT100 were largely responsive, in 2016 they demonstrate how humanitarian resources can be predictively deployed to mitigate crises and make sure scant resources are used well.
Other key themes in the 2016 NT100 include:
- Social inclusion: Despite 10% of the world’s population living with a disability, they are a chronically underrepresented group; yet over 10% of the ventures in 2016 NT100 are using technology to help people live more inclusive and autonomous lives. Projects include EVA Park - a virtual environment to help those with aphasia recover communication skills; Hand Talk – a Brazilian innovation introducing Hugo, a virtual interpreter that translates between spoken languages and sign language; DisruptDisability – which has created the world’s first open source wheelchair designs; and the South-West Open Youth Orchestra (SWOYO) – the UK’s only disabled-led regional youth orchestra. The founder of DisruptDisability, Rachael Wallach, and the SWOYO musicians are celebrated as Everyday Tech Heroes for imaginatively using technology to demonstrate how a physical disability need not inhibit your mobility or even deter you from being a world-class musician.
- Economic Empowerment: Eight NT100 ventures featured in 2016 are trailblazing routes towards economic empowerment for people who have been disenfranchised for too long. Giraffe is a free recruitment app to help tackle high levels of unemployment in Cape Town, while Bim is a ground-breaking mobile money platform, opening up financial services to rural communities in Peru. Everyday Tech Heroes Nova Credit watched their families struggle financially when emigrating to the US, so they set up the world’s first international credit reporting agency, helping people to access essential funds to get established as new arrivals.
- Health: Health remains a strong theme this year, with a greater emphasis on mental health. Three of the projects focus on helping those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - estimated to affect 7-8% of the US population alone. Projects include MyBivy, which helps PTSD patients to avoid night terrors and BraveMind, a virtual reality therapeutic game that supports those recovering. Pioneering research from the team behind SimSensei has shown that a virtual human clinician can help PTSD sufferers and others to open up, enabling more effective mental health diagnosis and treatment.
- Education: 10 of the NT100 show how technology can deliver education to excluded groups. One example, Kiron, is an online tool providing a world-class education to refugees who are five times more likely to be out of school than the global average. Other ventures include OneUni, which aims to give everyone access to a university education through a mobile phone, and iScoil – an Irish online education system to help those who left school early to get back on track.
- Water: In 2016 we saw some incredible breakthroughs in delivering clean water to everyone. Innovations ran the entire ‘pipeline’ including WaterScope - bringing fast, cheap and reliable water-testing kits to local communities in India and Gambia using a raspberry pi and a 3d printer, mWater – a global community of water surveyors working to highlight which places still need clean water, and Driblet - a smart water meter that monitors water usage, pressure and temperature and has the potential to cut water consumption by up to 30%.
- Safety: 10% of the 2016 NT100 focuses on technology that helps keep people safe, from the protection of those in conflict-zones to young people experiencing bullying. Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne drone that can detect and remove landmines, was founded by Everyday Tech Hero Massoud Hassani. Having grown up near the minefields in Kabul, Hassani drew inspiration from his childhood to develop Mine Kafon to help clear the world’s landmines quickly and systematically and raise global awareness. In the UK Michael Brennan, another Everyday Tech Hero, responded to his own experience of being bullied as a young boy by creating tootoot - a safe and anonymous online reporting environment that gives students a voice.
Commenting on the 2016 NT100, Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust said: “In our fourth year of the NT100, we have discovered 700 more social tech innovations from across the globe. It is truly inspiring to know that so many entrepreneurs from all walks of life are embracing digital technology as a force for social good. We hope inclusion in the 2016 NT100 provides a valuable stepping-stone for these life-enhancing ventures to raise their profile and secure further investment.”
“NT100 provides a platform that amplifies the collective power of the tech for good community. It has a valuable role to play in inspiring those with the influence and resources to accelerate the adoption of tech for social good and brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, NGOs, charities, technologists and others to share knowledge, experiences and skills to introduce social change on a global scale.”
“Vitally, our recognition of Everyday Tech Heroes this year shows that you don’t have to have influence and a big budget to play an inspirational role. With the right tech tools and a powerful desire to change the status quo, these heroes are tackling some of the world’s most pressing social challenges – starting with the ones on their own doorsteps.”
“The NT100 is a powerful and influential initiative, bringing together many hundreds of social tech innovations from around the world which each embrace digital technology for good,” comments Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, founder and funder of Nominet Trust. “That such a diverse selection of inspiring projects is curated in this way is so important, not least for the global platform it provides each of them to secure future investment, but for the wide-ranging challenges they help to address and solve. As the founder and funder of Nominet Trust, we are delighted that through supporting international campaigns like the NT100, and UK-based tech-for-good ventures, Nominet is able to play a key role in helping to create a vibrant digital future, for all.”
The 2016 NT100 was selected following a three-month period of research and public nominations. Shortlisted projects were reviewed by a panel of organisations including: Big Lottery Fund, Cancer Research UK, Comic Relief, Nominet, Oxfam, Telefonica O2 and Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.
The complete 2016 NT100 is now live at http://socialtech.org.uk/nominet-trust-100/2016/. For more information, or to organise an interview with Nominet Trust or the featured projects, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 208 408 8000.
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Notes to editors
“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Nominet Trust, recognising the highly talented people around the globe working in tech through NT100. The innovations from these ‘Everyday Tech Heroes’ are inspiring and we’re looking forward to seeing more advancements that contribute to social good.”
-Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director, Big Lottery Fund
“Cancer Research UK is always on the lookout for new ways of using technology to reach more people with our health messaging. Learning about the innovative ways that NT100 organisations are using technology has given us lots of ideas to tackle this challenge and so help Cancer Research UK achieve its ambitions of 3 in 4 people surviving cancer.
“It was a privilege for Cancer Research UK to be a judging partner for the NT100 2016. We enjoyed learning about so many exciting projects being undertaken around the world and were inspired by the variety of ways that digital social innovation is having an impact on society.”
-Hannah Keartland, Head of Information Innovation, Cancer Research UK
“We’re absolutely delighted to have been involved in the judging of the NT100 again this year. There was a very strong field of applications so it was challenging to make the selection but also incredibly inspiring to see so many pioneering projects making a huge difference to people’s lives through the use of technology. It’s already sparking new ideas here at Comic Relief. ”
-Amanda Horton-Mastin, International Campaign Development Director, Comic Relief,
“The NT100 is a powerful and influential initiative, bringing together many hundreds of social tech innovations from around the world which each embrace digital technology for good. That such a diverse selection of inspiring projects is curated in this way is so important, not least for the global platform it provides each of them to secure future investment, but for the wide-ranging challenges they help to address and solve. As the founder and funder of Nominet Trust, we are delighted that through supporting international campaigns like the NT100, and UK-based tech-for-good ventures, Nominet is able to play a key role in helping to create a vibrant digital future, for all.”
-Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, founder and funder of Nominet Trust
“The combination of technology and humanity can make the world better, fairer and more sustainable for everybody. The NT100 reminds us that tech for good flourishes because there are good people who are developing and applying technology in amazing ways to deliver and scale up positive change in communities across the world. O2 is delighted to once again be supporting the NT100 and pays tribute to the inspirational entrepreneurs within its ranks.”
-Simon Miller, Communications & Reputation, O2
"Not only is the NT100 a list of examples where changes in the digital landscape are catalysing new avenues for social good, it’s also the start of a conversation, a network and a learning space. Reading through the list is a source of inspiration of ways to exploit the potential of new technology to challenge status quo and tackle real problems. Maybe it’s even the start of a collaboration too. Realising that even the simplest ideas, coupled with some grit and determination, can make impact, might be the makings of the next generation of Everyday Tech Heroes."
"Clean water shouldn't be a luxury, yet 54% the global population lack adequate sanitation. Exciting solutions cropping up in the NT100 to tackle water use have groundbreaking potential to ensure safe and affordable access to the world's most precious resource."
"Every three seconds, someone flees their home because of violence, poverty or disaster. The refugee crisis presents new challenges for how people on the move access trustworthy information and services safely. Digital opportunities can change the way in which the global community can support refugees who have changing needs, recognised by some inspiring submissions to the NT100."
-Amy O’Donnell, ICT in Programme Lead at Oxfam
“The Skoll Centre team have found the quality and diversity of the social innovators recognised by the NT100 to be truly exceptional. Such innovators remind us of the power of committed and creative individuals and teams to address the world’s most pressing problems, and this is a welcome opportunity to celebrate these beacons in society.”
-Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
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