LONDON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Nominet Trust today unveils 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.
Key themes in the 2016 NT100 include:
- Social inclusion: 10% of 2016 NT100 ventures 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. Both DisruptDisability founder, Rachael Wallach, and the SWOYO musicians are celebrated as Everyday Tech Heroes.
- Economic Empowerment: Eight NT100 ventures are trailblazing routes towards economic empowerment for people who are disenfranchised. 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 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 projects 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.
- Safety: Safety covers projects such as Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne drone that quickly and systematically clear landmines, and tootoot - a safe and anonymous online reporting environment inspired by Everyday Tech Hero Michael Brennan who was bullied as a child.
Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust commented: “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.”
“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.”
“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.