Combining Innovation & Technology: UnLtd’s GoodTech

Nolan Yu is an Account Manager on OMG Diverse, helping clients understand and engage the growing communities of diverse cultures.

Last week 50 media, marketing, tech and creative professionals met at Snapchat HQ in Sydney for UnLtd Big Chat breakfast series, ‘GoodTech’ to learn about the latest innovations in using technology for good.

Three unique and exciting examples were presented to show how developing technology is making the world a better place.

1. Megan Gilmour, the founding chair member of ‘Missing School’.

Modern medicine is saving and prolonging young lives every day, however our education system is lagging behind and needs urgent change. Megan says that “every day, tens of thousands of kids across Australia with serious illness are at home or in hospital, watching from the sidelines and missing school.” In order for us to connect seriously sick kids to the classroom and bring them the education they deserve, ‘Missing School’ developed a type of robot, which can be remotely controlled and moved around the classroom to help those sick children remain positively engaged in the classroom alongside their friends.

Megan even brought a robot to the session, which obviously stole the show and captivated the whole room. Megan mentioned that they’ve placed robots in schools to give the children the best experience tailored to their individual needs.

So, how much does one robot cost? Megan confirmed the price for one robot is $2,500, which is surprisingly affordable for a high-tech device. Megan hopes that every school in Australia will have a robot in place to make sure there will be no child missing school in the future.

2. ‘League of Hearoes’

Presented by Max Learmont, myself and David Brady, the CEO of ‘Hear For You’. The ‘Hear For You’ foundation aims to find a way to connect hard of hearing and deaf teenagers across the country with mentorship programs. Last year the foundation partnered up with UnLtd and the Media Federation of Australia to generate a brief for the 2017 NGEN Awards in order to crowd source ideas from young professionals in the media industry. From this brief, Max and I developed ‘League of Hearos’, the world’s first Minecraft world for mentoring deaf teenagers in Australia which took out first place.

‘There is normally only one hard of hearing or deaf teen at each school. If you watched the movie ‘Mean Girls’, those teenagers are normally the ones get bullied at schools. But they have nobody with similar experiences to talk to….’ –  David Brady, the CEO of ‘Hear For You’

Max and I took the “GoodTech” audience through our process of developing ‘Hear For You’ and gave them a deep dive into how we plan to launch the campaign.

The Challenge

A deaf teen might spend an entire day at school with hearing aids taken-out as they prefer to live in silence than to wear a symbol of their disability and be labelled ‘that deaf kid’. The organisations original strategy to reach the target audience was to serve Facebook ‘deaf ads’, however, most deaf teens don’t believe they are a charity case, they are just a regular kid.

Max and I were determined to overcome this problem, so we reached out to David Brady. David called the teens’ stigma – ‘the invisible wall’. They feel unworthy of attention, so they build this wall to hide from the world. As a result, they keep any offers of help at bay.

 The Comms Approach

We reshaped our communication approach – ‘92% of hard of hearing teenagers are gamers’. This makes perfect sense as whilst playing video games, deaf teens have no perceived burden of being hard of hearing. Gaming allows them to remain anonymous, communicate via text and connect with like-minded communities at scale.

Max and I interviewed some ‘Hear for You’ teens and after much research, we found that one game was universal. Every teen interviewed couldn’t stop talking about MineCraft. It’s a language they all understand.

From here we created ‘League of Hearoes’, a secret world to connect hard of hearing teenagers in Australia with in-game mentorship opportunities. League Of Hearoes is a private Minecraft server set up to be a new digital community for Hear For You. It is also an ownable asset, which might lead to the opportunity to transform into a social enterprise and achieve more sustainable social impact. It will be brought to life by connecting the right brands with this hyper relevant environment, such as Cochlear, UNSW and many more. From here, the opportunities are endless, imagine connecting a deaf teen from rural Queensland to a hearing doctor in Melbourne.

3. Sam Adams-Nye from Folo.

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” – Anna Lappé

Folo is a free extension for computer browsers that empowers anyone to generate donations for causes they care about, just by shopping online. When browsing Google or visiting a store online, Folo highlights the retailers who will donate to causes on your behalf. The audiences were amazed by how easy the user experience is. Folo are currently building the infrastructure to enable brands and their customers to donate with every retail transaction.

Same online stores, same prices, free donations.

Each time you make a purchase, the retailer pays a percentage of the sale to your Folo account. This gives you the power to use your Folo balance to support nonprofits you care about – at no extra cost to you.

Experience the future of fundraising. Add Folo and turn the simple act of shopping into a world of compassion.

Overall, it was an extremely inspiring morning. Those who attended were able to witness three projects that have been designed from the ground up to change society for the better. The morning provided a fantastic opportunity to hear from both Megan Gilmour and Sam Adam-Nyes about their incredible projects as well as start the conversation of what else we could we doing to create positive change to our world. A big thank you to UnLtd for putting together a wonderful event and to Snapchat for hosting us. The future is bright!

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