14 Nov 2014

The great Tech For Good bake off

By Jessica

Image: Kate Tarling from Peek Vision wows the audience at the Tech For Good Meetup

This week the Tech For Good Meetup was back with a bang. Once again there was a huge demand for places at the event, which was held at The Bakery, organised by the lovely folks at Nominet Trust and co-hosted by Kieron Kirkland and yours truly.

The Tech For Good Meetup is a regular get-together for people who get excited about using technology to bring about social change. It was started by Bethnal Green Ventures and each event follows a similar recipe – take a room full of people enthusiastic about using tech for good, mix together with a lovely selection of craft beers, add a handful of inspiring talks from social tech innovators, then stand back and let the conversation bake.

There were five great speakers at this week’s event:

Nikki Cochrane and Kathryn Tyler from Digital Mums spoke candidly about the highs and lows of their startup journey to date. Digital Mums is a service which trains and mentors mums to become online community managers, connecting them with promising new businesses who need their help to get digital. We were thrilled to hear that Digital Mums have secured funding from Big Issue Invest, which will enable the team to work on the project full time. We can’t wait to see this grow!

Marcos Mendendez introduced us to The Good Data, which is a service that helps you to take ownership of your personal data online by blocking browsing data that would otherwise be used by third party trackers. Then, with your consent, it puts some of your data to use for organisations that are working towards a good cause. What’s really cool, is that you can also choose to become an owner of The Good Data – so it’s possibly the first data coop in the world .

Kate Tarling, shared the story of Peek Vision, which is a super piece of kit that allows people to conduct eye tests anywhere in the world by using a smartphone app and a lens adaptor. Over 39 million people in the world are blind, and 80% of blindness is avoidable if it’s picked up and treated quickly. At the moment existing eye care tools are expensive, difficult to use and to access, which is why Peek Vision’s portable and affordable device is a particularly exciting development.

Finally, James Johnston entertained the audience with Open Utility’s experience of shaking up the energy industry. Open Utility is a peer-to-peer energy service that will allow people with renewable generators to sell their electricity directly to a local customer. They’re creating an open marketplace in an incredibly closed industry, which has been no small challenge. And they’re starting to make great progress, having recently secured £500k to roll out their pilot service.

If you missed the event then you’re in luck, because you can still check out the speaker presentations on our slideshare page. You can also catch up on the audience banter in the tweets below.

Kieron Kirkland @kieronkirkland
Get a good co founder, don’t be afraid to ask for help, great lessons from @DigitalMumsHQ #techforgood

Chris Wells @djwesto
Any #TransitionTowns or @REconomyProject enterprises need a community manager / social media strategy? Check out @DigitalMumsHQ #Techforgood

Kirsty Styles @kirstystyles1
Check out @thegooddata – the first co-operative for people to trade and use their data for good #techforgood https://thegooddata.org

Benj Petit @benj_pettit
There are trillions to be made from consumer data. @thegooddata shows how we can get a better deal w a data coop. @leashless #techforgood

Christine Kemp @ChristineLeder
Listening to @peekteam portable eye examination via mobile phones. Simply #amazing, big Impact & low cost #techforgood

Lior Smith @liorsmith
#techforgood on preventable blindness in Africa. Better access to phones than clean running water. So @kateldn @peekteam built an app

Kate Bagley @kate_bagley
.@OpenUtility offers P2P energy trading in a closed industry- “so many systems, so many regs.” #techforgood

Megan McGrattan @meganbianca
Loving @OpenUtility‘s humour @TheBakeryLDN: “massive vision….all we had to do was implement it”. #easyenoughthen

For updates on the next Tech For Good Meetup check out our meetup page. If you’d like to get involved in these events in any way then do drop us a line on twitter @kieronkirkland @JessStacey or email hello@bethnalgreenventures.com.