What do you do with your smart phone? Call, text, game? At the Bangalore+Sustainability event, your phone could protect a woman from abuse, improve public transport or motivate an afforestation drive.
The Bangalore+ Sustainability event is done in conjunction with the Social Good Summit held every year in New York. The Social Good summit explores creative ways that technology can be leveraged for positive social change.
“There’s much you can do with the technology that is so easily available to us, but most people don’t,” according to Meera Vijayann, consultant at Ashoka India, which, along with Green Lungi and International D velopment Exchange (IDEx) organised the Bangalore+Sustainability event in the city. The main event of the summit itself was a ‘make-a-thon’, where participants had to design a prototype of a solution to a common sustainability related issue. “A make-a-thon, is similar to a hack-a-thon, but here we are looking at creating solutions,” explains Meera. Participants were given five problems to chose from- road safety, waste management, water management, improving green cover and safer spaces for women. They were asked to discuss the problem as they understand it and then design a solution, which could be in the form of an app, a campaign or a skit, but had to involve the use of technology.
“The participants at the make-a-thon will be connected to other groups who develop technology for social change and it will be developed into marketable solutions,” Meera explains. The make-a-thon is a skill building exercise. “We believe that young people have the power to affect change and it is time that we provide them with more opportunities to solve the challenges they see around them.
This event is a first step in the direction of developing these problem-solving skills in our young people,” said Meera.