Standout solutions: The winning ideas from #HackSociety 2017
MANILA, Philippines – A chatbot app for legal processes, an app for mental health, solutions to learning and managing waste – these were the winning ideas in the semi-final round of HackSociety, held on Friday, September 15.
From hundreds of submissions and weeks of refining ideas, subject matter experts chose the top ideas in 4 themes representing some of today's most pressing social problems.
HackSociety is an ideathon that aims to crowdsource "hacks" or solutions to society's problems.
For this year's competition, finalists underwent a 30-hour challenge where they refined their idea with mentors and experts.
Maria Luisa Jolongbayan of the United Nations Development Programme said the Hack Society sessions are promoting advocacies and providing a platform for action.
"What started out as an advocacy platform for the sustainable development goals has turned out to be something even more productive...We really want to boil down to innovative development solutions that will make a difference, that will leave no one behind," Jolongbayan said.
She also encouraged the youth participants to continue finding ways to make a difference in their respective communities.
"We also want you to create spaces of engagement...Continue bringing together people and create opportunities to be together, to form platforms to discuss socially revelant issues,: she said.
Here are the ideas that stood out in each of the 4 themes in this year's competition.
Media and democracy
Team LawKo wants to bridge the knowledge gap between a complicated legal system and the Filipino public through a Facebook chatbot.
Instead of complex terms and legalese, the chatbot will present topics on civil procedure, criminal procedure, and other pertinent law topics in a way that's more understandable to the average Filipino user. The chatbot can direct users to relevant offices and courts, answer questions on law procedures, and make this information much more accessible and comprehensible.
"Legal processes shouldn't be this hard to understand. Through these dark times, LawKo aims to shed light for the ordinary citizen," said Alexandra Austria.
Peace, governance and local development
Tuto Club seeks to utilize the internet and create an alternative classroom for the 3.5 million out of school youth and children.
By partnering with the best teachers in the country, the team proposes to record their lessons and tap local governments to help flash it on projector screens to enable out-of-school youth to continue learning.
The team believes that simple solutions can solve complex problems like the lack of education. The offline school only need limited resources such as the internet, camera, white screen, and projector to leave no one uneducated.
Environment and climate change
To help reduce textile waste and prevent more of it from simply being thrown into landfills, Team Phinix aims to be a pioneer textile recycling center in the country that will collect old clothes and fabric scraps and upcycle them into newer, highly valued products such as footwear and accessories.
The team hopes to scale up and have a textile recycling center in every country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Pamela Mejia said they also plan to collaborate with local artisan designers and the shoemaking industry to promote local businesses.
"We aim for the triple bottom line – we are for the planet, for the people, and for profit," she said.
Public health and well-being
Arooga Health recognizes the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing of employees. It is a technology company that works towards improving the behavioral healthcare of employees, especially in stressful industries like advertising.
It is a personalized platform for employees, companies, and organizations who do not have on-site counselors or therapists, helping bridge the gap between care providers and employees by matching them based on their preferred budget, schedule, and medium of virtual interaction.
By doing this, the company aims to improve the user’s life, lessen potential medical expenses, and boost employees; overall productivity.
One final winner will be declared by the end of the Social Good Summit and awarded with the following:
- P50,000 in cash
- Access to Rappler events, workshops and trainings. These events will provide winners with opportunities to network with partners who can provide mentorship and help refine your product/service and business model.
- Production of one social video (worth P450,0000) for their winning idea/innovation. The social video will be posted via Rappler and Move.PH social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- A once in a lifetime chance to represent the Philippines in the regional competition for youth-led enterprises by the United Nations Development Programme!