Mashup #Tech4Good: “Disrupting Climate Change, Peace Building and Medtech”

Céline Tykve · 8 minutes · 10.03.2016

Almost 80 people have fought their way through the cold and rain to our Viadukt location on March 3 to talk about “Tech for Good” with us. But even more impressing: Globally over 600 people were part of this Mash Up. The event took place in many Impact Hubs around the world, in Hubs such as Stockholm, Munich, Prague, Brno, Bucharest, Moscow, Minneapolis, Floripa, Sao Paulo, Geneva, and of course Zurich (our introduction video by the way will totally touch on all stereotypes you have ever heard about the Swiss, well done Kati!). All the impressions and stories of the night were collected with the hashtag #impacthubmashup on a tagboard. and after the compulsory moderator selfie with Niels, we jumped right into the fast and dynamic input speeches of the night all presented in the pecha kucha format. Let’s hear (or in this case read) their input:

 

Technology can massively improve our climate problems: Anaïs Sägesser from SIMS AG

 

During the climate conference in Paris, COP21, December 2015, a historic agreement on climate change was reached. But a lot is required for these goals to be attained and technologies for climate change mitigation, adaptation and climate intervention play a central role in this. The greenhouse gas emissions saving potential through measures of efficiency supported by digital technologies is estimated at 20-25%. Thus we will need to go far beyond measures of increased efficiency only.

 

As we are experiencing more extreme weather events, we need to increase the resilience of cities. Application of technologies is helping our adaptive capabilities. – Anaïs Sägesser

 

Whether we are talking about digital technology, internet of things or energy production, storage and transmission – tech will continue to be a driving force behind some of the much needed changes to ensure the future of humanity on our planet! However, technology will not suffice and a concerted effort of all realms of society is required to successfully tackle climate change. We need to rethinking our values, belief systems and aspirations and adjust our consumption patterns accordingly. 

With collaboration and context, technological solutions can solve conflicts: Michaela Ledesma from buildpeace

History has shown that humanitarian help and governmental intervention are rarely able to bring about peace. With todays wide arrays of technologies, it was natural that people would turn to tech to find a solution for conflicts. There are four key functions of technology in conflict-stricken areas: 1) Data: technology can help us gather data in new ways which can then be fed back into governmental policies, 2) Communication: technology allows unheard voices to be heard, 3) Networking: technology enables people to connect and 4) Mobilisation: technology helps activate help.

 

The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. – Michaela Ledesma

 

However, too many tech solutions developed in the North/West and exported to the affected countries have failed miserably because the local people were not included in the process. By getting on the ground (aka integrating local actors in the conversations and including them in the process of creation), the solutions are contextualized from the beginning and will make the projects more sustainable, thus really making a difference.

 

A sensory revolution is happening: Daniel Längle from 1nfusion

Medtech is one of the obvious fields where technology really has a positive impact. In the case of 1nfusion we are talking about sensors for infusions pumps enabling us to track and monitor a lot more than before. Studies have shown that the nurse has more influence on the pain of the patience than the actual size of the needle; that is an area where tech obviously cannot help. But technology, i.e. sensors, are able to provide the feedback and information that the human body cannot provide and that’s why they are so valuable.

 

Amateurs built Google and Facebook. Professionals built the Titanic. Sometimes you just need to give it a try. – Daniel Längle

 

With sensors being many times smaller than 15 years ago (we’re talking about the size of a pencil here), the uses for sensors have increased immensely in the last few years. Daniel and his team have just started to work on their ideas in our new MakerZpace on the 4th floor at Colab, but a real revolution is on its way here.

 

Simplifying the cognitive world with technology: Melanie Stump from e-braininjury.com

Shockingly, many traumatic brain injuries today remain undetected also in Switzerland. Why? Because MRI scans are not able to pick up all forms of injuries resulting in inaccurate diagnosis. Evidently there is big potential for growth and improvement in this area. Traumatic brain injuries leave people with limited cognition, but doctors usually have to rely on the patients and their statements during the treatment.

 

You can do great things with technology without being an engineer. – Melanie Stump

 

Melanie used her own experiences with a brain injury to create the platform e-brainjury.com, which connects two interlinked apps one for the patient and  one for family and friends. It is specifically tailored to people with limited cognition, simplifies the daily life of the patient, reminds them when, what and how they should do it, gives friends and family a possibility to support… basically, it thinks for you! This improves the daily lives of not only the patient but also their relatives, friends and even doctors. (Watch her presentation here.)

 

Gamification to change back pain therapy: Mike Fuhrmann from Hocoma

Back pain from sitting to much and constantly working on a computer has become the sickness Nr 1 of society in recent years. Almost 3/4 of the population have experienced back pain at least once in their life and had to go to physical therapy. Hocoma helps people to stick to their physical therapy exercises by introducing an element of gamification. One sensor will be put on your spine and one on your breastbone and you will get to see an avatar to play a game in front of a screen (almost like with Wii). While you play along, the sensors will correct you and your execution of the movement; like that Hocoma is turning physical therapy into a fun exercise which even gives you a report that you can then send to your physical therapist.

 

We are finally able to qualify movement to improve everyday life – and relieve back pain in our case. – Mike Fuhrmann

 

Health wearables are a huge market, but in this case it is not just about tracking the quantity but the quality – and this is where real change begins!

 

All the presentations above have shown that many industries are and will be further disrupted by technology – ultimately to create a better world. So in the words of Dario from Geneva: „Keep it impact-y!“ We look forward to seeing you at our next Mash Up event in June.

 

A true digital native and social media lover, Céline joined our team to support us in our communication. After finishing her studies in media and communications and English literature at the University of Zurich she knew that she wanted to find a job with an impact. Joining the Impact Hub she could combine her passion for communication, networking and storytelling with a professional work su...

Céline Tykve, Lead Strategic Communication & Storytelling

celine.tykve@impacthub.ch

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