Innovating for Social Good at Social Innovation Camp 2011 Posted by: Kenny S on 23/07/2011

Social Innovation Camp 2011

We were involved with Social Innovation Camp in Edinburgh this year. An innovative event that brings people together to build web-based solutions to solve social problems - in just 48 hours.

Bryan, one of our front end developers, volunteered to go along and together with his team, scooped up second place for their 'Homeshare' innovation.

Bryan went across to Edinburgh early on the Saturday morning armed he says "with a triple shot Americano and a laptop". He was gearing up to take part in Social Innovation Camp. This collaborative event takes a set of ideas for web-based tools that can create social change and local designers and developers work together to develop these ideas over the weekend. In Bryan's account;

"I was working with a diverse range of people. We organised ourselves into well balanced teams capable of turning a back-of-the-envelope idea into a working prototype - complete with working online service - in just two days."

Social Innovation Camp 2011

The Social Innovation Camp meet and greet.

As the teams got together they started working on a product that matches older people who have a spare room with unpaid interns who need somewhere to stay for the duration of their internships.

"Homeshare was designed to be an online marketplace that would allow unpaid interns and lodgers to create profiles, communicate with each other and find a match. Our aim was to design a simple programme for anyone to use and to find effective ways of reaching non-web users."

A worthy cause as 'Homeshare' has the potential to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older people at the same time as widening access to internship schemes. Throughout the weekend 'Homeshare' was renamed 'Room for Tea'.

The great news is, this group came in second place overall. As runners up, Room for Tea won support from the Melting Pot, as well as 1-1 guidance from the Social Innovation Camp team. You can follow them @roomfortea

The winner was 'Food Radar' a site for shops to post last-minute deals for food they'd otherwise have to throw away at the end of the day. Customers who like a bargain can sign up for notifications and pay through the Food Radar site before collecting their purchases in-store. Well done to them.

Overall Bryan had nothing but praise for the event;

"It was a great experience and a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and collaborate with peers. Everyone was very cooperative, professional and eager to help towards the task at hand. It was very intense and we all put in lots of hard work in such a short space of time, but it was well worth it.

Social Innovation Camp 2011

Bryan (at the whiteboard) and the team working hard on Homeshare a.k.a. Room for Tea

Interestingly, SICamp South Korea was running simultaneously and the event included Skype calls between the two which was good for morale."

I must say that our attendance at SICamp this year came about all thanks to a timely tweet - you know who you are. Twitter really is a fantastic medium for receiving and posting news updates and rallying people along.

Bryan had a great time, made a big difference and came back buoyant. We'll be there next year!!!

Want more?

Check out the Flickr photos here.

Find out more about Homeshare a.k.a Room for Tea here.

Read more about SI Camp and other ideas here.


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