Summer 2017, Berlin


Represented in the SDI Incubation program by Aparna Shrivastava, LensShift is a resource platform aimed at addressing misguided development and social impact work. In the age of information overload, efforts to shine a spotlight on shortcomings of the sector are spread between too many platforms leaving no cohesive narrative on what not to do and the missed opportunities of what can be done better. LensShift is changing this. We’re creating a space that facilitates learning, critical reflection and discourse on social change by providing in-depth historical, political and cultural contexts on a wide spectrum of related subjects.We offer a comprehensive library of existing resources (articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.), structured resource streams that unpack critical topics fundamental to social impact endeavors in global contexts and practical guides that can be tangibly applied in daily work and conversations. As we grow, we will also develop offerings for contextualized training opportunities for groups and organizations that seek to responsibly work in the social impact and development sphere.

Considering the endless difficulties bombarding the world’s poor, misguided development work makes life more challenging for those already in the most difficult circumstances. We equip change-makers and transform perspectives on how to responsibly do good in the social impact space from the start. This will minimize lessons learned at the expense of communities.

Rather than replicating the compelling work of others, we bring together their wisdom so that the status quo can no longer persist. We transform perspectives on how to do good.

LensShift: the resource hub for responsible social impact.

Learn more here!

Fintech for the UnBanked

This project was pitched by WeiHsi Hu and is a mobile savings account that nudges you into managing money better. Our vision is that the unbanked will have a better financial future. Using digital solutions, we will create a savings account with features that enable people to directly and proactively manage their money and plan a better financial future. Inspired by the people we worked with, this initiative is specifically for those who are low income, migrants, and homeless. Our team has a proven track record working in the charity sector with expertise in strategic development, social impact, and partnership building. With the support of Social-Digital Innovation, we hope to bring our vision into reality.

Free the Data

The Free the Data project by Thomas O’Neill is an initiative to produce/develop a suite of free and open-source software to enable users to cross-channel their data into user-managed, distributed and blockchain-secured database(s).

At the application level, users will be provided with a data portal (web/GUI) application with which to view and manage their data, enabling them to gain insights about their behaviour patterns when using online services (the kinds of social “Big Data” users are providing), and also to monetize their data (smart contracts).
Prior to this, various development will be needed to capture and push the data. This could take the form of OS agents, browser extensions, mobile device applications. It could potentially go further and take the form of a web browser or mobile device OS fork.

The vision here is to pave the way to a world where we are truly in charge of our own data. As it stands, the “Big Data” space, particularly when it comes to social data, is super monopolized by the GAFA’s (Google’s, Amazon’s, Facebook’s and Apple’s of the world). The development of software leveraging this data (think of the applications in AI and augmented reality) necessitates a profit drive, which is toxic to society (see “targeted advertising”, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and so on).

The technology isn’t going to get any less creepy (see the IoT space). It’s simply a question of whether we want the technology to be profit-driven or human-driven.

Menstrual Health Hub

The Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub) is a global and interdisciplinary Community of Practice (CoP) for menstrual health actors and organizations, represented in the incubation program by Danielle Kaiser and Mariana De La Roche. The MH Hub seeks to overcome geographical and thematic barriers to help professionalize a fragmented field, and strengthen collective impact at the local, national, regional and global level.

Our vision is a world where menstrual health is a priority so that women, girls, and those who menstruate can thrive. Inclusive and impartial, our mission is to improve communication, connection and collaboration through an engaging and accessible online platform that centralizes menstrual health research, education, policy and innovations.

Our philosophy is that solutions to menstrual health challenges are as unique as the people seeking them. We recognize the diversity of approaches to improving menstrual health. We acknowledge the incredible contributions being made in this field by a diverse body of actors and aim to amplify the voices of this robust and rapidly growing community.

Learn more here!

Want to learn more about their development? Check out the blog!