What's your favourite social tech project?

The Nominet Trust invests in enterprises that use digital technology for social change, and every year compiles a list of the most exciting ones. The nomination process ends on Friday, so this week is your last chance to support your favourite projects. Here are a few of the most interesting webby projects:


What if liking a song, video or article actually gave a material benefit to the creator? That’s the idea behind Flattr: you set up a monthly budget and then everything you flattr in the month gets a share of that budget. It works with Instagram, Soundcloud, Github, Flickr, Vimeo, 500px, App.net, and the creator gets a share when you ‘Favorite’, ‘Like’ or ‘Star’ something. Flattr is the work of Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, co-founder of the Pirate Bay, and the intention is to enable more free and open content online by directly supporting creators.

Indie Phone

Indie Phone aims to 'empower people to own their own data' by providing an alternative to the products of companies such as Google whose business model is based upon making money out of the data we give them. Founder Aral Balkan argues that democracy and our fundamental freedoms are threatened by corporate surveillance, but right now services that provide a better level of privacy aren’t easy to use. Indie Phone is intended to be a mainstream product that can compete with the iPhone in terms of user experience so that people don’t have to compromise in order to own their own data.

A small team is currently undertaking preparatory work before the project is opened up for crowdfunding on 8 November 2014.

Apps for good

This project seeks to get designers, developers and other professionals into schools to teach groups of young people how to build apps for social good. Apps for Good operates as an open-source education movement, providing course materials to teachers and access to a network of experts who visit schools to share their skills.

Students are asked to identify social issues that they care about and build an app to help with those problems. They go through the full product development process and learn about everything from design, coding to business models and marketing. At the end of the year there’s an awards event and the winners have their apps launched commercially.

Young rewired state

This initiative to nurture young coders got started when the the UK cabinet office began running hackdays to encourage use of open government data. YRS founder Emma Mulqueeny noticed that very few young people turned up, so she set about finding coders aged under 18. It took three months of scouring the internet to find 50 young coders to participate in a hackday that was held at Google’s headquarters in London. That was a few years ago, and now the organisation runs an annual, week-long ‘Festival of Code’ as well as other events and activities that form a supportive community for young coders. YRS has recently expanded beyond the UK and is running events in Berlin, New York and San Francisco.

Go here to discover more interesting social tech projects.

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Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 16 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for numerous publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, ImagineFX, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq. For Creative Bloq, she mostly writes about web design, including the hottest new tools, as well as 3D artwork and VFX.