Third Sector Digital Awards – Tech for Good: Beyond
Awarded to a company that is using technology to make a difference to the lives of those supported by charities
What was the project?
Design and technology agency Beyond believe in using creativity and technology to solve the world’s biggest problems. In 2019 the agency turned their attention to the ocean plastic crisis, and the use of voice technology to build a better future for the planet. With 80 million tons of plastic ending up in the ocean each year, the agency wanted to take a growing awareness of environmental issues and turn the attention into action.
What did it do?
To mark Earth Day 2019, Beyond’s Innovation, Research and Development programme (BIRD) developed a voice technology-activated app called Future Planet, available on Google Assistant powered devices.
The team focused on a few core topics: waste, plastic, pollution and water – then researched relevant, tangible facts in these areas and tied them to an actionable challenge which users could complete to reduce their environmental impact.
When users ask their Google Assistant to speak to Future Planet, they are greeted by the option to hear a challenge or a fact – and then prompted to change a behaviour; such as switching to eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products for a week to counteract the fact that 69% of freshwater supply is contaminated by chemical pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilisers.
Why did it win?
Future Planet showcases how voice technology can be used to help build a better future for our planet: with continued use, this simple voice app can create lasting global impact-and it takes roughly 66 days to form a habit. The app’s contribution to the environment has been recognised by the W3 Awards and the Davey Awards, and Beyond hopes to continue building its content to create more ways to make a difference.
What did the judges say?
Judges praised a good use of existing technology, and the “time, expertise and materials” offered by the team. “The team has recognised where they can help during the pandemic crisis,” they said.