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upbeat | Tech. For. Good. - Issue #24

upbeat | Tech. For. Good. - Issue #24
By Niels Achtereekte • Issue #24 • View online
Hi there! Welcome to the new issue of upbeat. A fresh dose of inspiration for using digital technology to solve societal challenges. You’ll read how tech for good frontrunners act and think, and how the ecosystem is evolving. So you can make the change at work too.
We’ll look into: The uprise of burn out battling startups/apps | Using open banking to create a loyalty programme for the planet | The Extreme Tech Challenge, Deepmind, nose wearables (?!) and much more!

Using open banking to create a loyalty programme for the planet
Swedish Gokind combines sustainability data from brands with information on customer transactions – rewarding environmentally conscious choices, noted Springwise.
The company says to use three steps for this:
  1. Connect your bank to see how your brands perform in terms of sustainability.
  2. Pick industries where you want improve and get personalized impact actions.
  3. Earn cash and sustainable rewards when taking action.
About it’s sustainability scoring of brands:
We have selected more than twenty objective indicators that we call “Badges”. These are noteworthy sustainability achievements that a company either does or doesn’t have. Example of badges: That a company has gender-equal management (40-60%), or has reduced its total emissions over a certain threshold (-10% year to year). In addition to the high objectiveness of these badges, they come with another major benefit: Comparability. The badge system allows you and I to compare companies within every industry, making it easier than ever to make informed decisions.
About the business model:
We only allow green scoring companies to include incentives in the platform for you to make switches to them. This can come in the form of rewards, cashback, or funnels which make it easy for you to switch to green companies. Gokind earns a commission for the green switches made, and part of this will be forwarded to the users as a way to make sustainable choices more affordable to everyone. Partnerships are clearly marked on the platform.
The digital battle on burn outs
Health and wellness apps have been on the rise for quite some time now and there’s a growing focus on burnout (prevention). Both for inviduals as for companies. ‘With post-pandemic burnout on the rise, the shift to remote working, and the “Great Resignation” now passing into the lexicon, companies are struggling to hold onto talent, TechCrunch wrote recently.
Let’s look at two new initiatives:
  1. Thinking about positive things in life every day for six weeks helps to cope with corona depression, researchers believe. TU Twente has developed a scientifically substantiated new welfare app for this, using users personal photos, beautiful quotes and keeping a (paper) diary in which a different theme is discussed every week.
  2. Startup Quan is addressing the gap between engagement surveys and well-being perks. With a digital questionnaire every quarter, Quan shows what is going on in the organization, within teams and with the individual. Showing where things go wrong and which interventions can be used to tackle the problem. Quan launched its beta product in March 2021, and says it is now working with 12 organizations, over 1,000 paid users and a platform engagement rate of 88%.
A starter kit with 30+ climate funders
So you have (good) idea to combat climate change and are wondering where to find funding… This great post by Piotr Drozd deserves a highlight, since he sums up over thirty climate funds. From (big) tech boys like Alexis Ohanian and Jeff Bezos to IKEA and Stichting DOEN.
With less than 2% of philanthropic giving being spent in the fight against climatechange, it is no surprise that many climate nonprofits are woefully underfunded. Considering the essential role they play in education, communication or advocacy, this is a problem.
Chop chop!
🏆 Incooling, Outlander Materials and LipoCoat have won the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) Netherlands & Belgium competition. Read a recap of the pitchting event here.
😵 DeepMind software that can predict the 3D shape of proteins is already changing biology, says Nature. Read how tech is helping scientists mapping the nuclear pore complex AKA the ‘largest molecular machine in human cells’.
☘️ Maxity is building a blockchain and smart contract powered marketplace designed to let charities and non-profits benefit from the emergence of Web 3.0.
😋 Choco raked in 111 million dollars to collect data in real time so that suppliers can more accurately balance supply and demand so less food is wasted before it reaches the consumer. Its aim is to “completely digitize the food wholesale market across the globe by 2026.”
💳 Dayrize, a new marketplace, has developed a scoring system that allows consumers to see at a glance which products are truly sustainable.
Not necessarily tech for good, nonetheless relevant:
Italy makes constitution greener, environmentalists call for action - In february Italian politicians and activists praised a new law building protection of the environment into the constitution, but said action needed to be taken to ensure that the country benefited. Reuters has more on it here.
The Degrowth Opportunity - This report presents the degrowth imperative, explores the degrowth ideal, articulates degrowth as a resilience issue for business and discusses degrowth-compatible business attributes. Including an illustrative ‘disorderly’ climate scenario with degrowth assumptions.
These are the countries best prepared for a green future - Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands are the countries most prepared for a low-carbon future, according to a new report. The index is a ranking of 76 economies published by MIT Technology Review Insights, the custom publishing division of the bimonthly magazine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It measures how countries are reducing their carbon emissions, developing clean energy and innovating in green sectors. The research also looks at environmental protection and government climate policies. See more here.
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Niels Achtereekte

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