Connect Our Kids takes first place for technology that connects foster children and families faster
(LOS ANGELES, November 16, 2018) – Yesterday, Independent Sector recognized the recipients of the first Innovate for Good Challenge during an award ceremony at Upswell in Los Angeles.
The Innovate for Good Challenge is a new initiative supported by Independent Sector and lead sponsor Accenture. It is intended to promote and heighten awareness of organizations that are catalyzing social change through new I.T., such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and/or extended reality. The Challenge is part of Independent Sector’s Tech for Common Good, a cross-sector collaborative.
First-place winner Connect Our Kids is developing an intelligent software platform that enables social workers and family recruiters to speed and scale child foster placement based on data-based decisions. The I.T. tool replaces paper-based systems, enabling social workers and family recruiters to more quickly connect children in the foster care system with permanent, supportive families. As the winner, they received a $20,000-cash prize and professional services from Accenture to help support their new I.T. solution.
Second-place winner YWCA Silicon Valley works to engage and increase the number of young women and underrepresented minorities in computer science and STEM in Silicon Valley. It uses A.I. to allow real-time student engagement feedback. Their award was a $5,000 prize.
Raheem AI third-place winner, is building the nation’s first community-based mapping system to collect information regarding police conduct. Reviewers submit stories about their interactions with police – good or bad – to help citizens measure police performance and advance policies that end police violence and support transparency and accountability. They received a $1,000 prize.
“Upswell is about bringing together people from across the social sector to collaborate on new and innovative ways to solve the intractable problems that confront communities,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “We also are keenly focused on the importance of using data-driven decision making and technology to drive impact. I can think of no better way to highlight the transformative work taking place in this space than by lifting up these amazing organizations that are opening our minds to what is possible through I.T.-based solutions.”
“The volume of submissions and innovative ideas truly impressed the judges,” said Marty Rodgers, managing director of Accenture’s nonprofit practice. “This competition shows that the social sector is using new technologies to disrupt and create change on a large scale to improve the lives of people on par with the private sector or government. The future is bright when we have leaders and organizations committed to change the way the world works, and lives coming together to innovate and co-create, and we look forward to working with the award winners to make a difference.”
Two other organizations also were recognized with honorable mentions, including Curated x Kai, which empowers students and young adults by creating extended reality experiences of cultural institutions; and Votem, a mobile voting platform designed with blockchain to securely cast votes in elections across the globe.
To learn more about Independent Sector’s Tech for Common Good initiative, visit independentsector.org/programs/tech-for-common-good.
Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. Learn more at independentsector.org.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit our nonprofit site.
Kristina Gawrgy Campbell