Generations United

Connecting communities through Intergenerational collaboration

Inspiration

During this unprecedented crisis, social isolation amongst our community is at an all time high. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable as quarantine measures restrict their ability for social visitations or access community resources for basic needs. Conversly, young adult suicide remains the second-highest cause of death among people aged 15 to 29 globally, of which social isolation is a major contributing factor.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a number of successful intergenerational programs existed within communities that paired young adults with older members of their communities. Through these programs, young adults (through their schools or community centers) would meet for in-person visitations with senior citizens. Program evaluations have shown intergenerational programs benefit both groups. Health benefits for seniors include decreased depression and improved physical, psychological and cognitive well-being. Similarly, young adults reported improved social and life skills, improvement of self-worth and in some cases, better academic performance. With needed social isolation and quarantine during the COVID-19, intergenerational programs are suspended due social isolation measures. How can we connect generations that are socially isolated while still being safe? In contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #3, “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all age,” our team has created a communication platform that links young people that have extra time and an internet connection to reach out, via landline, to elderly members in our community that have identified a desire for socialization. In return, “Youth Ambassadors” are incentivized with points, badges and discounts to their insurance.

What it does

Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships

To enable this platform, we propose to work with EarthXHack sponsors, State Farm, to utilize their existing customer portal. We have created a plug and play that could embed into the existing State Farm app and enable VOIP calls directly to the landline or cell phone of pre-identified elderly members. Young adult volunteers (or those young at heart) will go through a short video training session on how to use the portal and appropriate topics and language to communicate with older persons. Demographics such as language ability for young volunteers will also be matched.

As an incentive for young people, State Farm, in addition to providing a portal to connect with vulnerable or elderly populations, can offer a discount off of the young adult (or their parents’) car insurance.

Recognizing the divide between the two generations, Generations United Portal will connect young people through an app, while connecting the elderly through their registered landline or mobile phone.

Additionally, if the young person connects with an elderly person that seems in need of further help, a button on the call portal will connect the appropriate mental health or social service agency to be further connected to community resources or programs. This socialization service can also provide a benefit to local and state programs that are under-resourced to reach out to community members unaware of available social programs like grocery drop offs, food credit programs or mental health services.

Product

Generations United platform is broken into three parts:

  1. A user (young ambassador - YA) facing app which allows volunteers to contact elderly individuals (EI) who fall within a certain demographic and have identified as wishing to participate in the program.

1.1. Call list will be provided by State Farm

1.1.1 Elderly individuals will be qualified into this program automatically based on age.

1.1.2. State Farm will feed the following information through our proprietary API ensuring PII is protected.

  • First name
  • Preferred language
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Approx. Location (City)
  • Phone Number - Landline

1.2. Once the information has been ingested, our matching engine will create real time calling lists for individual volunteers based on preferred language of recipient (Elderly Individual) and time zones.

1.3.YA will be able to see demographic information and a hashed phone number with the option for call, hang up, flag, and notes.

1.3.1. The flag button will allow a user (young ambassador) to notify a supervisor in case they grow concerned over the mental or physical well-being of the elderly individual. 1.3.2. The notes section will allow users (young ambassadors) to note any feedback they have from the call or if there were any additional details they’d like to report.

  1. A matching engine utilizing key search and real time developments to match potential users (young ambassadors) with elderly individuals who qualified for the program.

  2. A “virtual agent” (AI) who is automatically triggered once the user ends the call. The virtual agent will ask the elderly individual to rate their young ambassador based on a modified NPS.

3.1. VA is only triggered if calls are <60sec 3.2. If a young ambassador receives a score of less than 2 stars consistently (3+times) a supervisor will automatically be pinged to review call times, call logs, and have the ability to reach out and cloop to determine if the young ambassador is fit to continue volunteering.

How we built it

  1. Confirmed and validated the problem
  2. Assessed if there are current available service to address the problem
  3. Identified how to use existing platform to resolve the issue (Identified Statefarm customer based and app as one of those platforms)
  4. Created designs that can seamless integrate into the platform. Used Figma to create wireframes & prototype. https://www.figma.com/proto/wfPOtqje1qpT6L2tIwwnZE/EarthxHack?node-id=113%3A116&viewport=167%2C420%2C0.30881571769714355&scaling=scale-down
  5. Verified that there are current technologies now that support our idea (VoIP, app, landline, etc.)
  6. Used React, Redux, Next.js, styled-components to build

*All throughout the process, we continued to reach out to experts and researched information to support or challenge our assumptions

Challenges we ran into

Finding teammates Finding a solution that can both tackle the Nat Geo and Statefarm challenges

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Create an awesome team and an awesome solution in 2 days

What we learned

There's a big opportunity in tapping the human capital of young adults to address the needs of the older generation.

What's next for Generations United

Product Roadmap

  1. Build out back end table to house:
  • First name
  • Preferred language
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Approx. Location (City)
  • Phone Number - Landline
  • Call times
  • Flags
  • Notes
  1. Develop API feed with State Farm which transports information to and from the data warehouse.
  2. Set up matching engine parameters to ensure correct framework and boundaries ensuring highest quality of language and information matching. *As engine learns, the error rate here should drop to less than 1%
  3. Create AI powered Virtual Agent to field post call surveys and help trigger supervisor oversight in case of consistent underperformance.
  4. Set up an interface for plug and play app solution so that users can easily log in through the app and have automatic verification.
  5. Create deep partnerships within local communities so that once Elderly individuals are flagged for possible physical or mental well being problems, local and state organizations can be deployed to aid in at risk individuals.
  6. Gamification of the platform to better utilize badging and goal setting

Further Use Cases

During COVID Crisis - State Farm

While social distancing is required for elderly people in the population, a matching program focused on people 65+ through landline / internet portal communication will be a priority. As part of a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative, State Farm could choose to host the portal through their existing web application. Both youth ambassadors and eldererly persons would be identified and managed by State Farm's existing customer database. State Farm could also choose to incentivize Youth Ambassadors through an insurance deduction program.

During COVID Crisis - Other Programs

Additionally, the Generations United platform could be utilized by other programs, such as governmental social security services or elderly community centers that: (1) maintain a database of elderly persons and (2) could use help in identifying potential at-risk members.

Post COVID Crisis - Intergenerational Programs, Environmental Programs and Disaster Preparedness

Other existing programs that, historically, have used for intergenerational in-person visits could also use the platform beyond the COVID crisis. In this case, the platform would match “Youth Ambassadors” to people in-need within their community. Matching could include a safe place to socialize in-person and perform grocery store delivery or other service.

Additionally, environmental programs like power reduction during peak hours, light-bulb swapping, or recycling programs could use this matching service to “get the word out” -- providing elderly members with less technological know-how with information on energy discounts, program enrollment or available services. Finally, after major environmental disasters, members with a neighborhood could be linked to check-in with each other to ensure safety or other needed services.

Post COVID Crisis - Commercial Prospects

The democratization of phone banking for marketing or other services is another application of our technology. Across the United States, there are diverse groups of consumers whose first language may not be English or are not digitally savvy. Tapping into the pool of young adults (that are facing economic difficulties) to provide how-to regarding using digital products, enrollment of new programs or information. Communication with older customers that they are most familiar--the landline--enables hard-to-reach groups access to the same products, services or programs. Tech-savvy or younger representatives could also be incentivized with program discounts, prizes or payments instilling brand loyalty.

Team

Mary Louise Gifford

Mary is the Chief Science Officer of Tribal Planet where she develops mobile-based platforms and data analytics engines for a diverse set of clients including Verizon, UNDP, NY Forum Africa, CISCO, EY, Girl Scouts and UN Women.

Prior to her work in Silicon Valley, she was an energy and climate change expert at the World Bank, Heinz Centre, and UN where she worked at the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She has founded and led several civic-minded initiatives including UC Berkeley Rural Energy Group (2009-2014), World Bank Y-Lab (2011-2014), Seattle Climate Hack-a-thon (2017) and Syracuse Engineers Without Borders (2002-2006).

George Oscar Eugene Campbell

I am a full-stack web developer based in the UK who utilizes languages and tools such as JavaScript, React, Redux, Next.js in order to take ideas from concept to concrete reality. I love practicing my skills to bring about real world change, solving tangible problems using weightless open source technology in the digital ecosystem.

I have worked professionally as a web and software developer for 4 years, including remote contracts to in-office positions working collaboratively with designers and developers to solve problems for clients. This includes working for Zengenti Ltd., Express KCS, and my current role developing the open source XRChat platform.

Chickee Fuerman

Award-Winning UX Designer/ Researcher and a Serial Hackathoner

With her love of the unconventional life and of personal growth, she has been continuously acquiring a diverse set of skills from diverse types of industries- from tech to healthcare, to education, to finance. She also travelled and lived in different parts of the globe to expose herself to new ideas, and to take the best practices of the different cultures she comes across. Now, she is back in the tech industry, in the field of UX Design and Web Development.

Her ultimate goal is to use her unique combination of competencies and insights to start her own social enterprise or to be a core member of one. An opportunity where Tech meets Entrepreneurship meets Social Impact is her happy place!

Gypt Minierva

Gypt is currently a CRM Consultant. He is responsible for developing apps and integrating the platform with other systems. He customizes the CRM environment for particular clients. He specialized in Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

He's always excited about new technology. He wants to learn and spend time creating, buying, testing, and rating new tech.

Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a tech entrepreneur and behavioral economist who strives to help organizations develop their market research and innovation structures.

After successfully exiting his first startup in 2015, he joined a boutique investment bank specializing in tech and healthcare M&A.

In 2018, he joined a Market Research startup based in San Francisco to help democratize consumer insights and helped create the operational foundation for future scaleability.

Most recently he was tapped by a top 10 global financial institution to lead the development of their market research and innovation capabilities.

Jason has had a lifelong dedication to helping those in need and advocating for immigration reform, improved education access, and enabling technological innovation.

Github Page

https://github.com/campbellgoe/earthxhack-generations-united

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