Too often the Millennial generation is criticized for inaction and an acceptance of the unjust institutions around us. Yet there are more problems and more causes to take up than ever before. LeadUp is our solution, creating a platform for mobilization of people who care about an issue but aren’t sure how to turn that care into action.
What it does
There are two roles to take in LeadUp: everyday users and content creators. Every day users will be updated with stories related to issues they care about, with these preferences taken down at signup. These users also indicate the preference of notification based on proximity (local, national, international), to further personalize the scope of care. After being presented with a news story (the ones which trend/are most popular while meeting the criteria of user preferences are pushed to the top to create mass action), there are options to post online using a consolidated hashtag, but also options to act in real time with the cause, through donation of time, money, or even contact info to direct the user to the necessary persons. Content creators indicate local events and other things taking place in the area for people to participate with.
How I built it
We designed our application using Photoshop, created a fully functional prototype of our application using InVision, and coded the framework of our back-end code using C++. To create data visualizations of the social issues included in the app, we gathered data from two sources: websites we scraped using Python and datasets from Data.gov. Then, we used Tableau to visualize the data through regional map graphs. and Attached is a link to our prototype: https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/DN5TIYQWQ#/screens
Challenges I ran into
What is considered to be a cause? How do we play god and choose what is more worthy than others? We cannot, and after debating this issue for a night, we settled on a more robust content creation function on LeadUp. We do not and probably cannot ever know what are new social causes that do not affect us, and do not have the same knowledge on the resources available to get involved as those who are already mobilizing others and are active within their movement have.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Our team was comprised of first-time hackers. Only two of the team members had programming experience, which was only in academic setting. Despite our inexperience, each member leveraged his or her person skills and talents to create a minimum viable product.
What I learned
There is an inherent difficulty in mobilizing a world that interacts with so many pressing challenges at once. In creating a platform to convert care into action it must be considered that there are many different priorities among many different people, and this must be taken into account.
What's next for LeadUp
The next step is taking LeadUp from a prototype to a fully functional app and marketing to relevant users