Inspiration by problem

RESILIENCE at the individual level is key to weathering the crisis which can go on for many months. Solving a crisis on an individual and community levels, help contribute to solving it on the global level.

Individuals are vulnerable at a three levels

  • Physical Health
  • Mental health
  • Emotional Health

We hypothesize that to address this well we must (1) provide long-term individual value, (2) make this solution widely adopted, (3) make it incredibly simple & enjoyable to use, (4) build for long-term retention, and (5) make it scaleable to all types of crises.


User story

We think that we need a widely adopted way for people to support each other. Especially in tough times.

Covid is one thing, but imagining a natural disaster or war crisis. Having a way to quickly know who is fine and who is in need saves lives. Imagine someone in a wheelchair or an elderly person who can’t quickly pack their stuff and leave. Or now, considering people staying locked in their homes for a long time — what will that do to their mental health & stress?

We currently don’t have a way to connect with other people on that level.

Where can you see how your friends are at a glance? Check in, to let others know that you’re alright (or ask for help if needed!)? And is it always obvious how best to help? What about people who may be reluctant to share how they feel?

That’s what we’re building our app for. To empower people to share & contribute to each other’s well-being. It will work nicely for communities and close friends, but it should also be at home also at companies, volunteer organizations and in emergency response.

We're exploring four possible contexts:

  • Individuals & local communities
  • Employees & HR users
  • Volunteering organizations
  • Universities & schools

What is our solution?

  • It's a mobile application (iOS & Android) & a set of print tools (Postcards & Notice board) that help people check in and find best ways to support each other's wellbeing.
  • The app helps connect with our friends & loved ones and know at a glance how they are doing
  • Both the app and print tools help understand who are the most vulnerable individuals & show ways to help
  • Daily and week social status updates to check for vulnerabilities on all three levels

System Map


How we approached this so far?

  • We spent a lot of time using divergent thinking & desk research to understand the problem
  • We conducted pain interviews & user research
  • We prototyped multiple solutions and engaged a small community of 40 testers via WhatsApp walkthrough videos
  • We measured for 'excitement' & narrowed down on value & features that'd be meaningful
  • As we were refining our prototype, we started developing a functional iOS prototype using ReactNative & Google Firebase
  • We're continually testing using clickthrough mockups to understand user's pains and interest in order to build what matters
  • Our working iOS prototype should be ready to begin testing with a group of ~70 people this weekend!
  • Then we'll hopefully see how this concept survives contact with reality & the context of real people's lives!

What is the benefit we hope to deliver to the users?

We are hoping to empower individuals to contribute to each other’s well-being though acts of support & kindness. Through strong individual support we can increase the resilience of our communities in both times of crises and in daily life.


What do we hope to build / achieve during this Hackathon?

  • Use further user outreach & mentoring to narrow down our focus
  • Uncover a clear value we can deliver for individuals, communities, or customers
  • Deploy our iOS prototype to first test users during the weekend
  • Sharpen our storytelling & create our first brand (& find a fitting name for the project)
  • Clarify a sales proposition to the HR space

People


Challenges we expect to face during The Global Hack

  • Uncovering the more generalizable, deep human needs around relationships as opposed to the relatively surface-level needs around COVID (we don't mean to diminish their importance, we just think that there are more generally applicable ways to address the situation and all kinds of hardship in the future).
  • Clarifying our value proposition & communicating it with extreme clarity so that our prospective users understand what we're about & get enticed to engage with us.
  • Our concept is still fairly general at this point. As we start putting more meat on the bones, we'll probably face unexpected needs in terms of additional features. - Privacy in EU legislation is a complex topic but also useful guideline for ethical design. We intend to design with respect to human privacy & liberty.
  • We might find out that we need to change the concept again - Considering different go-to-market strategies will be directly linked to the focus areas we choose to explore. We'll need to narrow our focus quickly. - Preparing a concise, clear and attractive pitch will be a challenge again.

What we're thankful for thus far...

  • Working with psychotherapy and psychology experts has helped us look beyond the obvious
  • The incredible interest, challenge, advise, and kindness we've received from advisors and mentors
  • Having been shortlisted in Top 05, Top 10, and Top 15 in every Hackathon we've submitted to so far
  • Having won What The Quack Hackathon and securing us up to €50k in marketing budget in Swedish speaking media in Finland
  • People in our network who are getting consistently more excited, and are converging on consistently more similar wishes! - Our team's endless positivity, collaborative spirit, hard work, enthusiasm, and tireless dedication to this challenge. This couldn't have happened without everyone's input.

See the functioning app prototype here: https://youtu.be/lNdWdtKVI3Q .


What we learned

  • Shaping human behavior is tricky (and just slapping points on something won't fix it) — we've been refining our system so that it's more linked to people's intrinsic motivations (positive self-assurance bias, desire to help, desire to know their friends are okay, desire for trust & validation of their actions)... points and extrinsic motivators can only support real value.
  • People have several very real pains in this — Trust, Knowing how to play their part, If their friends are OK, How long will it last, How can they help, Anxiety, Mental issues connected with solitude... -Building for privacy helps build trust. We're happy to be doing this in EU where there is progressive legislation guiding us towards good and ethical practices.
  • There is a limit of clickthrough testing — at some point it has to become real
  • This could be useful to Companies, Universities, and official communities.

People


We're on the lookout for a solution is scaleable to other crisis like hurricanes, flooding, or bushfires. It could become a regular tooling for crisis response and could have value even outside the time of crises — for example for families living far apart.

... and if none of this works? Then we have learned so much & met some truly incredible people both among participants & mentors. Working on a socially meaningful project has been hugely motivating for us, and a trial of sorts, I feel that we all might want to continue in this direction.

Sign up to be notified when we launch: http://eepurl.com/gX1S6r .


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