The problem we help solving
- The COVID-19 crisis has affected every single one of us, especially those in the more vulnerable groups due to health or economic condition.
- The effects of the crisis have led to an increase in solidarity, seen by the high volume of voluntary initiatives being launched and people wanting to somehow help.
- But now, more than ever, is very hard and time consuming to find those that need exactly the help we can offer, and to be able to trust this person or organization.
- This is a classic economical problem, a mismatch between supply and demand of material and immaterial resources. Things are constantly being discarded as waste when they could be reused or repurposed. Our precious hours as well, leaving us feeling lonely and without life purpose.
- Now, the much needed social distancing has shifted this problem to a whole new level, being almost impossible to find what you’re looking for in so many siloed initiatives that don’t invest on building trust, accountability and filtering tools to automatically select the best possible match.
The problem is now and ever. Here in Europe and globally.
The solution we bring to the table
Our solution is very innovative for the smart use of existing technologies and concepts.
- It’s a digital marketplace for various types of donation, including money and material goods, and for volunteering, mentorships and pro bono activities. Additionally It has social media features to build trust and foster communities.
- This broad range of possibilities for donations and volunteering is one of the main differences from other solutions that are trying to foster some kinds of exchanges, focused on this moment of the crisis. We follow Susan Davis advice, knowing that complex situations require flexibility and agility.
- Other great differences we noticed from other solutions are the use of: 1) Blockchain to record every resource transaction, building up a full track record of each user. 2) Machine learning and filtering tools and to bring efficiency into finding the best possible match. 3) Wordpress framework and readily available plugins, to be able to create the platform in time to be much used on the COVID-19 crisis. We plan to use the following plugins in the initial version: WP Smart Contracts (it will be used to create/manage/execute smart contracts to allow a secured execution of transaction); Google Analytics; Plugin for integration with social networks (facebook, linkedin, twitter etc); Plugin to optimize SEO; Caching plugin.
- We will host our platform on google cloud and run it on kubernetes cluster which will help us to be able to scale up quickly.In addition, we will be utilizing various components from google cloud for data analytics and machine learning.
We have a great plan and a full team ready to deploy it, but as we know the importance of designing with the user and for the user we entered in this hackathon to go one step ahead.
What we have done during this hackathon
On The Global Hack two weeks ago, we formed the initial team around a business case already written. It was just an idea, and there we turned it into a project, creating an initial logo and the backend of the code. But there, we noticed the need of more user reviews to know how to prioritize and improve the features most needed.
So, on this hackathon we:
Teamed up with more designers, storytellers, UI/UX and marketing specialists.
Built a clickable prototype on Proto.io, that will be shared with potential users among individuals, business and nonprofits representatives to collect their feedback.
Rebranded the whole project with a new logo, colors, slogan and website.
Created a storytelling video showcasing our prototype helping our hero, Ben Parker, that you can check on our website: (http://iseeyou.online)
Seizing at most this great opportunity of so many like minded individuals reunited, we started collecting contacts of people that can review our prototype. We also formed several partnerships with other projects working to solve the same problem in their local communities.
Think global, act local.
We See impact to the crisis
- We noticed that with the first wave of COVID-19 the general needs started on medical supplies, groceries and meds for people on risk groups. But as the crisis deepened with following waves, on top of these needs people started to also request emotional and financial support as the isolation is prolonged. And unfortunately, as the health crisis has a deep economical aspect many other needs are going to emerge.
- This is clear on Google trends website for the topics volunteer and donate, where you can see that these searches have doubled since January considering the monthly average of 2019.
Our main impact is basically creating one central, easy to use and flexible tool that can be used for any moment of this crisis and also after that, helping communities help themselves.
Our necessities to continue the project
- We still have room for improvement on the UI/UX side to really make the platform as user friendly as we envision it and we hope that the user reviews will help on this track.
- From the technological part we see that we will need more server power to process the connections fast and in several cities at the same time. In order to scale fast we will need more support as servers can represent a bottleneck cost at this moment.
- For the long term we already mapped many monetization possibilities that would distribute the costs as much as the value. But for now the founding team is bearing all costs related and would benefit much from help on services.
- We also know about several other tech stacks that could be used to better develop our solution, each one with different costs and benefits. If we have more partnerships here we can deploy even better, faster and stronger solutions.
- As we take GDPR rules very seriously we would benefit greatly on specialized guidance to ensure full compliance since testing. Additionally, for the next steps, we will need to establish a nonprofit organization that will manage the users data, so we are looking for legal counseling on possible structures and strong bylaws.
We See value after the crisis
- This mismatch between supply and demand of volunteering and donations is not only observed in this crisis or other crisis, it's everyday, in the social impact field.Therefore we expect that We See platform will be continuously used, facilitating and encouraging peer to peer help, trust and accountability.
- Having years of experience in the social field, and observing previous humanitarian crises, we know that in these difficult times solidarity increases but not always is able to find all of those in need. It happens because trust needs time to be built and connection solutions normally arrive sometime after the first shock. We expect that We See long term use will significantly help on next crises, especially the environmental ones, that are sadly getting more frequent.
- We as a team will continue working on this platform creation with passion, as our long term goal is to perpetuate the current solidarity wave, creating global social awareness that can outlast this crisis.
Simply put: if it’s easy to reuse, repurpose and find a cause to contribute with your time and expertise, people will do it more, with ongoing benefits for our societies empowerment and environmental protection.