Techies in Residence at CultureTECH

Techies in Residence at CultureTECH

01 October 2015

CultureTECH are managing our Techies in Residence programme. Here we hear from Connor Doherty on how it went down at CultureTECH 2015...

Techies in Residence is the exciting project from the Building Change Trust which is aimed at community and voluntary sector organisations teaming up with some of the great tech talent that is in Northern Ireland in order to come up with new and exciting ideas that can help grow and boost the sector. 

The Techies in Residence programme rumbled into the CultureTECH Festival in order to kick off the residencies, mingle with some of the techies that will be working on the projects.

One of the key aims of the day was to get people discussing the “problems” that they had identified with different people, viewpoints and ideas, as well as breaking apart the problem, and coming up with working solutions that could involve technology.

We’ve already announced the 6 projects that we’ll be working on, which cover 7 organisations, and the width and breadth of the Northern Ireland community and voluntary sector.

Over the next 10 weeks, we’ll be working with techies who will be getting to the heart of these problems and working with the organisations:

Aware: how to take their Mood Matters programme from the classroom to a larger audience?

Colin Glen Trust: a Virtual Reality attraction to the Colin Glen park that can entice and involve young people

NICVA: An open sourced directory combining open and crowdsourced data for Northern Irish organisations

Now Project: a digital version of the successful JAM Card with added services

TAMHI: how to make reporting easier for volunteers

Place and Development Trusts NI: an asset map of Northern Ireland that also look at how people use space.

As well as the organisations that were on hand, we were joined by a number of people from the Building Change Trust’s Tech For Good Group, members of the tech community in Northern Ireland who were on hand to lend ideas, steer people through the day and help move things along.

On the day we were joined by three speakers from across the UK:

• David Bull, from NPC- David is currently doing research on Digital Transformation, this work is focused on establishing how charities can use technology to improve services, work collaboratively, and deliver better services.

• Cat Cochrane, from Tech for Good. Cat is a journalist who covers digital social innovation, and shared her own experiences and also some great examples. You can read more about what Cat thought of the bootcamp here.

• Freddie Norton from Apps for Good, who give tech company employees the chance to work with schools on app creation and idea generation. Just like the companies that Techies are working with- the students come up with the ideas and have the tech talent come in and help them develop them.

Throughout the day, each of the groups for to quickly come up with and prototype ideas, based on Design Thinking principals, and the presence of a variety of different backgrounds in the room, helped people come up with new ideas quickly, as well as even market test a few ideas quickly on a few of the people in attendance.

What’s next for Techies in Residence?

Soon we’ll be announcing the partnerships, and also working with a number of the other organisations, who didn’t quite make the final 6 over the next month so that they can also come up with digital solutions and products.

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