International challenge seeks digital design solutions to help the homeless

Fri, 2016-08-26 12:45 -- Compassionate C...

Dundee, Scotland is a UNESCO City of Design and as such has launched an international competition to find a digital design solution that will fundamentally improve the lives of those dealing with homelessness on a daily basis.

The city wants challenge participants "to imagine a digital communication system that can reconnect homeless people with everyday life – with friends and family, with each other, with potential sources of help – food, financial, emotional and practical support."

The idea is not to come up with ways to build more houses or shelters, but to look at problems associated with no having secure housing and how digital technology can help solve them. Examples the organizers cite include:

  • Knowing their legal rights
  • Food poverty
  • Substance abuse
  • Finding new accommodation
  • Emotional support
  • Communication
  • Prevention of homelessness

Those entering the challenge must be working in or with a UNESCO City of Design.

UNESCO is the UN organization focused on education, science and culture. Design is one of seven fields covered in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, which was created in 2004 to "promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development."

The winner of the design challenge will receive flights to and from Dundee, where they will spend a three-month paid residency while building a prototype that can be piloted or developed further.

The challenge is supported by DC Thomson and UNESCO City of Design, Dundee.

Deadline for entries is Nov. 28, 2016. For more information and details on how to enter, click here.

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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