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  1. Technology
May 25, 2015

5 ways charity & tech come together for the greater good

Technology is playing an important role within the Charity sector.

By James Nunns

Technology is again proving its worth, this time it is with improving people’s lives through Charity and providing health benefits, these are areas where great things are being achieved to improve peoples’ lives.

CBR has compiled a list of some of the best examples.

1. Fundraising

Red Nose Day/Comic Relief, is using multiple cloud services to provide critical support for its websites, payment systems and data capture services, with many providers allowing access to these services for free.

The real benefit is that while this does improve systems, it massively reduces costs which results in more money ending up in the hands of those who really need it.

The charity utilises AWS and Carrenza, while it also uses the open source Cloud Foundry PaaS offering to underpin its payment systems.

AWS ensures that the websites can stand up to the rise in traffic in the run up to the event. On the hardware front, HP provides this for free, which is then used to kit out the Carrenza datacentre.

2. Health

The French cosmetics giant isn’t a charity but it is helping to improve people’s lives with a partnership with Organovo.

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The two are working together to develop 3D bioprinted skin tissue. Organovo has already worked on creating a human liver using its 3D bioprinting technology and now it seems that skin tissue is next.

The three dimensional human tissues can be used in medical research, the cosmetic industry and also therapeutic applications.

3. Natural Disaster

In the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit Kathmandu, Google deployed its web application, Person Finder, to help users search a crowd-sourced database of missing people.

The system allowed users to subscribe to email updates on the status of an individual person and relies upon individual users to update and remove records when no longer relevant.

Facebook was another to deploy a collaborative, cell-phone based tool which allowed users to mark themselves as "safe" and let users around the world to on the status of their friends in the impacted area.

4. Identity

As people in countries face wars, famine and political or religious persecution they are often left with no choice but to flee.

Sometimes this has to be done with such speed that identification documents can be lost or left behind and these displaced person’s can be left facing even more turmoil.

Accenture, has developed a biometric identification system which can help to identify refugees and provide them with their own personal identity record.

The system is being used by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is being implemented worldwide.

5. Education

In early 2015, Rackspace provided support for ‘It’s Our World’, a Charity arts project which was aimed at using artwork provided by children to help raise awareness of environmental concerns.

The company provided free use of its cloud solution in addition to technical support to help manage the thousands of submissions from school children in the UK.

The public cloud solution was used to power the website which accepted the submissions.

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