Creativity for good is far more than a throwaway term that falls under the responsibility of the CSR team. Today, brands cannot afford to be faceless entities in which the corporate world exists without a social conscience; the knowledge and power from the tech and creative world can and should be used for good and social change.
Members of the creative and tech world are likely familiar with the phrases ‘Tech for Good’, or ‘Creativity for Good’. The phrases relates to when brands and companies use their skills for purposes affecting wider society, rather than solely for profit, through initiatives such as purposeful products, campaigns for change and innovative creative ideas.
A societal shift.
It is no longer just accepted that consumers buy and companies sell – what a brand stands for is as important as what it produces or sells.
The public demands to know where brands stand on matters that are important to society before they commit to aligning with them and before buying any product or service. How environmentally responsible are they? How are they giving back to the community?
We are seeing widespread pressure for brands and businesses to do more.
As such, more and more brands are responding and looking within, asking how they can contribute to society. As more and more people in the industry shift their focus to help produce work that could improve the lives of others, together we stand a chance to make a bigger impact in making the world a better place.
How could VERJ be more creative for good causes?
VERJ were compelled to consider their own contribution to society. With unique skill-sets and as a socially conscious team, we believe there is always a little more we can do and so asked ourselves the question: how can we use our creativity to help make a difference?
We grouped together and brainstormed. One area we all felt was of paramount importance to focus on was the hunger crisis in the UK.
Due to the pandemic, children unable to attend school were therefore missing out on potentially their only hot meal of the day. Marcus Rashford highlighted the need for free school meals, successfully reversing policy. But the problem didn’t end there. The pandemic has forced many more people across the UK to rely on food banks. 1.9 million food bank* parcels were given to people in 2019-2020.
A rise in demand coupled with the restrictions of the pandemic increased the pressure on an already overwhelmed system which is working hard to deliver support to people who need it. We believed we could use tech and creativity to help.
We outlined the problem: the need for food banks is increasing but currently distribution isn’t based on demand. What happens if one food bank is in urgent need of volunteers and donations? How do they reach out to people to help? The process is in many ways outdated and information is scattered. We wanted to pull all of the existing tools together and create a one-stop-shop for organisations and volunteers.
An opportunity to act on our intentions…
What if technology could streamline the process and alleviate the pressure?
One amazing tool we found that helps address this problem is Give Food. It indexes the needs of all UK food banks, covering networked and independent organisations. How could we take this one step further and create a system that highlights demand levels and sends out alerts for things like donations, logistics and volunteers?
Our goal was to find a way of connecting existing solutions and build a solution that was scalable. How could we make this an efficient tech solution and an enjoyable user experience?
The MACHathon Solution
This is where the MACHathon challenge fits perfectly. LAB Group had the chance to join the MACHalliance’s first-ever hackathon and this wasn’t an opportunity to miss; combining our teams’ desire to do good with MACH solutions.
We need a flexible system with best-of-breed technology. We need to build something that works quickly but that also scales massively whilst still being cost-effective. The modular nature of the solution and the flexibility of the technology means that once the core of the platform is complete, we’d be able to roll it out for other needs and problems.
Follow us on our journey over the next few days where we will be participating in the MACH Alliance hackathon where we will be having fun, working hard, and using our combined skill to solve a big problem.