A tech-driven social initiative that relies on viral techniques and gamification to gather volunteers at HKU.
- Runner-up Global Challenges, Local Solutions 2018 (University of Hong Kong)
Our final product is a mobile application which combines social networking, gamification of human interactions and social service.
A real-life scenario is:
- David, an HKU Year 3 Engineering student is approached by John, an HKU Year 2 Psychology student. John talks about about the social app, its non-profit goals and what a user has to do.
- David finds it interesting and signs up. He is then asked to approach one other person.
- David then approaches a classmate (Jennifer) he has always wanted to talk to. He breaks the ice via the app and convinces her to sign-up.
- The chain continues until 9 people have signed-up.
- The app automatically creates 3 chat groups consisting of people who haven’t interacted with each other on the chain.
- The app assigns each group a doable social service task, for example to take leftovers from 3 HKU restaurants to 12 homeless people in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong.
- Once the task is complete they will be requested to invite at least 1 more person each.
The Application will follow an invite-only system, whereby an individual with the application installed on their phone will ask another person to sign-up. The end-goal will be to create a chain composed of a diverse group of people who don’t know each other. Once the target length of the chain is achieved, the application will create sub-groups for them to connect with each other and set a service task for them to complete.
For now it will only be limited to HKU students. This will break social bubbles and increase student cohesiveness fueled by effective social good.
There will be a backend for NGOs, Donors and Samaritans to put in tasks, money or resources. An NGO which feels that this system is applicable for accomplishing their goals can set specially tailored tasks, goals and achievements. They can also set prizes and gifts coupled to certain achievements which can then act as incentives for the participants. In this way the NGO can increase their exposure, achieve more through less and engage new demographics.
One of the main objectives of this whole system is to increase the social connection of individuals in the society, exposing them to individuals, ideas and situations they are not used to. Approaching a stranger to sign-up for the App will provide a challenge to the user, but one that is nonetheless rewarding in more than one way.
A strong element of the App will be the gamification of the whole process. Each successful step will earn the participants points and they can unlock awards and trophies. There will be a classification of the achievements according to the level of difficulty and hence more difficult achievements will be worth more points. The profile of a user can be shared publicly on other social platforms to allow for some healthy competition.
Hence, through this app we aim to provide participants with a feeling of genuine social connection and an opportunity to bond with other individuals over shared goals and aspirations. Meeting other people, working with them towards a common goal and achieving social good will leave the participants more satisfied than doing either thing on its own. The combined social experience will not only achieve social good by performing tasks but will also contribute towards ending other social problems like racial or sexual discrimination, marginalization of certain communities and intolerance. This will ensure that the world moves towards a more integrated society where we work together to achieve the common good.