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working on the front line of positive social change.


Meet the change makers who have enjoyed our workshop scholarships.Organization: Acrinta

URL: http://www.acrinta.com

Workshop: Chicago, 2015

Our Chicago winner, Ashton, is the founder of Acrinta, which uses its mobile platform to lead fitness and wellness initiatives for corporations and their employees.

Ashton’s goal is to create a system that changes behaviour around healthy lifestyles to combat diseases such as diabetes and asthma. Simply put, he wants to make it easier to live better.

The Psychology for Digital Behavior Change course will help Ashton develop a sound strategy for facilitating positive behavior change that’s rooted in science and backed by research. He plans to use what he learns in Dr. Cugelman’s workshop and apply it to his work with Acrinta in order to improve people’s health through encouraging healthy habits. Organization: VOTO

URL: https://www.votomobile.org

Workshop: Ottawa, 2015

scholarships-sean_boots_votoSean, our Ottawa winner, works with VOTO Mobile, an official venture of Engineers Without Borders Canada. Sean’s team develops web applications and communication systems designed to reach under-heard populations around the world.

Sean and his team believe that everyone should be empowered to make decisions that affect their lives, and so they build mobile communications tools to overcome the factors that prevent people from doing so. Their tools – a web application as well as locally-based phone hardware – allow them to reach marginalized populations, in their own languages, by mobile phone. Their work aspires to connect underserved populations with the governments and organizations that serve them.

The Psychology for Digital Behavior Change workshop is relevant to Sean’s work as Design and UX Lead for VOTO’s main web application. Knowing how to apply digital psychology concepts to the design of various tools will help Sean and his team guide their partners and users in creating better surveys, messages, and communication campaigns for the beneficiaries they serve. Sean and his team are looking to take the workshop’s content back to their office, to explore how to translate survey results and feedback into concrete policy changes. Organization: Engineers Without Borders

URL: https://www.ewb.ca

Workshop: Vancouver, 2015

scholarships-jocelyn_light_votoJocelyn is our Vancouver winner and is part of Engineers Without Borders. She is working on the VOTO Mobile venture. Jocelyn’s work brings information to the underserved and voices to the under heard. VOTO Mobile has partners working in many areas using their system to create interactive voice surveys and messaging campaigns.

Jocelyn works closely with these partners to make sure their messaging campaigns are effective and their surveys collect reliable information. She advises the partners during planning through to implementation to make certain their mission translates successfully into the mobile sector. Jocelyn has worked on many projects that use the power of mobile phones to improve the lives of underserved and underprivileged populations.

Using what she learns from the Psychology for Digital Behavior Change workshop, Jocelyn hopes to develop new ideas on how to build trust with end users via mobile phone and to learn strategies for creating more motivating content. Creating trust and motivation in end users leads to more surveys completed, more voices heard, and ultimately better decisions made. Jocelyn develops online app guides and intends to bring new ideas to the design of these webpages to create more intuitive guides that will enable partners to get the full potential out of the VOTO app. Organization: ALDEA

URL: http://aldeaguatemala.org

Workshop: Toronto, 2015

scholarships-ALDEAOur Toronto winner is Arianne, who works for ALDEA, a non-profit organization that has partnered with rural, indigenous Guatemalans for fifty years. They focus on fighting chronic childhood malnutrition, which affects as many as 90 percent of the children under five in ALDEA’s partner communities.

By implementing an integrated approach centered on empowering community members to lead their own development, ALDEA has seen these chronic childhood malnutrition rates fall by up to 24 percentage points over a two-year period. ALDEA uses digital media to bridge the gap between its US-based donors and the work they support, raising awareness and funds that change lives in Guatemala.

Arianne helped launch the new ALDEA website, www.ALDEAGuatemala.org, and she helped successfully complete ALDEA’s first web-based fundraiser, the Volcano Challenge. Arianne realizes that to reach supporters where they increasingly are—online—ALDEA needs to improve the effectiveness of their digital presence.

Arianne plans to apply knowledge from Dr. Cugelman’s workshop to inform data-driven outreach strategies that will help ALDEA continue to create real, positive change.

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