Help students build real sustainability solutions - which other kids can then modify, allowing good ideas to evolve and spread.
Tell us about your idea
All these are only prototype screens. We'll run them by students for feedback and change a lot of things.
FateMaker will enable students and teachers to both develop and implement real-life sustainability solutions. FateMaker is a two semester collaboration between Kids Save Ocean, a teacher-founded NGO: https://www.kidssaveocean.com, and Hack4Impact, a team of seven UIUC students who create robust software for social good: https://uiuc.hack4impact.org
Integrating Human-Centered Design & Social Entrepreneurship
Fatemaker helps users build sustainability projects, a process guided by two of the most powerful solution-building approaches: human-centered design and the Silicon Valley’s lean startup approach. It's currently a working prototype after one semester; further development will add Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI will Power FateMaker to Learn and Spread
To have real impact moving schools toward sustainability, solutions must be effortlessly implemented by teachers and students, readily replicable, and able to evolve: a web of easily accessible, cross-fertilizing experiments that adapt locally and improve through time. The app will be powered by a mixture of indexing, machine-learning and a user rating system, allowing users to design their own projects while guided by a wealth of resources: best practices, potential partners, typical roadblocks and good advice, creating an ever-evolving tool to facilitate innovation, inclusiveness, transparency, participation, partnership and progress.
Youth Build Sustainable Solutions and Skills
The platform's projects can run independently of school, while teachers - or anybody else - can follow students as they develop projects. Because sustainability issues are multi-disciplinary, the platform can be used by students studying in a wide variety of classes, and can be integrated into many areas of school: regular classes, cross-curricular projects, science fairs and sustainability impact hub school clubs. It will be simple enough for kids to use, but open to anybody interested in developing sustainability solutions. The platform’s solutions and data could further echo impact in the future by being incorporated into a broad range of education, business and policy tools. And the skills kids learn will be highly sought after in the future.
Research Behind It
Sustainability challenges are often called “wicked problems” because they involve a mixture of societal, economic, environmental and cultural forces: they are really very complicated and difficult to solve. Human Centered Design‘s user-centered process, which is collaborative, creative and rigorous, has proven extremely effective for solving wicked problems. Cooperative learning, itself a research-proven learning approach, fits perfectly with Human Centered Design.
Incorporating Lessons from a Sustainability Accelerator Class
Before building the FateMaker platform, I taught a high school sustainability impact accelerator class, the lessons of which strongly influenced its development. One of the learning outcomes included what's called transformative learning, where student reflections during the process of building sustainability projects lead them to reevaluate and change their own behaviours. See the syllabus here: https://bit.ly/2XvnL6O
I've been asked to write an article about the class for a Springer Nature journal about sustainability and learning.
Draft product requirements document to get an idea of what FateMaker will be: https://bit.ly/2SvjBuV
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
As a father and biologist, I'm frightened for the future of our planet and its inhabitants. But as a teacher, I know what kids can do if given the chance. The core goal of our NGO is to give kids a voice in the world. If you recognise this project, that goal will get a tremendous boost and help this sustainability accelerator platform grow quicker and wider than we could have ever dreamed of.
And our other technologies will probably also get a boost:
FateChanger app (beta for iPhone) empowers both students and teachers across the world to tackle plastic ocean pollution, climate change and sustainability by learning about the issues then lobbying governments to revolutionise their approaches to the problems.
Trailer for app: https://youtu.be/vg6CL1r6HsI
Spin Closet – we're also building an anti-fast-fashion cloths trading app targeted at students within individual schools. Prototype: https://marvelapp.com/e227g5a