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10 tech solutions to brighten even the worst day in Brexit Britain

Nesta and the Observer have for the third time since 2012 curated 50 New Radicals celebrated for doing awesome things to help others around the world.

Around half of those on the list are using technology to make a difference and here is my top 10, in a handy quick-look list.

Technology folks are often mocked for creating solutions that are looking for problems. They’ve even been accused of confusing problems with minor inconveniences.

But here’s 10 organisations chosen by Nesta that seem like they had their heads screwed on when the question “is this a problem?” first came up.

Crack + Cider

“People don’t give me money because they just think I’ll spend it on crack and cider,” were the words of a rough sleeper that inspired the founders of the Crack + Cider online store.

Instead of giving someone cash in the street, you can go ahead and buy from the essential items packages listed on the website, knowing the right things will get to the right people.

The next step is to start franchising the model to other parts of the country.

My Living Will

My Living Will offers little more than a £10, downloadable PDF. But the legally binding document is actually an accessible way for people to make clear their choices about end of life care.


Techfugees has brought together more than 11,000 techies, entrepreneurs and NGO workers from across the world to work together on the refugee crisis.

Led by Mike Butcher, editor-at-large of Techcrunch, the combination of tech and humanitarian know-how has enabled volunteers to being wifi to Calais and seen the launch of, where people can donate old mobile phones to those in need.

Next up is the creation of Basefugees, an open-source platform for matching developers with projects in need of digital skills.

OpenUp Music

OpenUp Music has created a musical instrument that can be controlled with any part of the body, including the eyes, to help open up opportunities to young, disabled musicians.

The founders are hoping to establish a fully fledged National Open Youth Orchestra, led by disabled young people, by 2018.


Provenance is helping people find out exactly where the products they buy come from by developing a software plugin and labelling system that opens up data behind supply chains.

Beat the Street

Beat the Street, a product created by GP William Bird at his company Intelligent Health, turns your town into a playground.

You can earn points by finding the sensors and tapping your card against them, which also people getting more active.


Chayn is a global network of open-source tools designed to help women when they are trying to get out of an abusive relationship.

The idea was sparked when founder Hera Hussain was trying to help a friend escape an abusive marriage in Pakistan.

Resources include advice on getting emergency escape loans, accessing training courses and finding shelters.

Euan’s Guide

Euan MacDonald was sick of the gaping hole in information for finding out if venues were accessible to him, as a powerchair user.

Since 2013, he’s been reviewing and rating locations to help others understand what places are accessible, an effort that others can join in to share their experiences.


Alcove is working to addressing issues with adult social care by placing sensors in the home so carers can understand how people are coping with living on their own.

When one user fell out of bed and was knocked unconscious, carers were quickly alerted that something wasn’t quite right.


Wayfindr is developing an open standard for people with sight loss to get out and about on their own, using a range of different audio navigation systems delivered on smartphones.