Rizky Ario, Katherine Motyka
Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Indonesia

Describe your project in one sentence

Twitter for action, an app to crowdsource any help.

Link to 2-minute project video:

Sounds cool! Tell us more

How does it work? Who are your target users? What does it change, and how?

Heroes connect people who need help with people who have the resources and skills to help them nearby. Our target users are the ones who have a smartphone (62 million in Indonesia only, 2014 e-marketer.)

Hero is a mix between sharing economy and a panic button. We allow the user to crowdsource any help, from a small help like needing an iPhone charger (sharing economy) to a big help like needing CPR or first aid in an emergency situation (panic button).

We are doing this because today in 50% of the cases ambulances don’t get in time and the patient dies specially in disaster situations. But, we realised that people around you would get faster to you in this kind of situations than any ambulance.

However, there is a lack of trust between our communities today. But if we change this by enhancing constant interaction through sharing economy, between neighbours in a community, or students in universities and coworkers in working spaces; when there is a disaster or emergency situation, since they already know each other, is more likely that they will help each other. Creating by this everyday Heroes, a more trusted communities and a greater sense of empathy.

UPDATE: Heroes got a fellowship to run a small pilot in Santiago de Chile where we validated our idea with students.

What is innovative about your idea? How does it add value?

How does it add value? How does it align with the our Innovation Principles?

Heroes works without internet connection using the wifi and Bluetooth of the phone to create a mesh network. This means people can connect with each other without relying on the internet, which normally collapses in emergency and disaster situations.

Also, there is no app in the market that currently mixes sharing economy and a panic button to create the necessary interaction between the communities to enhance trust and empathy.

Likewise, our app evaluates communities to see how prepared they are for disasters and gives tips and advice on how they can improve their disaster resilience. This advice range from learning a new skill like CPR to adding resources to your profile.

For last, our app provides useful information for government institutions, because we will know when, where and what people need, no matter if the users have or not internet connection.

We are aligned with our Innovation principles because we have been designing this app with the community for the community. We change from just a panic button app to a mix with sharing economy because through validation we understood that there was a lack of trust and we need people to interact more with each other. Also, this takes into account that not everyone has a reliable internet connection and this is why Heroes can work without the internet. This is also a scalable solution, that can work in South Asia but also in Latin America. Similarly, our plan is to work with government institutions because through Heroes they can know what is happening in the communities and therefore make better decisions.

Please see demo here: http://youtu.be/TNiljGh-FVo

How does your project address social inequities?

Heroes works without the internet connection or phone credit. This way people can connect with others, no matter if all connections are collapsed in disaster situations. Lack of connectivity is one of today’s global grand challenges. In Indonesia, only 33.6% of the population has internet access. Heroes with this feature are allowing connectivity in these communities.

Also, they learn through the advice that the app gives, what they can do to be more prepared to face disaster situations.