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Compassionate Cities

Compassionate Cities is a Council initiative to raise awareness about ways communities can reduce suffering and improve the lives of vulnerable populations through the use of digital technologies already being applied to solve other city challenges. Click here to learn more about the initiative – and scroll down for articles highlighting how technology is helping the homeless, the hungry, the disabled and other people in need around the world.

AT&T ed-tech accelerator accepting apps from ventures driving social impact


Now in its third year, the AT&T Aspire Accelerator supports innovations in education technology that promote student success. For profits and nonprofits selected for the program receive financial investment, access to expert services and mentorship. Application deadline is Feb. 7.

Homeless in Amsterdam try on contactless payment jackets


One downside to a cashless society is that it's more difficult to help out a homeless person. To counter that, a Dutch ad agency designed a warm winter coat with a built-in terminal that people simply tap with a contactless payment card to donate a euro. A prototype is currently being tested, with early feedback reportedly positive.

$5 million boost will expand promising UW technology that streamlines social service delivery


A social services management solution created by University of Washington students to improve processes in child welfare, foster care and homeless youth systems is expanding, thanks to $5 million in new funding.

Seattle homeless wear electronic beacons that tell their stories to passersby


With the GiveSafe app on a smartphone, people walking the streets of Seattle can read the stories of homeless people they pass by and, if they wish, make a safe, cashless donation to help meet the person's needs – groceries, bus fare, maybe a haircut.

UK councils partner on solar-plus-storage pilot to reduce fuel poverty


The National Energy Action charity estimates four million UK households live in cold, damp properties. Three London borough councils are determined to do something about it. Read about the solar and energy storage pilot they launched to see if those technologies can reduce the cost of heating homes.

How a UK supermarket works with towns and technology to reduce food waste


A poll of UK adults found only 3% see any stigma attached to wasting food – yet most turn off lights or turn down the heat to save money. Read how a supermarket chain is working with UK communities to promote smart technologies that help households reduce food waste and save money.

Stanford lab rallies brain power to find tech solutions to poverty and inequality


The new initiative brings together Silicon Valley tech leaders, experts in government and nonprofits and Stanford students and faculty to incubate low-cost, tech-based solutions to poverty and inequality. It's an intriguing approach; learn more about it.

Microsoft grants support solutions to affordable Internet access


Much of the world is still not connected to the Internet and the many advantages connectivity provides -- especially in economically disadvantaged communities. Learn about Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative that is offering grants to companies with solutions that can help close the digital divide.