Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Emma Cooper-Williams – Applying social innovation learnings to disability activism
According to the United Nations Development Programme, students, scholars and researchers with disabilities remain underrepresented in higher education and vulnerable to feeling marginalised and excluded on campuses. This can be for a number of reasons including difficulty accessing physical learning facilities.
Being a wheel-chair user, University of Auckland student Emma Cooper-Williams has experienced these challenges first hand, making her the perfect person to work with the Equity Office’s Student Disability Services to develop the University’s latest innovation, the Wayfinding app. The browser-based app allows users to view digitised maps of the University and perform both outdoor and indoor navigation between locations. Emma helped the project team plot accessible routes around the University by going around campus to look at which routes and entrances were accessible and which ones were not. Read more
Kara Technologies – Translating digital content into sign language
Kara Technologies has developed an online platform that translates content from different materials including books, audio and video, into sign language. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and hyper-realistic avatars, with a particular emphasis on making educational material accessible for deaf children.
The venture was developed by postgraduate Engineering students with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Since its development through the University’s VentureLab incubator, Kara Technologies has gone on to be named one of the Top 100 Meaningful Businesses of 2020 in a ranking that celebrates leaders globally combining profit and purpose to help achieve the UNSDGs. Read more
Maara Fresh – Feeding hearts, minds and stomachs
An innovative business idea developed by Manurewa’s home-grown entrepreneurs will benefit more than 2,000 Manurewa High School students through Ka Ora, Ka Ako, the Government’s healthy school lunches programme, starting in 2021. Maara Fresh is a social enterprise that literally grew out of the Manurewa Community Garden.
Developed with the support of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) it provides a structure to ensure the financial sustainability of initiatives run out of the gardens. These include growing fresh produce to supply to local families, community kitchens and food banks in Manurewa and an education programme about horticulture for students to ensure sustainability. Read more
Socius XR – The venture helping neurodiverse people into work
Socius XR harnesses VR/AR technology to provide undersupported individuals with Autism struggling with social interaction a more comfortable space to practice verbal/non-verbal communication via realistic immersive simulations. Providing autonomy to live their best life. Socius was started by a multidisciplinary group of students who started the venture while participating in the University’s Summer Lab entrepreneurship programme and has been developed further through Velocity. Read more