Sony partners with the UK's largest volunteering network to bring crowdsourced idea to life
Sony and YouthNet, today announce a unique partnership to create "+U" (pronounced "plus you"), a revolutionary mobile volunteering application using YouthNet's volunteering database, Do-it. The new, community-driven application will be designed to deliver real world "bite-size" volunteering to a new, socially motivated audience, making volunteering more accessible and dynamic than ever.
"+U" (formerly known as Greenbook) was the final concept to emerge from Sony's innovative crowdsourcing platform, Open Planet Ideas, and will be a unique mobile phone application. "+U" will be a mobile volunteering application combining real world volunteering opportunities with social and gaming benefits. Potential volunteers will be matched with local projects through geo-location technologies and then awarded points based on the volunteer opportunities they fulfil. Users can then share their experiences via social networks such as Facebook, making volunteering faster, easier and more social.
Through the agreement with YouthNet, the Do-it database will provide "+U" with a vital syndicated feed of volunteering opportunities, many of which are drawn from local Volunteer Centres and local grass-roots organisations throughout the UK. As "+U" is still in the developmental stages, Do-it's input and collaboration will be central to the design and implementation of the system.
Emma Thomas, CEO of YouthNet, the charity that runs Do-it, said: "Do-it is the most comprehensive database of volunteering opportunities in the UK, offering more than one million opportunities to volunteer from 28,000 organisations, so there is huge potential to develop the way in which we encourage and motivate people to volunteer. We are delighted to be partnering with Sony on the pilot for this groundbreaking idea because, ultimately, Do-it is driven by the passion to make it as easy as possible to volunteer and "+U" will help us to achieve that goal."
Adrian Northover-Smith, head of corporate public affairs, Sony UK, said: "We're very excited about this next phase in the development of "+U" now with our new trial partner. It's a great project to be working on. Open Planet Ideas (OPI) was set up as a collaborative, open platform and we intend to continue that approach by working together with organisations such as YouthNet, as well as the OPI community, to develop a real and innovative new approach to volunteering."
Sony and YouthNet aim to share the preview version of "+U" in the coming months to test and trial the system. Once developed and trialled, it is intended that "+U" will be released as an open source application for any organisation to use. The date for the final application will be announced at IFA in September 2011.
Open Planet Ideas is an innovative community platform, launched in September 2010 in partnership with WWF. It invited the public to imagine how existing Sony technologies could be repurposed to tackle environmental and sustainability issues.
For more information see http://www.openplanetideas.com/
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01 June 2011