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Future-shaping projects

Positive energy

Hundreds of Capgemini employees around the world competed in our Tech4Positive Futures Challenge – proposing tech solutions for better futures. The three winning teams share their innovations.

Imagine an app for rural health workers that uses artificial intelligence to reduce maternal mortality rates? A tool to help stroke survivors relearn speech and language? Or a solution to prevent primary-school children from going hungry?

These are the three winning solutions that our colleagues worked on as part our internal Tech4Positive Futures Challenge 2020.

Launched in January 2020, the initiative invited Capgemini colleagues around the world to apply innovation and technical knowledge to some of the problems facing society today.

After months of preparation under COVID-19 restrictions, and with mentoring from senior business and technology leaders, 13 finalists were selected. These teams came up with projects that ranged from fighting digital exclusion and violent crime, to addressing water scarcity, providing access to affordable medical assistance, and reducing carbon emissions.

Capgemini went on to provide the resources necessary to bring these winning ideas to life – delivering social impact, at scale.

Team MAATR: Reducing maternal mortality in India

Team MAATR focused on addressing maternal mortality rates in India. According to UNICEF, 2017 saw 35,000 mothers lost to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications, with many of these deaths being avoidable with the right information and guidance. The team proposed a digital mechanism based on AI and machine-learning to enable real-time data sharing, with the intention of helping rural health workers to intervene in time, and save lives. 

Saswat Mohapatra, management consultant, contributed to the technical architecture and costing model. Saswat had a very personal reason for getting involved. “Having experienced a pre-term delivery, I can completely relate to the problems associated with pregnancy, and these are amplified in a rural Indian setting. This is what we wanted to address with our app.”

Team SpeechFirst: Helping stroke survivors relearn speech

The next winner was a UK team that designed a solution to help stroke survivors continue their speech and language therapy at home. Globally, 50 million people suffer a stroke every year, of whom around four million later require speech training. SpeechFirst is an accessible and economical alternative that uses AI to detect incorrect facial movements and pronunciation, providing real-time tips and recommendations for patients. 

Holly Brown, associate consultant, who led the SpeechFirst team as a graduate, highlighted the support they received from other areas of the business, particularly the team from Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange. “It’s been a real collaborative effort,” she said. “Tech4Positive Futures is such a great initiative and highlights what our expertise as a business can achieve to address these societal issues.”

Team Zero Hunger in Schools: Preventing hunger among school-children

The final winner was the Zero Hunger in Schools team, from Australia. According to the World Food Program, 66 million primary-school children in developing countries go to school hungry every year. To address this problem, the team from Australia created Yum-Yum, an app and web-based platform driven by secure, cloud-based technology, that uses machine-learning algorithms and analytics to improve food supply and distribution to children. 

One team member, associate consultant Adithyan Natarajan, confirmed that the hard work, which involved weekend and late-night sessions, was worth it. “As a team, we all inherently understood that a hungry child can’t focus, can’t learn, and can’t be who they want to be,” he said. “Sometimes all it takes is a simple meal to unlock a world of possibilities.”

Societal impact – at scale

Capgemini is committed to using its collective technology and innovation expertise for sustainable and social development. “We saw this in action more than ever in 2020 with our Social Response Unit, set up to help communities during the COVID-19 crisis," says Capgemini CEO Aiman Ezzat. "Now I am really looking forward to seeing each of the winning teams’ inspiring solutions come to life, to deliver real societal impact at scale."

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