While it is normal for tech awards to focus on the achievements of IT teams, we also like awards that recognize the use of technology to solve everyday problems without requiring the intervention of an entire IT team. TED’s City 2.0 award does just this. The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world – one wish at a time. The original prize: $100,000 and the TED community’s range of talent and expertise. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED community has evolved into an ambitious effort to spur global-scale change.
Emily May co-founded Hollaback!, a blog dedicated to photos and stories of street harassment. “We wanted to take the focus off of the woman and onto the harasser,” explains May. “When you’re being harassed the lens is on you. We want to turn it back around and put it onto them.” In 2010, Hollaback! released an iPhone and Android app that allows users to mark the locations where they were harassed on a Google map, as well as to share the story. The app not only allows girls, women, and members of the LGBTQ community to flip power dynamics, it also collects data on street harassment in a way never done before. The success of the app forced New York City to take note, and it has since been linked up with the city’s 311 information line. Hollaback! hopes to form similar partnerships in cities around the world.