Social Good and Flying Robots

YOW-Nights_Logo_stackedAt the recent YOW! Night in Melbourne (as well and Sydney and Brisbane), Daryl Wilding-McBride (the CTO of DiUS) presented “What I Learned while Teaching Kids at Flying Robot School”. It was an interesting story on the importance of social good for those of us in the technical space.

  • Waking hours capacity – families, hobbies, paid work, unpaid work
  • Not all work has equal social impact – pays the bills > interesting > impactful > worthwhile
  • Worthwhile work creates a legacy and passes the BBQ test (something you are proud to convey and recognised as value by the other person)
  • 80000hours.org – the average hours you have from university to retirement, help you decide how to spend that time and be effective
  • William MacAskill “Doing Good Better” – how do you know your social impact is not being wasted – doing good, lean
  • Dimensions for measuring social impact – scale, neglectedness, tractability, personal fit
  • A lot of untapped potential in rural areas
  • Interest in science and maths drops considerably between year 6 and year 9
  • Number of girls continuing with maths after year 10 – 21% drop out, and for boys and girls the percentage has tripled over the last 10 years
  • Flying Robot School – started 2014, overcome barriers for rural schools, free program to lower barrier of entry, blend of technologists and teachers
  • Drones are not only fun but are a self contained package that cuts across science, maths and technology
  • Had lofty goals on topics to teach, but had to prioritise to mix theory and practice
  • Other social outlets – Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), Code Club, FIRST Robotics, NodeBots, Robogals
  • We have an obligation as technologists to make things better
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