Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Austin ran a series of tests at “pop-up clinics” to assess whether homeless residents will trust and understand the solution; whether providers will be able to access data to facilitate service transactions; and whether the system will properly protect private personal data.
What we’re discovering through testing
To better explain the complex blockchain concept, the Austin team found it effective to use a padlock and notebook as a metaphor for the block technology. The team was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the people they tested with understood the idea and recognized the potential benefits it could have for service providers. One participant said, “This [technology] would mean service providers will be able to feed more people rather than paying $11 to get people IDs."
VP of Ops @frankrrobles had the pleasure of meeting #Austin @MayorAdler at the #AustinMosaicAwards. We're glad to hear he's looking forward to our participation at the upcoming Mayor’s #Blockchain Challenge #Hackathon! #MayorsChallenge #Blockchainforgood7:06 PM - 23 Jul 2018 Digi_Town
The Austin team has previous experience working with homeless groups, which has helped them to communicate and run effective tests. They have been careful not to over-promise and under-deliver to the groups they are testing with. One way they have done this is by testing with one homeless individual, to get early feedback, before sharing with a larger cohort.
Do you have a tech brain & Austin heart to hack homelessness services? Sign up for the Mayor's #Blockchain Challenge and help develop a trusted digital identity for those experiencing homelessness in #ATX. @BloombergCities #SmartCity #mayorschallenge4:32 PM - 16 Jul 2018 civiqueso
"Part of the hope is we’ll be able to start with the most easily identifiable individuals, gain their trust, improve the viability of project, and then info will spread through natural processes and then it’ll become a requested service." Jeremy Davis, EMS with Austin’s community health paramedic program.
What we've learned
Huge thanks to everyone we met at The #Austin Mayor’s #Hackathon Challenge. It was an honor to see how our solution resonated with those experiencing #homelessness https://digitaltown.com/milestone/digitaltown-inc-announces-successful-participation-in-austin-mayors-blockchain-challenge/ … #MayorsChallenge #Techforgood #SupportLocal #SmartAustin #KeepAustinWeird #SXSW #ATX1:24 PM - 10 Aug 2018 Digi_Town
Austin initially believed that existing blockchain software (currently used for refugees) would be transferable to their use case. However, they discovered that it couldn’t verify documents needed to create their custom solution. As a result, they decided to host a Hackathon so they could learn whether the blockchain solution was viable. They invited developers to work off of a technical framework and test their solutions with people who experience homelessness and service providers.
“My eyes have been opened and I never want them to be closed. I’ll continue to be involved with my community.”One of the developers at the Hackathon