By August 28, 2015EU insight

By the London technology team

Change.org says clicktivism can change the world

Simon Willis, the new European MD at petition site Change.org has said ‘clicktivism’ will change the world in an interview with The Guardian.

Change.org has almost 100 million users worldwide with successful petitions ranging from  the ‘gentrification’ of  the New Era estate in Hackney,  the death sentence of pregnant Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim and the imprisonment of British-Iranian activist Ghoncheh Ghavami.

Willis said that many sniff at online petitions – “They sarcastically say things like: ‘Oooh, let’s start a petition on climate change, that’ll solve it’. I say, what is the alternative? … if I can get 300,000 people to care about social housing and beat a large corporation, that is something.”

A number of MPs have criticised ‘clickticvism’, saying hundreds of duplicate emails are annoying and are no substitute for a couple of well reasoned letters from constituents on a given issue.

Shadow Culture Secretary calls for Openreach split

Shadow Secretary of State, Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Bryant MP, called for more serious consideration to splitting BT and Openreach this week.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Bryant stated: “The situation is so bad that Ofcom’s review should work on the presumption that Openreach should be split from the rest of BT unless their review produces conclusive evidence to the contrary.”

Since the Government’s announcement earlier in August 2015 that the BDUK roll-out had passed three million residential and commercial premises around the UK, rural broadband has become a major national issue. “With a swathe of the country still travelling at a snail’s pace digitally, the system has failed to deliver,” said Bryant.

Gaming used to fight Tuberculosis

Two universities in Scotland have teamed up with games developers to create a game to help the fight against tuberculosis. The game creates a world where players are virtual doctors charged with curing as many TB patients as possible with finite resources. The spread of the disease is based on a mathematical model and the players’ choices will be assessed against the model, and in effect create a virtual clinical trial that provides real world data.

Crowdsourcing and using games to help crunch data is an exciting area for medicine, with Cancer Research also launching a space-shooter game called ‘Play to Cure’ where players’ routes through space are just actually mapping and processing genetic data.

BBC Scotland wrote about the project, and the game can be played here.