Vicente is the coordinator of the Innovation centre at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, he is also the founder of My Social Prism.
My Social Prism is an open source 10 step methodology for people trying to define their strategies for socially beneficial projects. He uses the tools with students and other practitioners who use the Innovation Centre at the University, and he shared the process with me.
At the university Vincente runs the Innovation Centre and supports the generation of new projects, research and partnerships that bring together technological innovation and social impact. He is very passionate about the role of new technologies in answering some of Chilies most complex social challenges.
He shared some of the work that the centre had been developing. One of the projects that he believes has the potential to create a social impact is the Chancho Sensor.
A project developed in response to the governments new legislation on air pollution, which was having detrimental affects on some small communities who historically have always used firewood to power their clay industries. The product was developed in the town of Pomaire by a group of professors and researchers from the Faculty of Engineering. It is a clay pig hiding arduino technology that contains an air pollution sensor. The data tells the artisans when levels of air pollution become hazardous, and they are able to adjust and response accordingly. Enabling these small industries to continue production.
We focus here on making things, its all about making and experimenting, using new technologies to see how we can tackle social issues…
We want to use technology in a way that makes a positive difference to the communities in Chile
He works closely with the University Social Innovation Centre, Instituto de Innovación Social, who is very active in supporting students who have start-up ideas for tackling social challenges. They offer training and mentoring and bespoke classes for students who want to choose this path. I met Francisca Vargas from this team to discuss their work.