Poverty, hunger, inequality, pollution, and war are just some of the socio-cultural and environmental issues surrounding our world. Luckily, there are people who fight for implementing alternative solutions and generate a positive “return to society”, instead of solely focusing on profits.
One of the first people to introduce the notion of social entrepreneurship was Bill Drayton. In 1980, he created Ashoka, a community of changemakers that would identify contemporary problems and come with real-world solutions. However, one does not need to be an established entrepreneur to have a world-changing idea. More importantly, we have to remember we are not just individuals, we are a community.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
A step forward
In 2015, the United Nations decided to create such a community by proposing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The SDGs define a global strategy to end poverty, protect the planet, combat inequality and many other pressing issues. The agreement consists of a total of 17 goals to be reached by 2030 and it means to bring the world together for a higher purpose. Unfortunately, organizing an alliance of socio-cultural “warriors” is not an easy task.
Luckily, in 2017, a group of visionaries from different countries decided to step up. They created a program for talented people to come together and work towards these goals. Since then, thousands of creative and innovative young minds from all around the world developed solutions to reach UN’s SDGs as a community. The program plans to organize events all over the world and support brilliant people working together for our future. Countries, organizations, and government work hand in hand to reach the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Participants challenge each other in an experimental environment, taking advantage of cultural diversity and a multitude of talents. More importantly, each year the group plans on working on different areas focusing on the most pressing of the 17 goals in UN’s agenda.
Events such as these host thousands of participants and even more staff and faculty members every year. Organizing and coordinating a number of people this large is extremely challenging, borderline impossible. Activities need to be timed, logistics need to be planned, and different scenarios foreseen. Facilitators need access to all the relevant information they need to make sure everything goes as planned. They need to know what to do in different situations and how to react in case of emergency.
In order to communicate this kind of information, the organizing team relies on typical guiding manuals, much like everyone else. Digital or physical, that means pages and pages of written information that every staff member needs to read and memorize. This is not the only issue. Having all that information simply written down also means that, if the staff would need to find a rule or guideline, they would need to go through it all to find it.
Moreover, no one can guarantee that the staff and volunteers would actually read all the rules and regulations provided for them. Misinformation could end up in confusion and create even larger problems.
Luckily, the program has strong partners behind it that are willing to step up and ensure the success of the event. One such example, one of the four-diamond partners, as well as the leading innovation partner, is Deloitte.
Deloitte is an audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services provider with experience of over 150 years. Their network extends in over 150 countries and territories and employs over 260.000 people. No one could understand better how important it is to have a more than perfect communication solution to match the scale of the event.
We live in a fast-moving world, with an even faster paced digital universe. However, providing efficient support and communicating all the necessary information to relevant people, can still be difficult. Just because the facilitators have access to a digital version of their instructions, that does not mean they will also read through the instructions.
For this very reason, Deloitte reached out to Wiredelta® and formed a partnership that resulted in a rock-solid solution. The plan for this project was to create a platform that would turn the traditional guides into fun, interactive digital instructions.
This strategy is called gamifying a product, and it describes the process or the strategy through which a developing team takes a normal product and turns into an interactive product, much like a game. In this case, Wiredelta’s team took the regular, boring guides and incorporated them into an e-learning platform.
Simplicity as a leitmotif
For Wiredelta, simplicity is one of the key aspects of our work. We understand how important it is for our clients and their users to have good UI and exceptional UX. As a result, we carefully choose the technologies we use to develop our solutions to fit the project.
The e-learning platform was built using the Learning Management System, WPLMS, a theme developed by VibeThemes. One of the main reasons behind this decision is that WPLMS is the first ever and the most popular LMS created for WordPress.There are many advantages to using this theme. From the technological point of view, WPLMS is just as simple to use and as versatile as WordPress.
Before we jump into details, let’s discuss one important element, that all developers use at one point or another. That is application program interfaces (APIs). APIs are basically code that developers create to allow layers of the project to communicate with each other. In other words, it allows the back end, where the logic is, to communicate with the visuals in the front end.
They act like roadmaps for coders and guide them towards how applications need to be built. There are two types of APIs, internal APIs, and external APIs. Internal APIs are created by a company’s developers to be used inside that organization. External APIs, such as the ones used by Google, Amazon, and WordPress are open source.
While developing the e-learning platform, we used the API behind the WPLMS. which is an external API, built using the REST or Representational State Transfer technology. The reason why an API using REST is the perfect tool for such a platform is that it is resource oriented. it focuses on the actions a user takes on an application, rather than the user itself.
Simple and practical
Another key point behind the e-learning platform is practicality. Facilitators should not need a computer to access the courses. Luckily, like most of WordPress’s themes, WPLMS is mobile responsive. Users can watch their tutorials on smartphones or tablets whenever they have the time, making it easy, convenient and fun!
Deloitte wanted to ensure that event’s staff read and remember the information given to them. For this reason, every facilitator has their own account so they can track and control their activity, but more importantly, they have to finish a course before moving on.
Everyone has a role
Facilitators are key players during those 10 days, as they are guides for participants. They don’t just help with organizing the event but also maintain a relationship between the young talents. So everyone has their own role and their own tutorials they have to follow.
As an introductory and informational tool, the learning process consists of 5 modules, much like an academic course:
- Company information
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Innovation Lab
- Key tools
Each module contains units (audio, text and video files) that present the information relevant for every section. The user has to go through every unit to be able to proceed to the next.
After going over all the units in a module, the user will have to take a quick quiz that assures the program organizers that each person has been through their training and has been paying attention.
One last important advantage of this product is that the platform can easily be updated and content can be reviewed so organizers can make use of it in the future. This way, communication will never be a problem again.
This project is a delightful challenge, essential to face global issues. This event could not have taken place without well-informed staff. With the help of Wiredelta, Deloitte created the perfect communication tool, and we are proud to have been a part of the world changing movement.
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