Our friends at Super Global wanted to help people trapped in conflict zones by providing them with location information on impending airstrikes. Together with an organisation developing a machine-learning based airstrike-early-warning system, who wish to remain anonymous, they faced a problem in how to deliver the warnings to those who needed them.

In conflict zones computers with internet access are scarce or non-existent. Fortunately, smartphones are commonplace, and mobile internet can be sufficient to reliably reach people with data services.

Our solution: an API powered Facebook Messenger bot

Here was an opportunity for Outlandish to support an established project and help address one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: non-combatants caught in areas of conflict.

Working with the airstrike warning team, we identified a low-risk, standalone deliverable: connecting their predictive model to a messaging service, namely Facebook Messenger.  After CoBudgeting the project internally, Outlandish wrote the APIs that connected their system to a Facebook Messenger bot.

We’re proud to have worked on this project. Incredibly, in just one day after launch, 4000 people signed up to use the app.

In addition, this was one of the first projects we funded internally via our CoBudget process, where we demonstrate our commitment to projects that can have real positive impact on people’s lives by funding them through our surplus income.