Completed in 2013
Digital, Physical Product
- Sticky Jots
[This project was presented to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Innovation on November 13, 2013]
Vets For Success was a project I worked on with Nga Nguyen, Bruce Lincoln, and Cheryl Hill at the 2013 Feast on Good Hackathon. Working on the Veterans challenge, our group quickly identified huge issues that Veterans face. With little support after leaving the military, veterans are largely left to fend for themselves, and the 700,000 veterans resources available online are highly fragmented and difficult to navigate.
Veterans face a multi-dimensional set of problems upon their return to civilian life. Some begin in the months before they are discharged; while some begin when they get back home. Vets For Success is focused on two areas that veterans require support to actualize: Access to local, targeted services that meet their needs as far as human services such as mental well-being and job connectivity as well as lifestyle services that allow them and their families to get on with their lives and develop supportive relationships.
Vets For Success is a geo-location platform which tracks the veteran (new civilian) and targets relevant services to that individual. The new civilian can identify and locate services both from an interactive menu as well as by typing in or speaking into the querying engine. The cloud-based service will collect data derived from the new civilian's cumulative response set and will "remember" those service types which best match the individual predilection modalities of that particular veteran. Responses can be presented by way of an interactive bing map or as a list of preferred matches.
The physical toolkit which we call the "New Civilian Starter Kit" is a welcome home gift set that we give to our veterans as a token of our appreciation for their selfless service to our country. In the kit we provide our "new civilian" with a benefits package that includes a personalized smart card with RFID tag, creative dog tags that let the veteran who is new in their town to connect to veteran buddies, coupons for discounts to local bars, restaurants, venues and friendly commercial establishments. The kit also includes a welcome home letter as well a a copy of the veteran's physical resume. The purpose of the toolkit is to initiate the process of assimilation into their new life after the military.