A story about connecting

The other day I was at an event about changes going on in education. A relatively strong focus was put on how digital tools change the way we learn and teach. During the break, I walked up to a person and asked, “Are you Raphael?” Immediately, he said “Yes, I am.” Then I said, “We follow each other on Twitter. I am Frank, hello. It’s nice to meet you.”

During our great conversation, we quickly agreed that more and more people connect this way. First, we follow people online, for example on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. And one day, when we are at an event, in a supermarket / shop and/or simply on our way from a to b, we bump into people we follow on social media.

It struck me that just a few years ago, it was the other way around. You met someone at an event or somewhere else. And then, in a second step, you connected on the Internet / on social media.

Amazing how digital is changing how we live our lives. What do you think?

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#openfood hackdays in Lausanne and Zürich

At the open food hackdays in Lausanne and Zürich on February 10th and 11th, more than 300 people with many different backgrounds will work on developing new solutions for a transparent, efficient and innovative food industry based on open data. To learn about what is going on and participate, you can, for example, use the hashtag #openfood.

I learned that to help make innovation happen – including developing applications and innovative projects aimed at improving people’s diet – the the openfood.ch database can be a helpful tool. In this regard, knowing more about what we are buying / eating can help us develop more healthy eating habits. Think, for example, about how you may change your buying habits / food consumption habits when it is easy for you to get information about how much sugar there is in various cereal products.

The open database openfood.ch includes data on more than 14,000 barcoded food products sold in Switzerland. The database is programmatically accessible through an application program interface (API). The API, which is a system of tools and resources in an operating system that enabling developers to create software applications. is important because it will allow an ecosystem to develop around the food data. A good API makes it easier to develop a computer program.

Doing some more research about open food data, I came across the website world.openfoodfacts.org. What I find innovative about this website is, not least, that it is made by everyone. Anyone can add any product from their kitchen. Any person, who wants to, can get involved in the work. As I was searching on the website for products in Switzerland, I noticed that more than 16,000 products have already been added by different people.

To find more data related to food, try also stopping by at food.schoolofdata.ch

Communicating hospitals

What comes into your mind when you think about a communicating hospital? What do you think a hospital should do to become a communicating hospital? To get inspired by additional questions and research, have a look at these ideas for hospitals.