Claire Louise Travers presented as part of the breakout plenary 'From TikTok to teletherapy: Connection in the time of COVID-19', giving a talk called Leveraging Tech to make things differently: COVID19 response and a new supply chain. The presentation was of Field Ready's COVID19 response globally, specifically on the ways tech has been used in emergency management and supply chain manipulation
Field Ready’s response to COVID-19 was strikingly simple and effective. As supply chains broke down in early 2020 and travel ground to a halt, frontline workers needed PPE and youth unemployment spiraled. Field Ready immediately activated it’s network of FabLabs, makerspaces and communities in approximately 12 countries, to start making needed items locally. Mainly working directly with youths (18-35), Field Ready used digital tech to reach out, skill up and network youths globally in order to rapidly prototype, test and manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) on a massive scale. Tech played a vital role in this emergency response in four key ways: crowdsourced forums for designs, digital fabrication tools, GIS mapping and remote management and training. Online design forums, such as humanitarianmaking.org were leveraged to crowdsource designs. Digital Fabrication tools enabled Field Ready technicians in Bosnia, Jordan and the UK to collaborate on designs in realtime in order to finalize designs of key PPE items. GIS mapping enabled youths to find spaces with the necessary equipment and networked local manufacturers with communities in need. Remote management and training for makerspaces and FabLabs, allowed them to make items in a safe and standard way. The impact of this initiative is more than the thousands of physical pieces of essential equipment produced. It is a connected, informed community of youths working together across the globe to meet the needs they saw in their communities.