Technology is advancing at an incredible rate and whilst this has innumerable advantages, financially disadvantaged people can easily fall behind in society. These advances will have a profound impact on the way we provide aid and support for those impoverished and at high risk of becoming financially disadvantaged.
Our brief required us to develop a vision for future banking environments that improves the experience of customers and staff. When considering how banking will look in the year 2038, banks will have to innovate and leverage new technologies and practices to support those without financial accounts.
TIMELINE: 13 WEEKS
THE TEAM: SELENA UNG/MAYSA WOZEER/JOSH TOWNSEND/RACHEL RYOO
THE DESIGN PROCESS
OUR PROBLEM CONTEXT
With the current trend towards increasingly fast technological advancements that will change the way society functions, it is important to envision how the chosen problem areas will be impacted and able to adapt.
Homeless people are heavily reliant on nonprofit organisations to aid them with finances, shelter, food, rehabilitation and other support services. The lack of direct financial support outside of small cash donations, hinders individuals’ ability to build up their income and reintegrate themselves into society.
This in conjunction the growth of Australia's population, along with the increasing costs of living begs the question, how can CBA help solve homeless in 2038?To create an effective solution, we must guarantee that it meets at least one of the opportunity spaces whilst incorporating potential future technologies to ensure we relate the problem back to CBA’s business model and methods of innovating.
HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THE PROBLEM?
WHO DOES THE ISSUE INVOLVE?
- Primarily, our problem context involves the homeless but specifically those ‘on the brink’ of homelessness.
- Government are similarly core stakeholders due to their responsibility to protect the homeless and help solve the issue. However, it is important to consider that it also involves communities and citizens within those communities quite significantly.
- Organisations and charities are also greatly involved through their volunteer work to help improve conditions for the homeless
- Other stakeholders that the problem context involves minimally include emergency services, businesses and the media/press
WHAT ARE OUR RESEARCH METHODS?
For our research, we decided to conduct the following methods:
Primary Research: We realised it would be too hard to talk to the homeless, so we decided to tackle this issue by conducting interviews over the phone to organisations that provide services for the homeless.
Secondary Research: Conducting secondary research allowed us to get a better grasp on the prevalent issues currently regarding homeless.
PRIMARY RESEARCH FINDINGS
Most of our insights came from secondary research, though our group did call a few nice charities to gather some insights into their perspectives. We had a general gist of basic questions about the charity and how they help and what they see as a major difficulty for the charity themselves and about some of the hardships they help.
These calls were quick and very informal as we didn’t wish to waste a tonne of their time, but they did give us valuable insights. The companies we called were: Salvation Army, Homelessness Australia, Mission Australia, Streetsmart Australia and we also called Glebe House which is a halfway home.
SECONDARY RESEARCH FINDINGS
THE DESIGN PROCESS
To start off our design process we decided to conduct various concept generation methods.
Crazy 8 combines stress, time and randomness together to create 8 ideas that can potentially lead to the creation of a more legitimate idea. This is an excellent method along with our next one Fish Bowl to help get rid of mind blocks and rapidly create concepts.
What we learnt from it:
Better methods of donating and earn/raising money for homeless through the use of technology or events is a great way CBA could host or open channels to improve financial assistance.
INDUSTRY + SECTOR APPLICATIONS CANVAS
The different sectors concept provides the ability for designers to look at the problem from completely different lenses (industries). It provides extremely valuable insights and allows you to easy take parts from multiple ideas to blend them into one. Some other industry areas may have already achieved a solution for a section of your problem space.
After conducting various concept generation methods we narrowed down our initial concepts to three final ideas that we felt had the most potential.
CONCEPT #1: ICU
WHAT IS IT?
This concept was our most technologically advanced concept. It was based of the research into enabling people to control electronics with just a thought and pairing it with futuristic contact lenses to enable you to make normal payments but also make donations at just a thought.
This idea addressed in some ways a lot of the issues we discovered in our Surveys, where we discovered a lot of people find it hard to donate to someone just sitting on the street due to the interaction. Being able to do it at a glance paired with knowing that the money you donated could only be used on helpful goods for the individuals tried to alleviate this issue.
To us, in the end it felt too detached from the actual issues homeless individuals can be facing and didn’t address one of our other findings which was through research and interviews about how donating to a cause helps a lot more people than donating to one. Without this the concept fell short and we discontinued it.
CONCEPT #2: COMPANION AID
WHAT IS IT?
Companion Aid is an autonomous companion that provides support and comfort for the homeless but also access to financial services. It is a device where transactions occur through, which donations will be placed into an account monitored by CBA, dictating where the money can be spent.
The idea of Companion Aid came up based on our research that people want to know where the money they donate goes to, how efficiently it is used and how the homeless gets better from their support.This device will allow the donators up to date with the above issues, and homeless will be able to use their money more efficiently, E.g. food, health and hygiene services.
We liked the idea of providing a companion to the homeless and helping donors know how their money is helping people, but same like the I C U idea, it felt too detached from the actual issues homeless people are facing, as even though they need financial support, they will need more support in safety and comfort.
CONCEPT #3: SELF-SUSTAINING HOTEL
WHAT IS IT?
Self-sustaining Hotel targets people on the brink of becoming homeless, or are in the early stages of homelessness. It is simply a capsule hotel that incorporates financial services and allow people to build a community within the hotel and learn new skills which can be used when entering the workforce. This gives the homeless opportunities to learn new skills, maintain fitness and health, have a purpose within the community and offers a support system for people struggling in the short term.
We decided to go on with this idea as it provides support to homeless by offering them the opportunity to learn, earn and spend. This concept also received good feedbacks from the CBA guests and the tutors, and it is also an unfamiliar concept in the bank industry.
FEEDBACK ON OUR CHOSEN CONCEPT
- Consider halfway houses and the issues within these places eg. Issues with people and criteria to be eligible to stay there
- Focus on a city or rural area eg. Rural Tafe’s are being emptied out which could potential be a location to set up our hotels.
- Consider how we can help incorporate the homeless back into society and the community.
- Create a program that teaches the homeless live skills such as garden or rehabilitation statements.
- Consider how successful companies such as Airbnb foster a sense of community
- How can the hotel create a sense of community?
Process to get to know everyone
Facilitate a sense of community
A program in which people who have successfully left the program to come back and talk to the homeless
ALTERING OUR FINAL SOLUTION
Our original concept pitched to CBA was for them to buy and create capsule hotels that provided services to the homeless, but the initial cost of this concept for it to start and grow was huge, plus it relied on CBA buying land. Instead we pivoted to a “AirBnB” style business model where CBA in creating pop-up shelters using unused spaces rented out by Businesses, Investors and the Government.
Not only are the upfront costs cheaper but the ability to change and target certain locations at higher risk is more sustainable and effective in the first 5 years. With will provide better growth of customers and improve the overall longevity of the solution.
HOW DID OUR USER RESEARCH HELP SHAPE OUR FINAL SOLUTION?
360 USER JOURNEY MAP