Criminnovation Challenge: Participant Perspectives


Criminnovation Challenge: Participant Perspectives

March 25, 2019

By Nithin Paul Elbin and Jacqueline Cole, Wilfred Laurier students

The Criminnovation challenge enabled students to think critically of social issues in their community, and design solutions to address these issues. It was also aimed to connect students to faculty, mentors, and community representatives to assist them in the creation of their solutions.


We initially assumed that the citizens of Brantford were seeking employment but did not have the necessary means and resources to obtain work. After consulting with local businesses, community members and mentors, we discovered employment was not what the citizens of Brantford needed. The problem was not that there was a lack of opportunities in the community, rather the social services within the city were not collaborating with one another, thus making it difficult for citizens to receive help and assistance to the fullest extent.


We designed a Systems Integration Solution. This is a proactive approach aimed to solve the separation and inefficiency that exist amongst the social service organizations within the Brantford area. This service is designed to connect all of the community organizations within the city to one another so that they can collaborate and share user data to better serve the public. Through this system, organizations are not isolated from each other, which allows for the maximum utility of the limited resources of time, adequate finances, and the energy of the people involved. This approach streamlines care for citizens and prevents them from having to repeat their story each time they access a community service.


There are two main challenges to our solution; privacy and data sharing, and citizen and agency participation. Because this system operates on the basis of collecting data from citizens in the community, there is likely to be concerns over privacy. This is why our system relies on the voluntary submission of personal information. Another challenge is that both the agencies and the citizens of Brantford might not participate in the system. This system will take time to implement, so it is important that policymakers can understand the timeline and agenda of where the solution is heading. It is crucial that we are able to market our solution seamlessly so that all parties involved can see the benefits afforded to them by the use of our service.

It is conceivable that this approach could extend into other societal domains upon further research and development. It was a positive experience of being able to work on a solution for social innovation. The opportunity to speak with faculty members and mentors was invaluable and we are grateful for the experience.

Nithin Paul Elbin | As a second-year User Experience Design student with a passion for design and technology, I enjoy problem-solving with an open mind. I believe that enjoying the process of creating is as important as delivering a successful final outcome. | LinkedIn
Jacqueline Cole | As a student of Social and Environmental Justice, I am a relationship-driven individual who thrives in environments with the goal of helping and communicating with others. I am passionate about enacting positive change in the world in any way that I am able. | LinkedIn


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