Boys & Girls Teams with Dublin School Kids to Unveil 'BullyBug' at Web Summit
Amidst the high-octane power broking, networking and deal making at Web Summit 2015, some of the youngest techpreneurs at the event - five, 11 year olds - Katelyn, Chloe, Ben, Nadine and Daniel - from St. Audoen’s School, in the heart of The Liberties, will be hoping to win attention for the BullyBug.
With the ambitious aim of ridding Irish schools of bullying, the BullyBug is a wearable technology wristband created by kids for kids. It consists of a wristband, which when pressed, sends a message (via Bluetooth) to an app on a teacher's phone.
Their mentors from Boys and Girls advertising agency worked with the kids as part of a Solas Project initiative that partners primary schools with local businesses. Together they developed a working prototype of the BullyBug, which had its official unveiling at Web Summit on Tuesday, November 3rd on the Centre Stage at 8.10pm.
Pat Stephenson, partner, Boys and Girls hopes to use Web Summit to find some “like minded partners who can help bring the BullyBug to every classroom in Ireland”. Initial talks have been very positive, with Google a potential partner. “We’ve been on a fantastic journey with these children; coming from their classroom to our boardroom and onto the stage of Web Summit but we don’t want it to end there. We think the potential of this thing is almost limitless.”
Bullying is a huge national issue, with 31% of primary and 16% of secondary students bullied at some time. Commenting on the BullyBug, Professor Mona O’Moore, founder and coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) in Trinity College said, “I think the BullyBug is terrific. It’s got huge potential because the biggest nut we have to crack is reporting…the BullyBug wristband would have, I predict, a significant impact on the level of reporting.”