Humanitix co-founder awarded Churchill Fellowship to learn globally and aspire locally
The Winston Churchill Trust has awarded Humanitix co-founder, Adam McCurdie (BE `11), a Churchill Fellowship, facilitating a collaboration with US big-tech players to enhance Humanitix’s social impact.
Each year, thousands of determined Australians apply for a Churchill Fellowship. The distinguished award offers recipients a life changing opportunity to meet and work with leaders of influence across the globe where they gain and exchange knowledge for the betterment of themselves, their industry, their community, and Australia.
As one of the 112 Churchill Fellowship recipients this year, UNSW Engineering graduate Adam McCurdie, is set to collaborate with some of the world’s largest tech companies – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twilio and a range of others – to advance Humanitix’s platform and provide more impact to disadvantaged youth
Humanitix is the world’s first ticketing platform which donates all booking fees to education projects of disadvantaged youth in Australia and around the world; and does so in a rather unique way. Adam explains, “Humanitix disrupts the ticketing industry for live and online events by mining the booking fees and redistributing them into funding education programs.
“We believe that education should be a fundamental human right and we’re working to close the education gap and provide a more equitable footing for all children around the world, so they can thrive and contribute back to the community; ultimately, that’s what Humanitix is aiming to accelerate with the Churchill Trust”.
With such a heavy focus on Big-Tech, Adam feels his learnings will also greatly benefit Australia’s not-for-profit and charity sector.
“There’s a huge opportunity for the not-for-profit and charity sector to embrace the technological innovations that are coming out of these big-tech players. These companies are seeking benevolent use cases and case studies of the technology that they’re building, but the reality, is that it’s rarely being used by the sector,” says Adam.
“We plan to scope out these opportunities for Humanitix and bring back the learnings to Australia to use it as a playbook for not-for-profits and charities to increase their own impact.”
A major challenge which Adam will continue to explore for Humanitix through the Churchill Trust, is event accessibility for people living with disability.
“We recently attended a hackathon run by Microsoft at PwC, which explored innovative solutions for event accessibility. While we were there, we interviewed a range of people living with disability, and when we mentioned we ran an event ticketing platform, they were immediately put off. One of them saying ‘oh don’t get me started - I don’t go to live events anymore because it’s always a disaster; whenever I try to go to a live event, I’m always made to feel a bit silly and uncomfortable - so I’ve given up going,’ and this really took our interest,” says Adam.
“After further research, we soon realised that ticketing platforms are the key to solving a lot of the issues faced by people with disability, yet no one in the market was catering to these needs. So, we developed a first of its kind accessibility tool.
“The tool makes it very easy for event organisers to cater to people with various accessibility requirements and most importantly, communicates how they’ll be accommodated at the event. For example, if someone who is vision impaired is to attend an event, providing them with an address is simply not enough. Event organisers can use our accessibility tool to accurately describe where the front door is, where they go once they’ve checked in and list any potential hazards and directions to facilities such as the bathroom. Similarly, if someone who is hearing impaired was to attend, event organisers can arrange for an Auslan interpreter to assist”.
“Another thing we realised was that event ticketing pages are often not accessible according to the web accessibility standards. We have teamed up with Vision Australia and the Australian Network on Disability to ensure that Humanitix ticketing pages are accessible by people who are using screen readers.”
“We learnt a lot from the people at the hackathon and we’ve done our best to condense that feedback and implement it in the way of the accessibility tool. Hopefully this addresses some of the needs of people with disability, so they can have the confidence to attend events.”
Future focused and determined to evolve the event ticketing industry, Adam won’t stop until every ticket counts toward something more than a sale.
|Humanitix is a fast-growing innovative charity focused on providing education to disadvantaged youth in Australia and abroad. It believes that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and contribute back to their community no matter the circumstances they were born into. Humanitix funds it's operation and education programs by operating the first ever not-for-profit events ticketing platform. The platform makes event management a delight and directs 100% of profits from booking fees toward education projects including Indigenous Australian scholarships and literacy programs for disadvantaged young girls in low income countries. Thousands of festivals, conferences, venues and community events around the world have now switched their ticketing to Humanitix and haven't looked back.|