At the Prince's Trust, Chief Information Officer David Ivell has pioneered a digital innovation tool that is allowing the charity to reach thousands more vulnerable young people.
The tool enables young people to get their lives on track by creating a trusted relationship online. It blends mobile technology with online pastoral care and protection through the deployment of behavioural management and natural language research and artificial intelligence to look for words and phrases in conversations to identify suicide and abuse risk among young people.
Now, if a client emails the charity at 10pm, say, there is no need to wait for staff to arrive the next morning to make any decision, because the technology can advise their mentor within 20 seconds that immediate action is required even if the email does not directly use words such as abuse or suicide. In essence, there are people alive now who wouldn't be if it weren't for Ivell's implementation of this technology in the past 12 months.
The speed of the tool's development (three months to build a prototype, another three months for fine-tuning) is down to Ivell moving the online and digital products teams out of the charity and into an incubator working space. Development speed in general has doubled and the restrictions of a large organisation have evaporated.
This past year has also seen Ivell introduce an integrated switchboard, Skype for Business, an underpinning Oracle CRM and a flexible working model (all desktops have been replaced by mobile devices). The organisation is starting to act like the innovative organisation it needs to be.