1440 Challenge winners announced

A multimedia mindfulness program. A website that equips school counselors to teach resiliency skills to teens. A service that builds websites for people who are sick or dying to reflect on their lives. This week, the 1440 Foundation chose the finalists for its annual challenge. 

Out of six semi-finalists, three went home this Sunday with a $25,000 award for their projects. Each project investigated how to use technology to strengthen our relationships in the areas of workplace, wellness, and education. 

And the winners are….*drum roll*…

The Headspace Experiment

The Headspace Experiment offers a highly customizable experience of meditation practice that includes a range of technologies: apps, podcasts, animations, and creative designs. Beyond practice, users can expect comprehensive data about their experience over the duration of their practice, including maps of their emotions and assessments of happiness—all based on research. The team's goal is to integrate mindful practices with breaking research on mindfulness. It's a truly two-way project, in that users contribute to the research; they will be buzzed on their phones for mini-assessments that will contribute to ongoing research. 

To get a tase of their work, you can check out their  meditation app for the iphone and android. The app was ranked No. 1 on the iTunes Health and Fitness apps this year. 

Teen Wellness

Teen Wellness is a pre-existing website that offers school counselors methods to teach resiliency skills to their teen students. The group proposed a revamp that would make the website more interactive to better accomodate the Internet literacy of the youth they are speaking with. The current website has a curriculum composed of 13 chapters, all text-based. The group wants to add videos and animations to illustrate the content and include interactive personal exercises in each chapter. 

What Matters Now 

What Matters Now offers free, private personal websites for people who are sick or dying. Each website allows the individual to reflect on their life, share photos, and connect with family and friends. The team has already created almost 2,000 websites, and the experience has been meaningful, as one user notes on the homepage: "Thank you for creating this website. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the desire to check for updates. It's a wonderful gift you have provided me."

With this funding from the 1440 Foundation, the team will be able to expand its social media presence, cultivate a blog that discusses hospice resources, and extend partnerships in the US and UK. 

Each of the 20 semi-finalist will receive a ticket to the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in February

And now, some kind words from the judges. 

For more information, visit the 1440 Foundation website and read James Gimian's latest blog post about this program and what such projects can do for our society.