Our midterm for doing good is good business was a research project on the IDNYC. It all started with the following prompt:


From there, I developed a list of questions about the program to ask Benedetta and also determine the answers to. At first, it was unclear whether we were supposed to research other ID programs for the last question or not, but it was clarified that the project centered around the IDNYC, and that at least one of us should go apply for the ID.

We played with the document calculator online and decided that Michael would apply for the card– he had already been planning to, and he had the pamphlets to prove it. Our first meeting was rather unfruitful– we had thought we could just walk-in and get an appointment, but apparently you had to book one in advance online or by calling 311.


Our first appointment after this was also unsuccessful– we didn’t read the document calculator correctly and didn’t realize his residency documents needed to be dated within the last 60 days. The second appointment was successful, but Michael moved recently so it was a mixed success– he wouldn’t receive his ID at his new address.

We also created a slide deck to introduce the IDNYC and go through a few personas and the troubles they might face in getting the ID. The slide deck is included below.

Topics that are particularly interesting to me usually focus on women and girls and also apply to populations in richer countries. Things that are of particular interest to me:

  • how do we ensure homeless and poorer populations have access to menstrual health products? Could we support small business at the same time? How do we educate young girls about menstrual health across cultures where it may be taboo?
  • how do we protect homeless and poorer women from the threat of sexual assault, and encourage them to report cases of assault?
  • similarly to my first query, how do we ensure that babies have access to clean diapers?
  • how can we help people have privacy and a good night’s sleep in extremely close quarters? Does everyone have access to an effective mosquito net?
  • From the challenge, how can ensure access to identification cards and other documents? How can we ensure these cards are portable and preservable in harsh conditions?

I think right now my favourite of these questions is the one about menstrual health, and I need to do more research on the topic. I think it’s a prime area for technology to assist in– although girls have access to their peers and teachers, they would want privacy and sensitivity that these groups might lack (many teachers are male, after all.) And homeless women might have difficulty asking for these products. Additionally, how are these products disposed of? Can we get clean underwear and sanitary products for everybody?

I need to do more research. Hopefully, someone else might be interested in the topic– it’s often a topic men shy away from.