The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?
Every year, the Steve Waugh Foundation conducts the Captain's Ride, a six-day bike race, to raise money for children with rare diseases, but not many people have heard about it and the children themselves are unable to take part. So we added something new: the Riderless Bike, a fully autonomous children’s bicycle that followed the peloton of the Captain’s Ride with live feed through a 360-degree camera, allowing children with rare diseases and the public to watch the ride unfold live. People could also sponsor the bike for a part of the ride, and were notified by email as the bike passed through their section.
What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?
On the first day of the Captain's Ride, hundreds of people gathered in Goulburn to bid farewell to the riders, including a number of children affected by rare diseases. The looks on these children's faces as the Riderless Bike debuted was absolutely priceless. It was a good feeling knowing that the $1 million the bike helped raise was for them.
When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?
The most important conversations we had on this project were that it wasn't just about the bike or raising money, it was about creating awareness for children with rare diseases. We continually discussed the user experience, and how it had to always bring the children to the forefront, explaining who they are and the difficulties they face.
What did you learn from working on this project that you didn't know going into it? Did anything come out of it that surprised you, or that you weren't expecting?
From a technological perspective we learned how to build the world's first Riderless Bike using infrared beacon-tracking technology, an electronic motor, and GPS. From a brand perspective, we learned just how tough these children are. Despite their conditions, they show amazing strength of character and larger-than-life personalities.
Best, most innovative and effective or creative use of PR to promote a cause related campaign.