New York ad agency BBH has teamed up with SXSW this year to present its Homeless Hotspots initiative. The controversial, charitable movement offers a new take on the old Street Newspaper model: Rather than selling print papers to earn money, boost moral and spread awareness about poverty-related issues, the Homeless Hotspots project hopes to achieve the same effects by providing people with the opportunity to sell a digital service, instead.
Homeless Hotspots has “hired” 13 people from Austin’s Front Steps Shelter to participate in the campaign. Donning wireless routers and t-shirts that read, “I am a 4G hotspot,” these “Hotspot Managers” will be around the city offering wifi to festivalgoers.
As the Homeless Hotspots site explains, “SXSW Interactive attendees can pay what they like to access 4G networks carried by our homeless collaborators. This service is intended to deliver on the demand for better transit connectivity during the conference.”
The best part? The “Hotspot Managers” get to keep all of the money they make. Donate at the fest or online at Homeless Hotspots.