Grantham-born student stokes debate by designing new app

Designer Harry Bradshaw.
Designer Harry Bradshaw.
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Grantham-born student Harry Bradshaw has designed an app that allows people to safely share and debate issues that are important to them.

The unique communications platform, called SoapBox, also transforms the way in which conversation takes place. Unlike Facebook and Twitter (where ‘trolling’ and online bullying are big problems) SoapBox focuses on the topics being discussed, not the people having the discussion.

Harry, who has just graduated as a product design student at Middlesex University, started exploring what peer pressure is and why it happens. This led him to look more generally at how some people try to influence others – for example, at Speakers’ Corner or on talk radio.

Harry felt that in many ways talk radio was a more controlled version of Speakers’ Corner, with the 
debate being moderated and directed by the DJs involved.

He said: “I think it’s a real shame that in a world filled with technology and gadgets, we’re losing the ability to converse proficiently.

“I wanted to harness technology in a way that actually encouraged conversation and debate. I call it ‘talk radio for the texting generation’ – a mix of the behaviours involved in both texting and debating.”

A former pupil of Ingoldsby Primary School and Aveland High School in Billingborough, Harry, 22, says SoapBox is the ideal social platform on which to discuss current affairs and trends. Harry hopes it will appeal to news channels, political discussion programmes, any shows which want to get people talking, and even MPs who want to connect with their constituents.

Harry created SoapBox as his final year project and recently graduated with a First-class honours degree.

The app is still being developed by Harry who won the Santander Entrepreneur award for the application with supporting money to develop the project.

Harry is now living and working in London as a freelance designer. He has recently finished a design project recreating ancient Greek Aulos pipes using a state of the art 3D printer. This project was filmed for a documentary and will be televised in the near future.

He is also working on a project with a small team of designers for the London Design Festival, details of this project are being kept under wraps for now.

Find out more about SoapBox at