31 Jan 2017

Tech for Good around the world

By Anna Hyde

Last week we helped host the latest Tech for Good Meetup and we were overwhelmed with the interest in the event’s topic: International Tech for Good. We attracted a packed room of tech for good enthusiasts at Runway East, to learn about tech for good communities in other parts of the world.

I think this was a reflection on the thirst for connections to be made between tech for good communities worldwide. Some questions that came from the audience drew attention to the key point, that if people are working on tackling the same problem shared by people worldwide, how can they connect and share insights? Our four fantastic speakers on the night, grappled with this question – and arguably that was one of the drivers for them getting up on stage, to spread the message about the tech for good communities they’re part of.

Anne Radl from Nominet Trust kicked us off with a talk which drew attention to the incredible projects which the Nominet Trust celebrates through their NT100.  Anne showcased a handful of the inspiring projects from around the world, including Stop Acid Attacks, an online campaign based just outside of New Delhi, that successfully used social media to influence Indian policy makers to strengthen the laws around acid attacks; and Blooders from Mexico – connecting blood donors with hospitals that need life saving blood.  The NT100 is hosted on a website called the Social Tech Guide, which holds descriptions of over 1500 social tech ventures from around the world – making it the most comprehensive tech for good database. If you have a social venture, make sure you get listed!

Seth Bannon joined us over Skype from San Francisco. Seth launched impact.tech last year and has seen the community grow to host regular meetings hosting 150 people to talk about the potential of impact investing in the Bay area.  He highlighted the shift of thinking away from the classic dollar focused VC model, to seeing the potential of companies that align impact with financial returns.

Audrey Jarre came to share stories from Liberte Living Lab – a multidisciplinary, intergenerational, multicultural space in Paris. Bringing together startups, artists, designers, researchers and policy makers to work collaboratively in a space which encourages cross-pollination of their practices. You can read more about the space here.

Finally, Ian McClelland from Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund spoke about the number of projects that the fund has supported.  Showing how technology has been used, both by the end user in humanitarian crises – with mobile technology being used to provide information during the Haiti earthquake response, and by those delivering humanitarian aid, with organisations such as Field Ready using 3D printing to deliver critical items at the point of need.  Ian highlighted the incredible impact technology can have in the sector.

The community announcements came thick and fast, with people jumping up on stage to make their shoutouts and share great projects and job opportunities.  You can read all the community announcements here. Please feel free to edit this document to add your announcement! The slides from the evening can be viewed here

We look forward to seeing you at the next Tech for Good event, keep your eye on the Meetup page for details of the next one.

image credit: Nicolas Ramond CC BY 2.0