Technology is steadily changing the social good landscape. From artificial intelligence to big data to the ubiquity of smartphones, technological developments are steadily gaining momentum in improving lives around the world. Social movements that are generally oriented towards bringing social change, have been having a higher impact despite the efforts made by forces to resist the changes and to maintain status quo.
Many NPOs are now focused on creating an impact on a scale that actually solves the problem. Such intentions have landed them in resorting to technological integration. Here are some ways to which technology is breaking through scale barriers:
Sizable alteration is noted in the social good domain by making information readily accessible to a larger audience.
Consider how Wikipedia has empowered self-education across thousands of topics. Social App Hub, a platform that operates on the sound belief that information sharing enables faster adaptability towards using technology for social change, is another sound example here.
In order to experiment with deeper means of improving practice and behavior, numerous organizations are going beyond their way to create an impact on society. Technology can help shift behavior. For example, HopeLab mobile apps engage kids to take healthy actions–be it taking their medicine or exercising, by tapping into something deeply innate and emotional. Some are using e-learning solutions,e.g., Khan Academy’s free YouTube lessons and leading universities open online courses–to flip the classroom to enable students to learn at their own pace at home, and bring their questions to class physically or virtually.
For people who do not have access to risk mitigation, an organization named MicroEnsure which operates through the mobile telecommunications system provides insurance products to millions of low-income customers in India. Thus in many cases, technology improves the reach of products and services that can change lives for the better.
Technology surely has the potential to enable solutions to most pressing issues the world faces. Creating capital markets for social good and also connecting beneficiaries with funding streams both are targeted by technology. Indiegogo provides a platform for organizations and individuals to create “family and friends” fundraising campaigns around causes that they care about. Charity Water creates campaigns around birthdays, holidays and other life events where people can raise money to provide clean water to communities in need.