Amongst all of the ‘online platforms’, ‘open APIs’, and that massive cloud that holds all our data, you will find me dazed and confused, wandering around in the maze of invisible, intangible technological innovations that somehow now seem to run our collective lives.
For that reason, this NT100 blog is dedicated to the Real, Tangible, Verifiable pieces of technology that are making our lives better and that we’ve discovered during our searches.
Armed with the researcher equivalent to detective's garb (Macbooks, cardigans), magnifying glass (Google, caffeine) and a set of leads (Charlie Leadbeater’s black book, and a significant social network of global innovators and activists from our collective consciousness), the NT100 pint sized research team has become a bona fide sleuthing operation. Just call us Marple, Mulder & Holmes.
But even despite our impressive credentials, we knew that taking on the search for the World’s Most Inspiring Digital Social Innovations was going to be a sizeable challenge.
What I love about our digital world is that it shifts agency from the few to the many. It opens up new opportunities for people to engage in their communities, ensuring that their voice is heard, their skills are employed, their experience is drawn on.
In Bangladesh, millions of people are learning English using a service they can call up by dialling 3000 on a mobile phone. In Mexico, five million people are part of a collaborative consumption platform which gives them round the clock medical support and discounts on medical treatments, all for an additional $5 a month on their mobile phone bill. In Sao Paulo, a site that gathers the best that the city has to offer that is free and cheap - from exhibitions and concerts to yoga and psychoanalysis - gets 8m page views a day, making it the fifth most visited site in the country. more >
Tech entrepreneurs have already changed the world, transforming how we work, how we communicate, how we shop. Imagine if these entrepreneurs focused their talents on big social challenges, using tech to devise radically new solutions to social care, child welfare, poverty, education and climate change.
Imagine the power of technology applied for social good.