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.
At this point of the year, we expected to launch a new funding programme looking at how we can enable older people to benefit from using digital technology. We ran an open exploration of the key themes (led by the inimitable David Wilcox); pulling together existing research, practice and funding activity and aimed, through that process, to understand where digital technology could be most useful and, as such, where we should target our social investment fund.
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.
Possibly...well I hope not, but there are some exciting possibilities being offered by digital technology to help researchers identify patterns and valuable insights in their evaluation data that might otherwise go undiscovered.
There are 7.4 million people in the UK who have never used the internet of which 5.2million are aged over 65. There are over 18,000 care homes in England with nearly 40,000 older residents. We do not currently have an accurate figure about how many care home residents have access to the internet.