Mouse, and How Tech Fulfills its Promise

The whole world is reckoning with worries about where technology is taking us. Mouse helps us find a path forward that helps everyone, by including everyone.

You almost certainly can remember when you first got excited about technology, or about the internet. You discovered that somebody else shared the same eccentric interest as you, or you felt empowered by the idea that you could instantly create things and share them with anyone.

But somewhere along the way, amidst all the great things technology brought us, we started to get a lot more worried about the effect that these apps and devices have on our lives. We started to wonder how trillion-dollar companies would ever consider our needs. And we noticed that, well, a lot of the people creating these technologies hardly come from the same world that the rest of us live in.

As it turns out, these problems are related. And they can be fixed. Mouse shows us how. That’s why we need to stand behind Mouse’s work.

To get just a feel for the challenges we’re facing, swipe through the headlines shared in the app below, and see if you can guess which ones are real challenges that tech faces today, and which ones merely seem plausible.

If you’re not familiar with Mouse, it is an organization that’s been fighting to empower young people and educators to create tech for good. And they didn’t just start doing this in the current moment when everyone is wringing their hands about the big tech companies — they’ve been at this for decades. For 20 years, Mouse has been incredibly effective at empowering young people by helping them learn to create technology. It started, as these things always do, with the goal of serving a particular community, but Mouse is now a nationwide force, with a spectacularly impressive track record of helping young people who are most in need. Mouse also thinks about how to change the whole system, which is why they’ve spent just as much effort in working to reach educators, and to give them the support and resources they need to help kids succeed.

Here’s the most impressive part: It really works.

Almost 90% of students who participate in Mouse’s programs report improved creativity, better problem solving, higher confidence, and stronger team-building skills. 85% feel that they’re better prepared for college. And 83% believe they can make a difference in the world.

By believing that Mouse can change the world for students, we enable students to believe they can change the world for us all.

Mouse students look more like the future than the halls of Silicon Valley. 37.4% are female. 26.9% are African-American. And 29.5% are Hispanic. That diversity is why they’re going to be the right people to enter the tech industry and address the problems, challenges and dangers that today’s tech too often gets wrong. They see bugs in technology that go far beyond the code and software itself, and that reflect bugs in society overall. Mouse’s mission puts it simply, and perfectly:

We empower all youth and educators to engage with computer science and creative technology to solve real problems and make meaningful change in our world.

Now, it’s your turn. Mouse can only do this critical work if we show up to support them. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll celebrate with me at the Diversity in Tech Awards on May 1 at The Bowery Hotel. It’ll be a special night that illuminates the diversity gap in tech and more importantly, demonstrates that we know how to solve the problem. You should pick up your tickets now, and join us at a night that will leave you feeling optimistic and hopeful that a better technological future lies ahead for all of us. (As long as we do our part!)