The Social Impact of Tech
Living in the digital age means news and education at our fingertips all day, every day. This constant stream of news makes us more aware than ever of the huge number of social issues and needs facing society today. While this may make many of us feel hopeless and defeated, it also has helped draw the attention of those who take these social issues and attempt to find solutions using technology. Here are a few inspiring startups who have taken on mass societal issues and found thoughtful and modern ways to approach them.
MoneyThink is a mobile app for financial literacy. “We build the financial health of Americans by equipping youth and young adults to believe in themselves, navigate the financial decisions of adulthood, and achieve financial independence.” (MoneyThink) They tackle educating young adults through apps such as MoneyThink Goals, which helps youth earning their first incomes build healthy habits and financial goals with mentors and a rigorous curriculum.
Another non-profit, We the Protesters, took their grass roots activism and grew it rapidly by recognizing introducing technology could massively expand their reach. Beginning with the Black Lives Matter platform, they built activist toolkits and help citizens quickly reach out to their representatives to enact police reform.
Disrupt Disability is using open source design to create wheelchairs that are affordable, modular, and fully customizable. Started by Rachel Wallach, who at 18 sustained an injury that left her with impaired mobility, Disrupt Disability is providing open source designs and instructions that can adapt to produce customized, low-cost, 3-D printed wheelchairs.
During his final year of university, James Robert watched a TV documentary explaining that due to the stress of the war in Syria, infant mortality rates had skyrocketed. As part of a project, he invented mOm, the first collapsible and low-cost incubator that meets current standards for conventional incubators.It was designed to be used anywhere, even in rugged, harsh environments like rural Africa. This technology is currently in development, and will initially be regulated in Europe as a medical device.
All around us, technological advances are occurring, but perhaps most importantly are the connections being made between these advances and social issues. Companies such as these, and many many more, are making strides every day to utilize their digital capabilities to solve real-world problems.