The DA change directory lists innovators using digital to make an impact, as well as organisations helping others to change the way we live, learn and do business. Submit your details here and we’ll publish.
Age UK provides services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people. It joined CAST’s Fuse programme to find ways to have more, meaningful conversations with older people across the UK. On the programme, Age UK spoke to staff, volunteers and older people to understand how technology could have a transformative impact in supporting older people to enjoy later life. A new tool was developed to enable workers to have natural conversations with older people that covered key topics to ensure they could help as much as possible. Age UK is piloting the new tool in four locations across the UK.
Alice SI uses blockchain technology to help charities raise funds based on impact. All donations are held in smart contracts on a secure blockchain, giving donors maximum transparency on the impact their money makes.
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Non-profit B Lab serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.
Babylon is ‘creating everyone’s personal health service’, by becoming the world’s first fully integrated mobile health service providing access to doctors. With the babylon app, you can talk to a GP within minutes via phone or video call, ask simple medical questions via its text service and monitor your health with our comprehensive tracking system. Babylon’s goal is to help people around the globe live happier, healthier lives. It has started with the UK and Ireland and will soon offer services to the population of an East African nation. It aims to put accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth.
Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures is an accelerator programme for people who want to change the world using technology. It invests in and supports great teams with new ideas to help build solutions to social and environmental problems through an intensive three-month programme. It’s a new way of supporting people to grow sustainable social innovations that have the potential to change the lives of millions of people.
Bulb is a renewable UK gas and electricity supplier, claiming to be “the future of energy”. It was created by two friends who used to work in the energy industry and who saw the same problems at all the big providers. Bulb’s “fair and open” approach engages its community and offers its members one single tariff for electricity and gas. It’s a registered B Corp able to keep costs down by using tech and simply taking less profit than competitors.
Centre for Charity Effectiveness
The Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School (Cass CCE) is the leading nonprofit and philanthropy centre in the UK. It aspires to see a voluntary, community and social enterprise sector constantly extending its own knowledge boundaries and driving performance excellence – whilst developing and inspiring the next generation of leaders.
For more than 10 years, CCE has been enhancing the performance of hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals across the nonprofit sector.
CAST, the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology, is driving the growth of tech for good in the UK. We upskill and upscale social impact organisations and work alongside grant makers, investors and government to accelerate the use of tech for social change. Using a mix of incubation, investment and co-production, CAST supports the best early-stage ideas to achieve impact at scale.
Cathartic allows people to share their stories with complete anonymity. It was created as a place for people to come and say whatever is on their mind. People can write about anything that is important to them – their whole life, personal trauma or events that have affected them in the past. The website has become a hub for people to use as a platform to start a journey of personal expression and growth.
Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank project is focusing on how data and technology can be used to better understand and address youth homelessness. Centrepoint joined Fuse to accelerate the development of technology to enable them to deliver multi-channel information and guidance to young people across the UK as part of the Youth Homelessness Databank project. Centrepoint discovered that one of the key challenges of any service is getting the information you need from service users quickly and unintrusively to understand how best to help. Centrebot – a text-based messaging service – enables people to contact Centrepoint for advice and guidance through SMS and web.
ClearlySo works exclusively with high-impact businesses, charities and funds. It supports their capital raising activity through financial advisory work, and introduces them to institutional and individual investors who share their objectives and values. Its clients have raised £108m in impact investment to date. Its mission is to bring impact as the third dimension into investing, where all investors consider risk, return and impact – creating an environment for entrepreneurs and businesses that make a difference to thrive.
Founder and chief executive: Rodney Schwartz
Design for Social Change
Design for Social Change (D4SC) works to help people create smarter cities, using technology to create a “citizen-centric” approach to urban design, working with people, places and businesses, along with their data, to improve the quality of life of city dwellers – including through D4SC’s Changify social streets platform. D4SC designer-founder Priya Prakash is a passionate believer in ‘conscious business’ over straightforward charity.
Digital Catapult works with SMEs to help them grow and scale faster. It helps larger corporates in their digital transformation. It does this through programmes of collaboration and open innovation, by bringing academic leading edge expertise into the mix combined with the organisation’s own business and technological expertise.
Digital Leaders is a free-to-participate-in UK-wide Digital Transformation initiative of 12 regional programmes. It is the UK’s premier platform for expert opinion and networking for a cross-sector community of 40,000 members. With over 100 face-to-face conferences, salons and events annually, it has operated this online community promoting digital know-how, thought leadership and sharing best practice around digital transformation since 2010.
Founder and chief executive: Robin Knowles
70% of women leave the workforce because they find it impossible to combine their career and family life. Three quarters feel there is just not enough flexibility. Digital Mums works to remove these barriers by providing mothers with social media management skills that allow them to set their own hours and work from anywhere. It takes the natural talents and skills of mums, add some innovative social media training and produce high-calibre social media managers.
Dotforge was founded in 2012 by 12 angel investors. Taking what it had learned from successful tech accelerators in 2013 and 2014, the Dotforge team pivoted to support tech for good social ventures, launching Dotforge Impact as part of the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund in collaboration with KeyFund, Big Lottery and the RSA. In 2015 Dotforge supported 24 startups in Manchester and Sheffield. After starting in Sheffield, Dotforge is now located in Manchester and Leeds and is working on a new programme in Nottingham.
Edtech UK is a strategic body set up to accelerate growth of the UK’s education technology sector. It provides the UK with an international perspective and brings the world’s edtech companies and innovations to Britain. As a convening voice for the education technology sector in Britain, it is the front door for industry, investors, and government, who offer support in accelerating the explosive development in this arena. Edtech UK builds on a range of successful digital programmes led by The Education Foundation.
Founders: Ian Fordham and Ty Goddard
Founders Pledge was built by founders, for founders and launched out of Founders Forum, Europe’s foremost network of digital and technology entrepreneurs. It works to empower founders and investors to add value to their companies as well as the causes they love, without sacrificing one for the other.
Co-founder and chief executive: David Goldberg
FutureGov uses design, technology and change to make public services more human. It is on a mission to get rid of the old ways of doing things – the big bad expensive ways of delivering government – and replace them with programmes and products that are fit for the future, not held back by the past. Its approach emphasises the value of design and, above all, empathy.
Founder: Dominic Campbell
Futurelabs is a new co-working space for Leeds, set up by a team including the people behind the Yorkshire-based Dotforge accelerator. The space offers hot desking, fixed desk space or larger office spaces for tech businesses. It provides one of the highest broadband speeds in the city and offers 24-hour workspace access. Tenants can use meeting rooms and be in the centre of the Leeds tech community. In its first few months Futurelabs has hosted the Leeds Hack hackathon and runs Founder’s Friday networking events.
Games for Life
Games for Life’s mission is to guide people with learning-related cognitive difficulties to success. GFL’s specific focus is on helping to overcome attention-related difficulties experienced by adults, children and young people alike that are having a negative impact on their home, work/school and social life.
Developed by an air ambulance officer, the Goodsam tool utilises the latest in app development intends to alert those with medical training to nearby emergencies so that potentially life-saving interventions can be given before the arrival of emergency services.
The Happiness Index helps businesses succeed through instant intelligence. Its tools gather and analyse a regular pulse of client happiness, through employee feedback, customer feedback and more. Its ‘people analytics’ tool helps businesses gather and analyse information from people inside and outside to aid and inform the decision-making process. Its mobile app offers instant and digestible data, and an API links the Happiness Index to organisational IT systems.
Health Make Space
Health Make Space is a networking platform that allows clinicians and SMEs to work together on innovations in the NHS. It pairs doctors with health tech startups looking for clinical input or advice. Doctors get to include any time or expertise they contribute in their annual professional development review.
Hubbub is the leading crowdfunding provider for the education and nonprofit sectors, helping organisations deliver mass engagement, participation and fundraising campaigns through mobile, web and social media. Hubbub has helped 35+ university advancement teams across the UK, the US and Canada to bring in and engage donors by embracing digital fundraising.
Chief executive: Jonathan May
Impact Hub is a rapidly expanding, diverse global network of over 15,000+ members in 86 open hubs worldwide, focused on making a positive impact in our world. London alone has three hubs. Members benefit from a diverse and global community that provides guidance, resources, and opportunities shared between all hubs.
Community manager (King’s Cross): Alessandro Palmieri
Impossible is a ‘social network of giving and receiving’ that allows people to do and feel good. Its social giving network ‘encourages acts of human kindness and enables a sense of togetherness too often lacking in modern life’. Its Impossible People app allows you to give, ask and meet people who can help and who can share, within your local area. Impossible is a registered B Corp.
Knowledge Transfer Network
KTN connects people to speed up innovation, solve problems and find markets for new ideas. Established to foster better collaboration between science, creativity and business, KTN has specialist teams covering all sectors of the economy – from defence and aerospace to the creative industries, the built environment to biotechnology and robotics. KTN has helped thousands of businesses secure funding to drive innovation. And it supports them through their business cycle to see that investment through to success.
Head of digital economy and deputy director, creative, digital, design: Jon Kingsbury
Kuorum connects civilians with politicians, by fostering and promoting transparency, accountability and participation. Born in 2013, its founders realised that its mission of bringing politics closer to people should be a global one. Kuorum offers its software in five languages that are accessible to any government, political party, individual politician or citizen around the world. In 2016 it was awarded best technology applied to politics by the Washington Academy of Political Arts and Sciences.
Makers Academy is a fully immersive, full-time computer programming course in London, designed to turn people with no knowledge of web development into job-ready junior developers in just 12 weeks. It claims to be Europe’s #1 developer bootcamp, running new classes of 24-28 students every four weeks in London’s Tech City and every 12 weeks from the comfort of your own home.
Bristol-based Neighbourly connects local causes and projects with businesses that can help by contributing time or funding. Its two-way platform benefits both business and the community. It encourages project leaders to tell and share their stories, to inspire and help others and bring communities closer together. The business, a registered BCorp, secured $1.6m in angel funding in 2015 from Beacon Capital.
Wonky Star’s Night Zookeeper is an educational online platform that inspires children to be creative through writing. By interacting with an exciting and unique world filled with magical creatures and evil monsters, Night Zookeeper encourages nervous students to express themselves, and supports everyone to develop their best writing.
Nominet Trust was established as a charitable foundation in 2008 by Nominet, an international internet company delivering public benefit and to date, Nominet has donated £39 million to Nominet Trust. As a result, Nominet Trust is the UK’s leading social tech funder, bringing together, investing in and supporting people making imaginative use of technology to address complex social challenges. It publishes the annual Nominet Trust 100 and the Social Tech Guide.
Director: Vicki Hearn
ODI Leeds is a ‘pioneer node’ of the Tim Berners Lee-backed Open Data Institute. It was created to explore and deliver the potential of open innovation with data at city scale. It works to improve lives, help people and create value. Pioneer nodes bring together communities, host events, produce open data projects and help promote understanding of open data in our region and worldwide. It is a non-profit supported by local government and businesses. Among projects supported by ODI Leeds are Floodhack and Leeds Data Mill (now Data Mill North).
Open Bionics uses 3D body scanning and printing tech to create bionic hands that are lightweight, cost just £2,000, and are designed to help children adjust to limb loss and feel more positive about their differences. Nominet Trust funding will help OB trial the products with 25 amputees, showcasing how its technology can alter perceptions and transform lives.
Open Utility is a young and ambitious technology company based in London. We make the complex, simple. Open Utility works in collaboration with electricity retailers to deliver digital services giving their customers more choice and control.
Osper empowers young people to manage their money responsibly, offering a prepaid debit card and mobile banking service. A “completely safe and secure way to spend” managed by a European regulated bank, Osper promises to help children manage their pocket money in the digital age. The company secured $10m in investment in 2014.
One in five people in the UK today are struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes. More than half a million people had to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families in 2015. Oxfam joined Fuse to find ways to address this challenge, while learning more about delivering social value through user-centred design and how technology might amplify their impact across all their programmes. It became apparent that a new service should focus on financial resilience – not just food – in order to have the most impact. On Fuse, the Oxfam team piloted a service that helps people to build an emergency fund for food through their usual shopping habits, while also enabling data collection around food poverty to help Oxfam advocate and campaign for more systemic change.
PiP iT enables people to pay in person for online purchases ‘bringing cash into the digital age’ Customers can use its digital cash collection platform and go to any Post Office in the UK to load cash onto their eWallet, pay for online purchases in cash and pay a bill in cash. Customer have no need for a bank account or credit card. Business ca allow customers to pay in cash, without the problems of collection, reconciliation, handling or security risks.
Street Support makes it easier to help homeless people. It is a network of charities, voluntary groups and individuals working together to end homelessness. Through its platform people can find services for people experiencing homelessness, and offer their time and resources to local organisations.
Swarm is a creative collaboration company working with inspired people to make a more beautiful world. It combines challenge-based working, creative collaboration, collective intelligence and experiential learning to build prototypes and pathways to a more beautiful world. It believes in a human-scale approach, combined with a deep understanding of ecological limits and the interconnectedness of everything. Swarm is a registered B Corp.
Technology Will Save Us
Technology Will Save Us offers DIY gadget kits, activities, and online resources for children. It combines design innovation and a connected education model to hardware to help kids understand digital. TWSU has six make-it-yourself kits and hundreds of digital tools and projects to support kids in learning through play. Scaling fast and selling to 97 countries.
Textocracy is a fast, easy, and affordable addition to the public consultation or feedback process, giving people a simple, anonymous and free way to text their comments to organisations using any mobile phone. Textocracy provides your unique phone number for constituents to use, a unique URL to an instant data dashboard, easy-to-read and actionable reports of data. Textocracy offers packages for local government and NHS, corporates, small businesses and community and voluntary groups.
Sheffield-based The Floow designs and operate the world’s most insightful and user-friendly telematic system, providing motor insurers and auto organisations with actionable analytics to increase customer loyalty and return on investment. It works with giants like Green Flag, Direct Line, Verizon and Europcar.
Transport Together is an online marketplace for community transport which maximises affordable transport available to voluntary organisations, and increases the benefits of social interaction and well-being for individual users.
Founder: Dave Ahlquist
Partner: Bethnal Green Ventures
Troo Life Coach
Problems at school, fights with friends, worries about weight – there’s a lot that might be stressing out today’s teenagers. Solutions tend to focus on just one part of the problem. Troo Life Coach is harnessing a host of innovative technology to help teenagers make the right choices for a healthier, happier future.
UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world. UnLtd resources hundreds of individuals each year through its core Awards programme. UnLtd operates a unique model by investing directly in individuals and offering a complete package of resources; from awards of funding to ongoing advice, networking and practical support.
Nearly a third of all food grown ends up not being eaten. Winnow works with kitchens small and large to tackle food waste. It helps the hospitality industry tackle avoidable waste by connecting the kitchen to empower chefs to run a more efficient operation. Its core belief is that food is far too valuable to waste, and that technology can transform the way we use food.