Summer of tech for good

The team behind the UK-wide Tech for Good meetups, including CAST and Bethnal Green Ventures, have launched a ‘summer of tech for good’, celebrating the many initiatives now out there promoting the use of digital for purpose over profit. 

tech_for_good_summerDigital initiatives that promote innovation for the greater good received a boost at the start of London Technology Week on Monday, with the announcement by London mayor Sadiq Khan of a raft of support for projects for social purpose. Now leading organisations working in the for the for-good sector have come together to support a ‘summer of tech for good’.

CAST, the centre for the acceleration of social technology, which supports much-needed digital innovation within UK charities, has come together with social tech accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures and the 5,500-strong Tech for Good meet-up community to promote activity across the summer of 2017.

The campaign had a boost this week with the launch of TLA Tech for Good, a working group under the influential Tech London Advocates umbrella, to “promote London as the best place to start and grow tech for good companies and encourage new and existing tech for good startups to the city”.

Sixty TLA advocates, led by BGV partner Paul Miller and Bright Little Labs creator Sophie Deen, have come together to form the group to bring together startup founders, investors, corporates, policymakers and service providers.

DigitalAgenda is happy to be a part of the summer of tech for good, as well as the new working group. This week we have followed up our successful Impact Awards with a ‘tech for purpose over profit’ discussion at London’s ExCeL Centre, as part of the Project Kairos event for 15,000 people at TechXLR8.

Our approach is very much cross-sector, with a firm belief that digital innovation for purpose can be delivered by business, government, social enterprise and non-profits alike. Reflecting this, our ExCeL discussion has brought together people behind team-building business venture Saberr, blockchain social enterprise Aid:Tech, and CAST.

Saberr and Aid:Tech were among the 12 winners of our Impact Awards in March, with CAST a judge on those awards, sponsored by leading social tech funder Nominet Trust.

In a blog this week, Ellie Hale of CAST said that “the tech for good sector continues to gather momentum, as more startups, nonprofits, governments and techies look to create amazing new digital innovations that improve lives and the environment.”

She pointed to a raft of reasons to be cheerful for tech for good, including the launch last year of Fifty Years, a Silicon Valley venture fund for social impact tech ventures and the continuing growth of programmes that celebrate the best in innovation, including Ability Net’s annual Tech4Good Awards, and a tech for good category at Mike Butcher’s Europas awards.

Hale added: “We’re aware of the massive growth in interest in the field – we’re now at a whopping 5,500+ members – and wanted to do something to celebrate. We also wanted to learn a bit more about our community – who self-identifies as working in ‘tech for good’? How might we begin to understand more about the needs of this group and current gaps where support might help them?

The summer of tech for good campaign sets out to demonstrate the breadth and diversity of meetup and event activity, test demand for different types of tech for good events and initiatives, improve tthe discoverability of existing activity and encourage new activity.

To that end developers at CAST have created a new web app, helping you to find and share tech for good near you.

The app is updated with events added to a public Google sheet, and Hale encourages anyone hosting or attending an event to add their details.