Why Tech for Good?
The tech for good movement is about more than just making a difference. It’s about harnessing the potential of technology to tackle global challenges, and putting it to work to improve the lives of people around the world.
Tech for good starts with people
We believe that innovation, creativity and collaboration are critical to creating a better world, and that technology is the greatest enabler of all three. We’re passionate about using technology to create opportunities for positive change, because we know that collaboration and innovation can lead to unexpected solutions, not always knowable at the outset.
Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, or even in a lab. It happens when people come together, share ideas and use them to solve problems they collectively care about. This is where projects like MakeSense come from; this is where new ideas take shape; this is where tech for good happens.
Tech for good can only happen when everyone gets involved. It’s about harnessing the power of technology to empower people, organisations and communities worldwide to make a difference in their lives and those of others. It’s about changing lives for the better – now and forever.
Why Tech for Good?
In the last few years, ethical and sustainable living has become more popular than ever. As we have become more aware of the impact we have on the environment, climate change, and society, many of us have changed our habits in order to do good.
At the same time, technology has radically transformed our lives in a way that would have been hard to imagine only a few years ago. From ride-sharing apps to home delivery services and smart homes, advances in technology are making life easier and more efficient than ever before.
But while tech can make our lives easier and more convenient, it can also make them more wasteful. Fast fashion retailers use social media adverts to push us towards buying cheap clothes we don’t need instead of repairing or reusing what we already own. Smart homes are powered by electricity, which creates carbon emissions when it’s generated by fossil fuels. And online shopping is fuelling a culture of convenience that sees billions of pounds worth of clothes go straight into landfill every year.
As these examples show, technology doesn’t always equal sustainability — but it doesn’t have to be this way. If used thoughtfully and ethically, tech can actually help us lead more sustainable lives by making it easier for us to do good
TECH FOR GOOD
A new generation of founders are building technology to address the world’s most pressing social problems. Join us for our monthly salon where we connect technologists, investors, and activists to share their stories and do work that matters.
We’re launching Tech For Good in San Francisco on February 23rd at 6:30pm. We’ll be hearing from tech entrepreneurs who are trying to make the world a better place! If you’re interested in coming, please sign up on the Eventbrite page.
Interested in speaking or volunteering? Please contact us here.
We are a team of tech-talents and social justice advocates, who believe that technology can be used as a force for good. Our aim is to bring together people from all backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and experiences who want to use their skills to make the world a better place. We do this by organising events, hackathons, meetups and by encouraging people to innovate for social change.
We are not here to promote any particular cause, or a specific issue or charity. We are here to encourage innovation in technology for social good. We will work with anyone who is using technology to help others.
Our collective experience comes from working in the corporate sector, NGOs, charities and universities. With our diverse backgrounds and experience we hope to encourage greater collaboration between all of these sectors.
We have a vision to create positive change in the world through technology. We do this by helping organisations develop and deliver services that make a difference to people.
We believe in collaboration and working together as partners to achieve great things. Our team has experience working with a broad range of organisations from charities and start ups, to multinationals and public sector organisations.
We are passionate about design and technology being used for good, to create products that have a positive impact on the lives of real people.
We work with clients who need support delivering services or programmes, those who want to embed design thinking within their organisation so they can continue to innovate in the future, and those who want help building capability so they can design better products and services in-house.
Y Combinator has taken an interest in organizations that improve the world. This is not a new interest for us. In the Summer of 2010, we funded some nonprofits from our regular batches. Then in 2011 we did a separate batch of nonprofits, and this year we are doing a separate batch of nonprofits again.
But what about other kinds of companies with a social mission? We’ve been thinking about that too. Today we’re announcing YC Research, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Our goal is to support basic scientific research and the development of new technologies that make the world better.
The difference between what Y Combinator and YC Research are doing may seem subtle at first. We will be funding startups through both organizations. But there’s an important difference: our goals for Y Combinator and YC Research are different. The goal of Y Combinator is to get startups to take off. The goal of YC Research is to help make technological progress as fast as possible, regardless of whether it happens in startups or elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong—we will be trying to help startup companies, both through Y Combinator and through YC Research, but helping startups succeed is just one way to achieve
Societal issues have never been more prominent. People are worried about the future, and their concerns reflect a deep sense of unease about the ways in which technology is changing our lives.
We are told that we live in an unprecedented moment of disruption, but there’s little consensus about what this means. How should we think about these changes? And how should we respond to them? We need to ask whether technology is being developed and used in ways that serve the public interest, or if it is making things worse.
These questions are difficult to answer. The digital economy is complex and fast-moving, and often operates beyond democratic scrutiny. Technology companies have become some of the most powerful actors on the global stage, with little accountability for how they serve society. These factors make it very hard to hold tech to account, even though more and more people are demanding action on a range of issues.
There’s no clear agreement about what needs to be done, or how we might deliver change. But one thing is certain: change won’t happen without a broad alliance of civil society actors joining forces with tech companies, regulators and governments to shape the way technology serves society over the coming decades.