Imagine a world that is connected through technology and using this resource to impact others thousands of miles away. That world is happening now. The tech arena is expanding at such a rapid pace that NGOs, companies, and government agencies are taking advantage of it for social change.
The Institute for Technology and Social Change, also known as TechChange, is a startup that was created for online learning and assisting organizations in creating their own customized courses. The people at TechChange believe that technology can be used to revolutionize and transform a variety of health, political, and ecological issues; however, technology is not being used to its fullest extent in regards to education. TechChange gives people the opportunity to combine technology and education and apply that to whatever field they choose. The organization uses game mechanics, interactive simulations, live interviews with field experts, and a supportive learning community to create an effective online learning experience. Sample courses include: Mobiles for International Development, Social Media for Social Change, Tech Tools and Skills for Emergency Management, and Technology for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.
There are other forward-thinking organizations that are using technology for social change, too. InVenture is a global enterprise that offers financial services and accounting assistance to low income individuals and business owners. The social enterprise offers a mobile accounting tool that does not require internet, yet tracks daily revenue, assesses credit scores, and gives users access to capital that they would not have otherwise.
Digital tools for social change aren’t just for adults. Map Your World targets people of all ages, and is a multi-platform project that uses technology to raise awareness for and improve local health concerns with the global community. This project was inspired by a group of young individuals in Kolkata, India featured in the documentary Revolutionary Optimists. In the film, Amlan Ganguly, a lawyer who started Map Your World, wanted to give kids the power to evolve into agents of change in their own community.
The aforementioned tools touch upon a range of topics including, education, economy, and health issues. We are in the age of impacting one another with even more possibilities and fewer limitations. Think about it, all you have to do is pick your topic of choice, use the tools that have been created, and affect others in ways we could not have imagined a decade ago.