Technology has opened up new avenues for affecting social change and improving people’s lives. How can the world become a better place? It’s a persistent query. However, there are some very modern solutions available these days. Recent technological advancements have provided new ways to connect with others in our communities and worldwide.
While many people use modern tech for commerce and entertainment, there are also several opportunities to use it to promote social change. In 2015, over 3 billion people had internet access*, and over 2 billion used social media. Never before has it been so simple to reach so many people.
Initiatives in Technology for Social Good
Corporations, small and medium enterprises, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other organizations worldwide have long recognized the power of technology and innovation.
And many people are still looking for more than just using technology for their purposes and missions. They want to contribute to the social good through technology and technological innovation to share the wealth — literally and metaphorically.
For example, companies like GitHub and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have initiatives and programs promoting technology for the social good. Meanwhile, DePaul University has a Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab that “brings together faculty, students, and other collaborators to design, build, and study tools to foster equitable education and social justice.”
We do have some tools in place to help mitigate their impact and make progress toward addressing them — with the ultimate goal of eliminating issues one day.
Share Important News and Information
Before the internet, spreading important information required costly media buys, the distribution of ineffective pamphlets, or time-consuming trips and personal appearances. You can use the internet to create an organizational website containing all the information needed to understand your cause and the actions that must be taken to effect change. Furthermore, you can use social media to keep people up to date on developments and news affecting your cause.
Create an Active Community
Most social change organizations have numerous volunteer opportunities. The internet has made finding people to take on those opportunities far easier. Those who share your concerns can find you on the internet.
Similarly, you can find them on online message boards and social media posts. Volunteers are only one way to get people involved.
You can build an engaged, global network of volunteers, activists, donors, and concerned citizens by maintaining an active online presence. It is no longer necessary to rent out community space to unite people. You can do so by going online.
Provide Education and Training
Whether you’re disseminating information about your preferred social change model, organizing a demonstration, organizing a canvassing event, or simply teaching others about the importance of your cause, the internet has many training and educational tools at your disposal.
You can use an online training platform to create courses or distribute educational materials via email and other online channels.
The limitations are solely determined by the resources available to you.
Take Quick Action
Social movements worldwide have used social media platforms like Twitter to plan and stage demonstrations. You can apply the same technology to problems affecting your cause. You can mobilize people using the internet for email campaigns, representative actions, and urgent aid initiatives for those in need.
Get Ground-Level Reports
You can’t be everywhere at the same time. However, if you’ve built a strong online community, you can have eyes and ears everywhere.
For example, Suppose a California town is considering passing discriminatory laws, and you are a national civil rights activist working in Detroit. In that case, you can follow the debate on social media through reports from members of your online community and allies. This can provide you with real-time, ground-level data. That could mean the difference between being able to act and being too late.
The internet can spare you from having to send out expensive mailers or stand in the street with a donation bucket, depending on the size and needs of your organization. Major fundraising efforts can be coordinated and carried out entirely online.
Numerous websites can help with fundraising and money collection.
Furthermore, crowdfunding allows you to raise money for specific needs. If done correctly, these efforts can be entirely promoted through social media.
Studying at an Online University
Modern technology not only allows you to accomplish more, but it also allows you to learn more. Numerous online universities make it simpler than ever to get a degree that will enable you to work in a nonprofit or public service setting if you are passionate about social change. An MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership is beneficial.
This master’s degree program can teach you the systems and concepts required to effect positive social change worldwide. An online master’s degree in nonprofit management and leadership allows you to take advantage of the flexibility and convenience that online learning provides. It’s an excellent way to help yourself learn the skills needed to promote change.
What is the future of technology for social good? Technologists and those seeking solutions and driving change will need to lead and participate in dialogues about existing problems and potential solutions.
We will need to work together to ensure that this is an ongoing dialogue and process — that we will not stop innovating for the social good until we have fully solved the world’s greatest obstacles and addressed everyone’s needs, even if it takes centuries or longer.