When you first come across ‘Tech For Good’, it is easy to think that it is just another buzzword, one that has been flung out of the abyss of the tech world, before being passed around by a few tech giants, then disappearing back into the abyss it came from, never to be seen again.
But this is different, it is not a buzzword, it does not signal a trend or a movement, it is the perfect embodiment of a reality that can solve the world’s most pressing problems, while bringing joy and happiness to people. If you are reading this, then you are probably interested in tech’s positive potential. You are not alone in that.
CIO Africa recently hosted a #TechForGood virtual webinar, and it highlighted some cutting edge insights as to how the utilisation of tech can bring about the right results for SDG’s and putting a cap on societal, environmental and economic troubles.
The discussions were moderated by the eloquent and extremely quick-witted Terryanne Chebet, the Founder and CEO of Keyara Botanicals, and consisted of the brilliant Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, the Country Leader Kenya, Visa, the intuitive Efayomi Carr, Principle at Flourish Ventures, the astute Dr. Jane Munga, Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary ICTIYA, the ingenious Micah Kenneth, the Regional Manager at Bolt East Africa and the perceptive Daryl Bhana, VP of Commercial Sales and Strategy at Global Voice Group.
The panel discussions brought out in great detail, just how the use of technology can smoothen disruption, and improve on an individuals well being, thereby allowing him to be more of a help to society.
Carr explained how advanced technologies including smart automation and artificial intelligence have the potential not only to raise productivity and GDP growth, thereby attaining SDG’s goals, but also to improve personal lives of individuals more broadly.
This was also backed up by Micah who averred that technology can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and battery and control technologies for balancing supply and demand. This goes to show that technology has a role to play in conserving biodiversity. AI-powered drones can help monitor wildlife parks and identify the location of poachers, and similarly monitor for illegal fishing, for example.
Dr. Jane also made it clear that the Kenyan governments can be instrumental in ensuring that technology transitions are well managed. She added that the government is already encouraging innovative development and use of technologies.
Eva then built on top of this by cementing the understanding that companies can harness the benefits of the current technology wave by adopting an approach of enlightened self-interest. Meaning, at the company level, a workforce that is better trained, less stressed, healthier, and happier will also be more productive, more adaptable, and better able to drive the technology adoption and innovation surge that will boost revenue and earnings.
The panel showed that #TechForGood not only has the potential, but has the necessary tools to tackle and eradicate the world’s toughest challenges. Through the conversation’s in the panel, we have seen that #TechForGood is not a sector, it is a mobilising framework for articulating the values, behaviours and attitudes that describe a focus on social impact – putting people at the heart of the business, and enabling them with the power of technology.
The outcomes of tech for social good are more important than the mechanisms, they include impact on the environment, communities, health, education, mobility and transport.