It’s clear that technology is beginning to play a key role in social change. Look at the role crisis mapping software has played in coordinating earthquake response in Haiti, or the effect that social media such as Twitter have had on demanding government accountability in Iran. These examples and many more leave no doubt about the ever-increasing importance of technological innovation in a conflict-ridden world.
But how do we in the prepare ourselves to effectively embrace this reality? How do we critically examine new solutions and keep up with the rapid pace of technological development?
We believe a new kind of education is needed to address the challenges that exist in the world today. Introducing TechChange: the Institute for Technology and Social Change. TechChange will act as that critical and much-needed space for training leaders to leverage these emerging technologies for sustainable social change.
We’re planning a number of innovative online courses – courses that will be practical, flexible, and affordable, taught by leaders in the field, and unlike anything you’ve seen online to-date, but you’ll hear more about these later.
To kick things off we’re launching a blog to explore the issues at this intersection of technology and social change more closely. Think video games for social change, cell phones for monitoring elections, crisis mapping software for early response, low-cost water purification technologies, mobile medical diagnostics, and much more.
Here’s how you can get involved for now:
- Apply to be a TechChange Guest Blogger: Do you like to write? Are you interested in researching the latest tech trends and their social applications? We’re looking for 3-4 additional guest bloggers to help contribute articles. If interested, send your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Come to a TechChange Event: We’re starting off with a bang. On June 24th we’ll be co-hosting a half-day conference with the US Institute of Peace (USIP) and the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) on the use of mobile phones for post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan. The event will take place at the USIP headquarters, with a number of key U.S. government policymakers, U.N. officials, and nonprofit technology innovators in attendance. U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke will deliver the opening address. More info here.
- Help Spread the Word about TechChange: Even if you aren’t a techie, you can still help by telling a friend, sharing this with your boss, linking to our site, or even retweeting on Twitter (we’re @techchange) or “liking” an occasional post on Facebook. A little tech love goes a long way.