Harnessing the Power of Technology for Greater Good

When asked how to change the world, famed American journalist Mark Shields stated: “There is always strength in numbers. The more individuals or organizations that you can rally to a cause, the better.” Shields was on to something then, especially where cause-based organizations are concerned. And the same concept still rings true, perhaps now more than ever.

Civic tech is ripe now as interests from different sections of society, government and cause-based organizations rise. The expansion of innovative connection technology into more hands and more businesses has allowed even more citizens and advocates to influence social good. While we all share the same globe, we do live in vastly different societies, and there is much work left to be done.

In some parts of the world, technology continues to evolve at mind-numbing speeds, while other communities still struggle with issues, such as wildlife poaching, and access to clean water and life-saving medical care. But cause-based organizations around the world have an opportunity to promote social good, whether here in the United States or in a small village in Africa, through the power of technology.

Many organizations have already harnessed the power of technology to not only influence social good at a global level, but also improve relationships and partnerships with other like-minded organizations to alleviate poverty and improve the overall quality of life.

Here are three examples of innovation at work by companies and cause-based organizations that have forged partnerships using technology to influence social good:

  1. Protect, a British nonprofit group, embeds endangered rhinos in national parks with heart rate monitors and video cameras in their horns. The technology, which they hope will alert anti-poaching groups and other animal welfare nonprofits of potential incidents before they occur, sends an alarm and GPS coordinates to park officials, who dispatch rangers to the site by truck or helicopter.
  2. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) announced the launch of their All of Us Program. The program will engage partners like Walgreens, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and others to utilize mobile technology to “provide an unprecedented window into individual differences in biology, physiology, lifestyle and environment that shape human health, and ultimately will enable us to more effectively prevent and treat illness.”
  3. West Coast healthcare companies Excelsior, Xpio Health and Qualifacts announced the launch of Managed Care Collaborative (IMCC) in Washington State. It’s a collaborative effort to use advanced Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology and analytics to improve overall patient care. By sharing implementation resources and clinical expertise among providers throughout the region, the companies hope to expand the use of life-saving technology that would otherwise be unavailable to many healthcare providers across the state.

As more cause-based organizations realize the power of innovation and collaboration, they will achieve their missions faster, improve relationships with partners, develop better quality-designed programs built for their unique needs, and truly create the impact to accomplish what everyone wants: A better world for us to live in.

Jean-Paul (JP) Guilbault is President and CEO of Community Brands, a leading technology company that provides scalable and innovative software solutions to more than 100,000 cause-based organizations worldwide.

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