It’s no shocker that technology is useful; from researching an essay to reconnecting with friends. There is a bigger picture that tech is a vital part of. Social entrepreneurship? (a strange new term.) It’s any activity that is focused on creating a better society rather than making money. Health, treat education, pharmacy human rights, prostate the environment, civic engagement and economic development are the main areas in which change is happening.
Technology connects people. It’s obvious we connect every day using facebook, email and twitter . However, it’s understated in our everyday lives. Social entrepreneurship advocates that if we band together we can achieve more. One specific project is Activelink (http://www.activelink.ie/). It’s an online network for Irish non-profit organisations. It provides a way to connect to volunteering, events, fundraising, training, publications and funding in Ireland. Quite a tall order, but this site manages it.
Connecting people and communication should go hand in hand but sadly that isn’t always the case.
An area that is currently being addressed is that of engagement with politics. After all, politics is the way that the country and the world is organised – so it’s kind of a big deal. Dailwatch.ie (www.dailwatch.ie) is all about rebuilding trust in Ireland’s political system. It is a politically neutral website that enables direct Q&A between citizens and their TDs. The platform allows voters to track TD’s actions by providing access to their voting records. The objective of the site is to improve public engagement in politics through transparent and meaningful interaction.
Spreading the information is what the internet is known for. What is the latest trend on youtube ? There is also TED talks, tumblr and blogs in general promoting new ideas and experiences. Here is one that may hit close to home. Cooking is so expensive, however, Better Than Noodles (http://www.betterthannoodles.com/) challenges that excuse for not cooking. It’s a realistic approach to the Irish student diet. There are short video tutorials of cooking cheap, easy and most importantly, healthy, meals. This includes updated price guidelines, weekly deals in supermarkets, info on budgeting and grocery shopping. It is a hub of all things food-related.
Fundraising for change has really taken hold online. Sites similar to Kickstarter jumps to mind. Fundraising doesn’t have to be individual though. This is the new start up 100minds comes in. 100minds (http://100minds.org/) is a project taking on over 100 of Irelands top undergraduates and challenging them to raise €1,000 each. 100minds gives a voice to tell your fundraising story. The €100,000 mission is to improve Temple Street hospital with key machine purchases, focusing on patient quality of life and support families in need.
Have a question? Just google it. It’s a natural response now in the internet era. The internet holds huge potential in terms of education. The amount of distance learning courses is unbelievable. But what about education in technology itself? Coder Dojo (http://coderdojo.com/) has got this. It’s an global network of computer clubs. The young people involved learn to code and develop websites, apps, games and more. It is taught by volunteers and is entirely free. Not too shabby for something that started off in Ireland.
We all know the bad side of technology. The internet especially, it’s addictive and facilitates procrastination (another game of Candy Crush any one?). Our society is changing faster than before. It’s not the first time you’ve heard this – but have you ever done anything with that knowledge? It is in the here and now that creating change is easier and faster. If you could change anything what would it be? Why not logon and do it? Logon for change.