Tech for Good Live - how you made a difference in 2019

Towards the end of last year (between all of the Christmas mayhem and mince pies), Evolution sponsored the Tech for Good Live Christmas special podcast, featuring Dr. Rachael Ainsworth from HER+Data MCR. Celebrating everything that tech has achieved for social good and wellbeing, this special edition episode highlighted what the tech industry was up to in 2019 and how you’ve helped to improve the lives of millions. 

If you didn’t get a chance to listen, here’s a quick recap.

Different donations

The days of sponsorship forms and chasing people for money are well and truly over, and the NSPCC has been one of the first charities to take advantage. Recognising that nearly a quarter of people in the UK now use digital payment apps, the NSPCC decided to change the way it accepted donations online. 

In 2019 they implemented a range of different payment gateways on their website and extended the traditional direct debit-only option to include alternatives such as ApplePay and PayPal. The result? Easier and increased donations, giving them more funds to help protect children. 

Digital change

Giving Streets is a charitable donations app that’s all about giving chances. Living in an increasingly cashless society, it’s easy for people to buy items at the tap of a card or the flick of a phone. However, it’s not so easy to donate money to those in need on the streets, when you no longer have change in your back pocket. 

The app enables person-to-person donations using a QR code and mobile phone - simply scan and donate. Is this a good thing? The Tech for Good Live panel had mixed feelings. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for helping homeless people and refugees, there is still more to be done surrounding security and privacy. 

More bytes

We live in a world where both food waste and poverty are problems. Olio is here to solve these two problems with one app. Available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, Olio enables individuals, restaurants and shops to add food and share it with local people who need or want it. It’s already saved 2,901,153 portions of food from the bin and more than 435,224,004 litres of water. Simply add a photo, along with details of where to pick up; or browse listings and request an item. 

What’s in store for 2020?

So, what’s next in the tech for good movement? The panel highlighted three up and coming trends to watch out for and join in on:

  1. An increase in start-ups pushing ethical tech and sustainable methods of working, resulting in an increase in technical vacancies for people motivated by “doing good”. 
  2. Local Manchester meetups reducing their waste and helping those in need, by using initiatives such as Open Kitchen Manchester to repurpose food. 
  3. A rise in smart waste tracking being used to analyse waste data and understand what’s being wasted and how we can reduce it. 

How to get involved

If you’d like to do more good for society with your tech skills, then get in touch. At Evolution, we have a variety of technical and IT vacancies spanning different social enterprises, charities and businesses - all looking to increase their CSR activities. Or, get involved with local tech meetups, such as HER+Data MCR, where you can share ideas of what the tech industry can achieve in 2020.


You can listen to the full podcast here, or come and join the discussion on social media

Bernadette Clarke

Divisional Contract Director

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