Long-standing social entrepreneur and Tech Matters founder Jim Fruchterman interviews some of the most insightful social change leaders about using digital technology for good. Listeners will get to dive into lesson-rich case studies and the real-life stories behind them, with themes ranging from: listening to the communities we serve; funding tech4good; data rights and data sovereignty; and much more.
Ep. 8 - Season One wrap-up: What's next?
We’ve arrived at the end of season 1! In this episode, Jim reviews some of the top insights from our interviewees, reconfirming why tech is vital to social change at scale and why it is equally vital to understand the limits of that technology and how to do develop it ethically.
Ep. 7 - Emily Jacobi: Creating tools to defend human rights
Emily Jacobi is the co-founder of Digital Democracy, a non-profit dedicated to empowering marginalized communities with the support of tech tools. Among other things, Digital Democracy has been working with local partners from Haiti to Peru to track cultural and geographical data, which was then used as legally effective testimony against harmful corporate practices. Key lessons: co-design and accompaniment; the effectiveness of mapping one's political and cultural presence; the power of data (sovereignty).
Ep. 6 - Rebecca Masisak: TechSoup's major pivots
In this episode, Rebecca Masisak, CEO of TechSoup Global, walks us through some of the major shifts that her organization was able to make throughout its history. When TechSoup was founded under the name CompuMentor, its goal was to provide nonprofits with tech volunteer services. Eventually, the mission expanded to providing donated software and hardware at highly discounted prices for nonprofits. While this was a major driver for its success, TechSoup found itself having to incorporate a new business model once software started moving to the cloud, where donated software no longer meant shipping out CDs or DVDs. Finally, we covered TechSoup's expansion of its network from local to international, becoming TechSoup Global as it is known today. Key lessons: factors and motivations for shifts in strategy, funder and donor relations, fostering local networks globally.
Ep. 5 - Sanjay Purohit: Designing for (massive) scale
As Chief Curator of Societal Platform, Sanjay Purohit's role is to bring together, cross-fertilize, and guide an ecosystem of organizations, leaders, and initiatives all dedicated to addressing complex problems at, truly, massive scale. Key lessons: differences between designing for thousands vs. millions of users; focusing platform design on one "core" interaction; empowering networks and organizations that already exist, rather than reinventing the wheel and working in isolation.
Ep. 4 - Mid-Season Recap: Tech social entrepreneurship
In this episode, Jim shares his thoughts on what we heard from Mike, Ana, and Nithya, along with a personal note on his own experience: the importance of human-centered design, dealing with skepticism as a social entrepreneur, and what technology needs to bring to the table. Jim also introduces what’s coming next: An interview with Sanjay Purohit of Societal Platform, in which we dig deeper into the issue of impact at scale.
Ep. 3 - Nithya Ramanathan: Data for actual empowerment
Industries and governments are marching on towards digitizing our lives, for better or worse. Nithya, co-founder and CEO of Nexleaf, is one of the people working to bring powerful data insights and deep engineering expertise to ensure data is actually used with equity in mind and with real impact. Nexleaf’s temperature-sensing technology is just one example, helping millions of kids around the world get the vaccines they need. Other key lessons: thinking about impact in terms of incentives and disincentives; striving for equity and social value, rather than behavior change.