Tech for Good is the intentional use of technology to solve pressing social and environmental issues at scale. It has four key features – intentionality, scale, intrinsic impact, and inclusion.
Intentionality – tech is neither good nor bad, but nor is it neutral. It’s a tool, and to be classed as tech for good it must be developed with a positive social or environmental impact in mind. It should also take into consideration any ‘unintended consequences.’
Scale – the power of technology is that it scales. It enables rapid growth, global reach and affordability through declining unit costs. It also enables network effects where the value and positive benefits can increase exponentially with growth.
Intrinsic impact – companies developing tech for good should have a business model where their intended impact is baked in. This means that the more of a product or service they sell, the greater their impact.
Diversity and inclusion – social and environmental issues affect a diverse range of people, and therefore the best solutions are designed by diverse teams. Tech for good should also serve those that are typically underserved and underrepresented.
What is Tech for Good investing
Tech for good investing is a subset of impact investing. Just like impact investing, tech for good investing seeks to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.
The combination of the four functions of tech for good mentioned earlier is what makes it so promising as a business and investment case.
In an unbelievably short period of time, technology companies have become the most valuable in the world. Now with the rapidly rising demand for business to be a force for good, it’s only a matter of time before tech for good companies are the ones at the top of the FTSE 100 and NASDAQ.
Three examples of Tech for Good companies
LettUs Grow’s vision is for food production to take place in urban environments utilising vertical farming. They have developed patented aeroponic farming technology that uses up to 95% less water than traditional agriculture, helping to address global food security and sustainability.
Organise is a digital platform facilitating collective action for a fairer future of work. Organise helps empower and protect the growing number of people in precarious employment. To date they have facilitated numerous campaigns for workers at the likes of the NHS, Wetherspoons and Morrisons.
Clinical trials for the 6000 rare diseases affecting 350 million people worldwide can be difficult, with inconclusive results due to lack of sufficient data. Aparito solves this problem with their patient-generated platform that utilises wearable technology to improve data collection for people taking part in clinical trials.
Learn more about Tech for Good
Tech for Good Global – a platform aiming to grow the global movement of Tech for Good by increasing demand from entrepreneurs, civil society, corporates, funders, policy makers and consumers.
‘tech for good / highlights’ newsletter – a weekly newsletter on the latest news in the world of tech for good.
The Practical Optimist newsletter – a monthly newsletter specifically for investors – sharing the latest thinking and resources in the world of impact and tech for good.
Tech for Good Investing Linkedin Group – a place for all types of investors (from VCs, to angels, to pensions funds) to connect and discuss investing in tech for good.