Technology has long been hailed as a democratizing force in the world; it enables people across the globe to relate to one another on a level that could have never been imagined just a few decades ago. We live in a hyper-connected, globalized world – a world that has so much potential to breed the next generation of big ideas. But there are issues that we must overcome to bring these ideas to life, and some of our leading technology companies are making strides to overcome these challenges each day.
Technology companies must take it upon themselves to foster partnerships that aid not only consumers, but the world at large. Our technology companies employ some of the brightest minds of our time – minds that undeniably can make progress in addressing, and eventually, realizing the global goals adopted at the United Nations.
Realizing the global goals must start with something incredibly basic: informing the public of what the goals are and engaging in open dialogue about how we can achieve them. Our technology companies have an unmatched reach when it comes to facilitating these discussions.
Take Facebook, with 1.5 billion users across the globe. The social media giant recently announced that it has created an internal team dedicated exclusively to social good. The team was formed as a direct request from CEO Mark Zuckerberg and has been busy building a new suite of products that tap into a vast array of social causes, from earthquake and disease relief to making online donations easy with a click of a button to one of Zuckerberg’s more lofty goals: bringing Internet access to all.
“Connectivity is a human right,” asserts Zuckerberg. Two years ago, Zuckerberg launched Internet.org, a partnership between Facebook with six telecomm giants to bring affordable Internet access to the most remote parts of the world via drones, satellites, lasers, and other forms of highly advanced technology.
What is the significance of bringing the Internet to everyone? It unlocks access to an unbridled library of reading material to schoolchildren who cannot afford to buy books, video tutorials on every subject imaginable to our future engineers, employment opportunities to those living in poverty, health care information to countries plagued by preventable diseases, and news from around the world to those who cannot imagine life outside of their villages. It will give a voice to the staggering 1/3rd of people on this planet who currently do not have Internet access.
Through partnerships like Internet.org, technology companies are making steps toward realizing the global goals. They are encouraging connectivity and understanding in the best way possible: connectivity that makes us aware of and emotional about the problems plaguing our world. They’re not only creating new products and services, but telling a story about why those products and services matter.
In our globalized world, technology cannot operate in a silo. Companies, nonprofits, and individuals must work together to create lasting partnerships that will one day lead to a better world. We couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come, and we couldn’t be more hopeful.
Chris Noble is the CEO of Causemedia Group, an independently owned, integrated family of agencies with a common cause of deepening brand engagement across all media.