Technologies helping positive social change

By Robert Hickson 14/11/2013

An uplifting read for the end of the week. The Nominet Trust has selected  applications of digital technologies that are making a positive contribution to social change. As the blog that accompanies the list notes, its not about the technology but how it is used. They also point out how quickly the application of digital technologies is moving – with Google, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Facebook being termed “grandparents” – providing a platform for many diverse subsequent applications.

The list is available at The Social Tech Guide. Some – like M-Pesa, Khan Academy, Raspberry Pi, and Kickstarter – you have probably heard about. Some that caught my eye were:

  • Brainstorms – by Puzzlebox – which introduces students to neuroscience and brain-computer interfaces. When I was at school, about all we had was the game “Operation”



  • Visitect CD4 – by Omega Diagnostics – which can monitor CD4 levels in blood using a cellphone camera
  • Patients know best – which helps give patients control of their medical records
  • eBird – a big data approach to bird watching
  • The Global village construction set from open source ecology – which is working to enable just about anyone to build 50 industrial machines to create your own civilisation – tractors, ovens, lasers.

Marcin Jakubowski, the founder of Open Source Ecology, talks about the global village construction set and an open source economy in these two videos:

4 Minute version


Or a 20 minute version