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20 January 2024 - 7 minutes

Tech-driven Social Impact: Initiatives Leveraging Technology for Good

Discover how tech companies around the world are making the world a better place. 

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We all want to make our mark on the world in different ways and working for a tech company is your one-way ticket to making it a reality. Social good is a shared responsibility that takes the efforts of many together to truly make a difference and what better way to do it than while at work earning a great wage? Before we discover more about some exemplary tech companies with initiatives to improve our world, let’s take a look at what social good entails.

Tech for Social Good

Social good may seem simple; however, it is actually a concept that is related to a wide array of possibilities. Social good is a synonym of common good and they are related to actions that provoke a positive impact on as many people as possible. They want the community or society on a larger scale to benefit and these small actions have the power to enact change for many. The following would be considered examples of social good: 

  • Clean air

  • Clean water

  • Education

  • Community development

  • Social justice

  • Healthcare 

  • Human rights and inclusivity

  • Nutrition and food safety

  • Renewable resources

  • Housing 

  • Economic opportunity

  • Animal rights

  • Culture and arts enrichment

Although the concept goes back to Ancient Greek philosophers who discussed what social good entails for all of society, in modern times, corporations have taken the concept of social good and used it to create initiatives, aid other organizations, and improve the world. As the world becomes more aware of the problems that consumerism, capitalism, and greed have done to damage our planet and society, companies have decided that they have the power to mitigate and reduce past mistakes, and tech companies in particular have accepted the responsibility of enacting change with social good initiatives. 

Social Impact Tech Companies

Currently, there are an infinite amount of tech companies around the world, new and established, small and enormous; all of them are different and with their own plans of how to make their mark on the world. Big tech companies like FAANG continue to innovate and modify their business models to empower and improve the world. These companies take social good initiatives that are side projects, but they still aid others on their missions. Some examples include:

  • Google: we all know that Google has been a groundbreaking company that has revolutionized how we interact with the world as they continue to make a difference with all of their far reaching projects. Although Google invests over 15 million dollars in their Impact Challenger Tech for Social Good, their current big project is leveraging Google AI for social good. Since AI along with machine learning is capable of so much data collection, analysis, and learning, a staff that supports and runs them is crucial and as they both continue to develop and exceed their current limits, these technologies will make a huge impact and pave the way for a better world.

  • Amazon: an enormous company like Amazon influences and affects our world in an infinite number of ways and they give back by focusing on several social good projects. Given their dependence on transportation for the delivery of their products, one of their most important social good initiatives is sustainability; they have even pledged to reach a net-zero carbon footprint by 2040. They are also committed to solely run on renewable energy sources by the year 2025. In addition to their own commitment to a greener model, they have reports and data showing all their efforts and growth in supporting a cleaner and more sustainable society.

While these big companies take on social initiatives on a larger scale, there are smaller tech companies that solely concentrate on social good as their main mission. They may be smaller companies with less employees, but that doesn’t mean that their influence is any less impactful. Some tech startups and companies that deserve to be under the spotlight for social good are:

  • ABCDoc: as we’ve already seen Google starting to use AI for social good, there are other companies like ABCDoc that have also looked to this tool for aiding people in an inspired way: to better understand bureaucracy. For families that are moving to Germany and don’t speak the language, AI will assist them in dealing with all the paperwork they receive and provide suggestions, explanations, and further assistance.

  • FreeWater: innovation and ingenuity are important when establishing a startup and FreeWater has taken such a simple idea to create an ingenious business. By giving companies the opportunity to advertise their businesses on aluminum bottles and paper cartons, FreeWater does exactly what their name says: provide free water and at the same time, 10% of their proceeds are donated to the global water crisis. This company is committed to helping those in need and doing it in a very green way.

  • Deed:​​ their slogan is technology for togetherness and they really do use their platform to create a community. Having designed a beautiful platform, they plan to connect people with a wide variety of community service projects and volunteer opportunities and as a result, more people will find the perfect opportunity to give back to their community.

  • Backstage Capital: when it comes to backing companies and startups, this one targets those led by women, people of color, and members of the LGBT community. Since only 10% of companies invest in these demographics, they stick to their philosophy that supporting them is the biggest opportunity possible. 

  • AI for Good: although this may not be a company or startup, AI for Good is an essential world summit for many tech companies that are interested in AI, focusing on how the world can use AI to attack the world’s problems like hunger, disease, poverty, and more. 

  • Goodr: many companies discard perfectly good food that could go to people in need and Goodr is committed to reducing food waste and helping companies save money at the same time. Thanks to a software as a service platform and blockchain technology, businesses can donate any potential food waste and in doing so, receive a tax reduction for their donations.

Tech companies and startups around the world are at the helm of driving society towards a more positive place and to make it a reality, they need skilled individuals with the determination to push the envelope beyond the norm and the creativity to think out of the box.  

Social Impact Tech Jobs

At these tech companies, there are many positions that are available and carry with them the duties and tasks just like normal tech positions. Some of these positions include:

Web developer 

Software and application development is an essential piece of the puzzle for all companies that want to do social good; it’s even more essential in a tech company focused on social good. Front end, back end, and full stack web developers and software engineers need to help create and write code for websites, programs, apps and all other mediums and tools that a social impact tech company needs. 

UX/UI designer

Collaborating on web development projects, UX/UI designers are important in helping design not only an intuitive and easy to use interface, but also an aesthetically pleasing one. UX/UI designers are needed to assist a tech company in creating a brand identity to which consumers and users feel attracted. Thanks to their efforts, the finalized design across several platforms will result in more involvement in their projects.

Cybersecurity professional

The risk of cyber attacks is high across the board in tech companies, but the sensitive information that companies collect and store needs to be protected at all costs. Since there is a huge skill gap right now in the cybersecurity field along with a constant risk of hacking, this position is one that many companies and startups are looking to fill with skilled professionals.

Data analyst

Is there anything more important for a company’s health and future than their data analytics? Data is a crucial tool for social impact tech companies so that they can grow and adapt to their clients’ wants and needs; data analysts provide so much information for their teams and when they need to make an important decision, the company will be thankful for the insights and trends with which their data analysts had provided them.

AI engineer

Artificial intelligence is one of the most important tools that has been invented in the last decade and by hiring an AI engineer, companies can fully take advantage of it. As you read above, many tech companies are using it in a variety of ways to make their companies much more efficient and powerful, so this job will be a crucial part of a team in the coming years.

So many companies want their employees to have the drive to truly care about what they’re doing and at a social tech company, it’s even more likely that workers can align with a cause. Finding the right company with the cause that motivates you to work hard and make a difference is possible, but first you have to know what job is best suited to you. Check out Ironhack’s Bootcamps and see what your future holds because you can make a difference in the world.

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