There’s no question that technology is rapidly changing the world. From new developments in AI to Blockchain’s role in transforming every industry it comes in contact with, technology continues to outgrow itself every day. When misused, technology can be harmful to the environment and society as a whole, but it has the means to change lives for the better. Technology especially can play a role in transforming our social situations.
Technology makes information more accessible to the masses. News can be shared and distributed with millions of people in an instant. It’s never been easier to educate yourself about important topics and injustices all around the world. Knowledge is the first step to change, and technology makes gaining knowledge all that easier. By giving people the ability to gather information on the topics that are most important to them, technology makes it easier to turn that knowledge into action.
Technology also gives us the ability to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world. It provides us with the ability to gain new ideas from people with different experiences, and it allows us to organise meetings and groups with people passionate about the same topics. That passion can be turned into real life change by applying it to the areas where you see fit.
Some organisations go beyond just providing knowledge, and educate and empower audiences as well. Khan Academy offers free, short lessons in the form of YouTube videos on a variety of different subjects. Providing people with free education and the ability to learn on their own terms gives people the power to rise above their situations.
Technology can help to reach underserved areas and provide them with services they otherwise would have no access to. MicroEnsure uses mobile communications systems to offer insurance products to millions of low-income customers throughout Asia and Africa. The Vodafone Foundation also uses mobile communications to help deploy lifesaving mobile and satellite technology for emergency relief missions.
Technology is gradually enabling new social structures, and a new kind of democracy not necessarily directed at government policy but in just about every conceivable area of our lives. In spite of attempts to influence or censor views, technology is helping us to make informed decisions and utilise the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ to make better decisions. A nice example where this potential is being directly targeted is emerging from the Blockchain space, with something called Predictive Markets. Augur and Gnosis being two interesting projects.
Technology has made it easier than ever to connect with others. When used for good, these connections can inspire and give people a reason, and a way, to change the world.