Traditionally, the helping professions refer to careers that nurture people’s bodies and minds–nurses, social workers, teachers, clergy–but in a world where technology impacts more and more of our lives every day, those who build that technology have an opportunity to help in new and innovative ways.
Yes, there’s definitely tech companies that are out to save the world. Solving hunger without destroying the climate. Delivering necessary medical supplies to under-supported areas with drones. Elon Musk says he wants to solve the post-hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico by converting the entire island to pure solar energy. Technology allows companies to approach problems we previously thought unsolvable.
That being said, we shouldn’t just think of startups as the only helpers in the industry. Here at Agape Red we take care every day to make progress towards more humane tech. For one of our favorite projects, Redbasket.org, we worked closely with their UI/UX designers to streamline the application process for their crowd fundraising platform. This enabled many of their users, the majority of whom are not tech savvy, to ask for the help they need. One of our developers is working on a training program for ACA compliance, and is a champion for making all of our websites accessible and friendly to as many users as possible. When the majority of our communication is via phone and computer, and vital information is sometimes only available online, everything–even down to proper placement of a submit button–can be an intense act of kindness.
Tech gets a bad reputation sometimes for being the worst of humanity, but many of the developers I’ve encountered–especially in our community–are using their powers for good.
“There are people making tech who are positive, ambitious, thoughtful, inclusive, curious, empathetic and self-aware. They’re going to win.” Anil Dash (@anildash) on Twitter