Why Tech Matters
Tech Matters because we care about humanity. If we can bring together the assets and capabilities of social change leaders and the technical community, we will improve the lives of all people. We believe that powerful opportunities lie ahead to innovate in solving the world’s largest problems at scale.
However, solving a major social problem is beyond the capacity of any one organization, no matter how powerful and motivated. It takes a critical mass of groups, coalescing around a common vision, to deliver systemic change. We must build these coalitions in order to tackle big challenges like eradicating a disease, driving chronic homelessness to zero in a community, or eliminating modern slavery from industry supply chains.
Large-scale social improvement cannot occur so long as the social sector remains a decade or more behind the corporate sector in applying modern technology. Nonprofits often lack the personnel, processes, and data to improve efficiencies or even to understand whether their interventions are effective. Data is rarely collected in a way that it can be analyzed and aggregated to improve management, better understand trends, or impact policy. While groups working to solve a social problem may share a common goal, organizations typically work individually rather than collaborating to disrupt an entire sector for good.
Systems Technologists from Tech Matters
A new type of technology expert – systems technologists – will be essential to imagine innovative tech solutions that will help remake an entire field. The people working on big social problems desperately need help with the strategic use of technology to reach their ambitious goals. This is the need Tech Matters fills as a nonprofit provider of strategic technology services to maximize impact, not profit.
The crucial first step for the systems technologist is working with a social sector field to build the consensus and trust required to cooperatively solve a shared problem. To identify where shared data and technology can unlock the path to large-scale change, and to build the bridges needed to make it happen. To be successful, this requires a commitment to openness and power-sharing that is atypical in the sector, but is essential to collective impact based on common metrics.
Tech alone, without an energetic critical mass of committed leaders, will not succeed. A social change movement without tech is unlikely to reach scale. The future of large-scale positive impact will be about matching powerful and proven technology with the communities who will benefit. We can’t have change without social innovation, but in this era we can’t have scale without technology.