July 22 2016By Annie Radl
Nominet Trust is once again leading the quest for the 100 most inspiring social tech innovations from across the globe to celebrate in the 2016 NT100.
This year, from our fantastic 100, we will also be profiling a selection of Everyday Tech Heroes who, having seen the effects of a problem in their own communities - having lived it every day - took action, creatively deploying technology to tackle it.
By shining a spotlight on the ordinary people who’ve used technology to make an extraordinary difference in their own communities and our world, we hope to further inspire you to think, ‘I can do this too!’ And what better place to start than at home - with the challenges we encounter every day . . .
We are searching for Everyday Tech Heroes in a range of roles - from founders to developers to community co-designers - to showcase the many ways that people contribute to the tech for good movement: there is enough tech for good to go around.
The tech may be simple or cutting-edge; more than anything, we want to hear from the people behind the project and how their everyday ‘lived’ experience motivated them to change the world for the better.
Why we’re celebrating Everyday Tech Heroes
In the UK’s social tech scene, we often hear critiques of ‘solutionism’ - technocratic sticking plasters on top of deeply rooted social problems. More recently, thought leaders have cast a critical eye on the culture of ‘heropreneurship’, driving well-intentioned people to start ventures to solve problems that they may not have lived themselves. Many people question whether our focus on social innovation, abstracted from deep knowledge and experience of the context, inadvertently encourages the new generation of social tech leaders to dismiss local people’s efforts to address their own problems.
We agree that it is vital to raise these concerns, but equally believe another way to address them is to celebrate examples of home-grown solutions that are working to address complex problems, and to learn from the people behind them, our Everyday Tech Heroes.
Everyday Tech Heroes will profile the people behind these home-grown tech innovations to understand how their ventures’ development is led by their own experience of the problem, from the ground up!
By highlighting the achievements of a range of tech leaders – not just founders – we also have the opportunity to redefine exactly who a hero is, and inspire more people to believe that technology is accessible to them as a tool for good, even if they are not striving to be a pioneering social tech entrepreneur.
We are particularly looking to highlight the work of Everyday Tech Heroes who are coming from groups or communities that we don’t often hear from in the social tech world. These people may be: women, people with disabilities, people from disenfranchised or impoverished communities around the world, or people who face other kinds of systematic oppression (people of colour; people in the LGBT community; people in ethnic/religious minorities; refugees; and others).
If you know about an Everyday Tech Hero that’s making the world a better place, nominate their work today at: http://socialtech.org.uk/nominate.