Message from Shan Gu, HumanIT’s founding executive member.
The HumanIT Project was born out of a simple and random act roughly eight months ago. My wife, in her ongoing efforts to make me a better person, sent me a link to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 Annual Letter. Reading through it, I was struck by how simple and widely available technologies can be applied to address fundamental developing world problems.
Example? Crowd-funding platforms can be re-purposed to provide micro-financing to farmers in Africa. Mobile learning solutions can be adapted to help nurses in remote South American jungles diagnose illnesses. Knowledge collaboration and distance learning software can help provide education to areas in need of experienced teachers.
Yet, when I look at non-profit organizations, at least those that collectively as a team we’ve been involved in, most don’t have the resources to make meaningful investments in technology.
What followed? A chat with my business partner over Google Hangouts, a kitchen conversation with my wife, and some brainstorming over beers in a pub. Within months, our cross-sector group of tech, business, and non-profit leaders developed a sustainable, scalable, and game-changing model.
What now drives us to implement? Our beliefs.
1) We believe simple technologies can solve big social problems;
2) We believe people working in technology want to, above all else, see their work solve problems and have an impact;
3) We believe constraint and motivation provide the best breeding ground for innovation. This ground is found in the non-profit sector. Tech companies are positioned to both contribute and benefit from it.
We’re excited to embark on this journey. We’ll be leveraging the amazing talent and energy that exists in organizations we’re involved with. Through this website, we will share our efforts, our successes, and all the things we learn along the way.
Keep an eye on this space. There are tons of exciting things coming!