Garth Moore, ONE’s US Digital Director, shares his experience at SXSW, from celebrity sightings to an effective fusion of technology and development.
Imagine an all-day event where great minds and organizations come together for a rapid-fire discussion of how technology and social good can work together.
A geek’s dream played out at Sunday’s GoodXGlobal event (pronounced “Good By Global”) during SXSW Interactive last weekend. The daylong series of speakers existed outside the hyped-up SXSW microcosm and brought some true innovation and discussions of social good and philanthropy to the weekend.
The event, produced by superstar African-based technologists Ushahidi and the iHub, along with World Food Program USA and the UN Foundation (ONE was also a co-sponsor), presented experts from around the globe to discuss how technologies, social movements, and data are coming together to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges.
“Gains not Glitter”, one of the many discussions on the marriage of technology and development. Photo credit: Geoff Duncan.
Some highlights from ONE:
-Ushahidi’s Angela Odour giving a great overview of the iHub, covering the Kenyan elections, and AkiraChix, an African Women and Technology project focused on technology and training.
-GOOD introduced their new Global Citizenship project platform about global heath and development.
-Representative Darrell Issa, R-Calif.-49, discussed the #OpenGov movement to access data and the Open Government Foundation.
-Larry Irving from Mobile Alliance for Global Good discussed how mobile creates change and what more needs to happen (fact: Women in the developing world are 27% less likely to have a mobile device.)
- Susan Oguya presented on mFarm and using mobile to support small scale farmers in Africa
-Water for the People and Effective UI showed how smart and beautiful data can be used in reporting outcomes and inform donors and agencies
-Actors Ian Somerhalder and Sophia Bush joined RYOT founder Bryn Mooser to discuss Millennials and how they can affect social change.
Actors Ian Somerhalder and Sophia Bush joined RYOT founder Bryn Mooser. Photo credit: Geoff Duncan
ONE’s Jeff Davidoff also spoke about ONE and how our current You Choose campaign in Africa is bringing the voices of the world’s poorest to the table in planning the next global plan to end poverty. So far, the campaign has brought in more than 143,00 repsonses to the campaign. Jeff made the very valid point that to use technology effectively across all parts of Africa, the You Choose program looked at the 2G phone as the tool to effect change on the continent. Conversely, the cost of SMS on the African continent is five to ten times more expensive than in the US or Europe.
Jeff Davidoff discussed technology as an asset to the African continent. Photo credit: Geoff Duncan.
GoodxGlobal gave a voice to technology and social good that unfortunately wasn’t otherwise a big part of SXSW this year. It is meet-ups and events like this that allow a host of great organizations to display their technologies and meet or inspire others to use technology for charting issues, creating change, and reporting progress. For a full schedule of speakers and to watch a replay of the day via LiveStream, visit GoodXGlobal’s website. Or search for the hashtag #GXG on Twitter to see the thousands of tweets that followed the action.