CompTIAWorld, Issue 6, Fall 2019

by Scott Campbell and Louisa Fitzgerald T here’s a global crusade underway—a wave of initiatives that aim to reduce or eliminate poverty, hunger, inequality, environmental degradation and much more—and the tech industry is right at the heart of it. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly outlined 17 sustainable development goals designed to transform the world over the next 15 years. The goals range from tackling social and economic issues to solving climate change and building sustainable cities. While governments, schools and other organizations increasingly embrace these goals, the tech community has also accepted the call to action, inspiring innovators who see technology as the key to solving society’s biggest problems. The movement, known as Tech for Good, has become somewhat of a cause célèbre, garnering worldwide attention for its potential to create positive change and drive progress. Robert Forget, chief technology officer at Aware360 and CompTIA Smart Cities Advisory Council member, says the Tech for Good movement is about focusing on goals larger than ROI-driven business outcomes. Moreover, the business goals and the social outcomes often dovetail. “Tech for Good is really about leveraging technology in ways that improves lives. It’s not something that needs to be separate from productivity and efficiency increases, we're just focusing more on the person,” said Forget. Sensing the trend and looking to seize momentum around Tech for Good, startups as well as technology behemoths like SAP, IBM and Google, among others, are coming to the table with resources to support innovation. Tech for Good Can Emerging Technologies Help Build a Brighter Future?

Driving the movement’s lofty goals are emerging and existing technologies that generate innovative new use cases almost daily. From blockchain to the internet of things, data science and AI, innovators are creating technology that solves problems and benefits society in ways that even a decade ago seemed impossible. According to Forget, the availability of technology not only makes it more realistic for people to benefit from the Tech for Good movement, but also less expensive for companies to provide new and farther- reaching services. “Tech companies now have the ability to provide more services to everyone as opposed to a very fixed niche product,” said Forget. “The view is shifting from solving one problem for one company to a wider technology use case that can be used to drive social good.” Blockchain for Good Most known for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain offers almost limitless potential for how it can be used, according to Jim Gitney, CEO of Group50, a California-based solution provider and co-chair of CompTIA’s Blockchain Advisory Council. For example, blockchain can be used for everything from eliminating counterfeit goods to ensuring the quality of food. “At the end of the day, our raison d'être is to leverage technology to improve business performance. However, there absolutely is a component around making the world a better place,”


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

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