Closed Caption Transcript:
We live in a digital world sometimes I love it, the connections, the fun, the functionality, the discovery and infinite knowledge at my fingertips. It wasn't always like that when I was growing up. But other times I'm frustrated, upset, jaded, mistrusting and fearful. And quite frankly, I'm disappointed. Feel like we can do better. Just over five years ago, halfway through my tenure at CauseLabs and just after a rebrand, I recorded a conversation that I had with my team. We were describing what we do at our agency. At one point, we were striking through words on the board and I said, "I don't like the word reach." It's not enough to reach people with technology, to have them download the app. If we want to end poverty, if we want to make a difference in the world, we have to make an impact on their lives and that's more than just reaching them. Over the past 10 years, CauseLabs has achieved many milestones. We have certifications and awards and over 100 client projects with well-known global organizations. It's been an incredible journey. In 2015, not long before this conversation that I had with my team about the words we would use to describe our work, we had exceeded our goal of reaching over 250 million people through our web and mobile apps. Two hundred and fifty million. That's no small feat. It was definitely something to celebrate and something we were excited about. But yet, notice I used the word reach. What matters to me is how we align with our mission. That tells a different story that numbers alone can't quite capture. It goes beyond reach. Beyond mere statistics. It's beyond downloading the app. When I talk about the impact of technology, it's easier to lead with large, big aggregate numbers. To be quantitative, especially as they grow year after year. They're impressive. Those numbers alone usually have a wow factor. People get excited about them. But the impact of our technology, the impact of your technology is individual. It's personal and it's never about the tech. It's about the human story that evolves around it. For me, it was watching elders excited to pass on their native language to the younger children. Watching a girl find her voice for storytelling. Through an app that we created in a Lab Day. And we've been able to serve an entire state with child care resources recently. Really understanding that providers, parents and state agencies all have different needs and goals. We've watched a community form around solving global challenges. More than one, in fact. We've worked with so many amazing communities around the world. And through that, we've uncovered our own experiences with poverty, and that's been amazing unto itself. We see teachers spend more time with their students because we've automated planning and grouping and delivering their curriculum digitally. We've seen toilets and hand washing stations installed in rural provinces. I love hearing testimonials from students who were accepted into college, perhaps being the first generation in their family. And. The impact of our technology is knowing that we've saved teams countless hours and provided accurate data for important real time decisions and knowing that our clients can continue delivering their programs in the midst of this pandemic. The impact of technology... is immeasurable at times. It's rooted in empathy and strategies that build upon how our people actually use the tools. We are constantly growing and learning. We as people, as communities and the ecosystem that surrounds us are constantly evolving with the programs and technologies available to us. The impact of your program, of your business. The impact of your technology is multifaceted. It's what you build, who you build it for, how you build it, and potentially how environmentally or economically or socially sustainable that program is. It's also who you choose to build it with. Every time you invest your dollars into building or using a new technology, you are investing into a company. And that company is investing potentially into your community. How are they reinvesting your dollars? Is it creating the type of products or jobs or social and environmental impact that you want? Does it align with your values? Do they take responsibility for their impact on the world? Technology holds so many life changing benefits. It's an accelerator. It's a disrupter. It can delight or it can cause despair. It can offer access and create equity, or it can perpetuate disconnection and disparities. We have a responsibility to know the impact of our technology. We have the ability to use the Web to create positive impact. The web that I want to build is the web that builds the change we want to see in the world.