As they invite pitches for their new "Tech To Unite Us" fund, welcome to Social Tech Trust
A great opportunity for all those who are interested in applying technology to empower communities and civil society. The Social Tech Trust - recently renamed from being the Nominet Trust - is inviting parties to apply for investment to their newly announced "Tech to Unite Us" fund. Here's their excellent pitch:
“Tech to Unite Us”... aims to demonstrate how tech can reach its transformative potential when it’s driven by one of the greatest opportunities of our time – equality.
We live in a unique moment in history: tech has made us more connected than ever; yet in other ways we are profoundly divided. We are at a juncture: if things continue as they are, the benefits that tech can deliver will accrue only to some, and the rest of us will be left further behind. That future is unacceptable to almost everyone. But this makes the moment ripe with opportunity to forge a shared future that makes tech work for everyone.
This is a call for radical new approaches that shift the balance of ‘power to people and communities‘ who want to challenge an unequal status quo. Tech is increasingly called upon to drive these shifts . . . but more radical and powerful still, is to look to people and communities to drive tech to unite us.
How can tech unite us? And overcome what divides us? Here are just a few examples:
We’re divided by wealth: not only because 1% of us get 82% of the wealth – but because some of us have the power to create, own and share value that many of us do not. Open Utility is democratising this power, quite literally. Piclo, their peer-2-peer platform has the potential to allow us to trade renewable energy with one another. In hardware innovation, Wevolver is an open source platform that devolves the power of creation, by allowing us to share blueprints for anyone to develop.
We’re divided by where we live: depending on your post-code, your opportunities and outcomes can vary dramatically. For example, having access to quality mental health services in your community. But no matter where you live, you can access Big White Wall to find mental health support and an online community that cares. This is a social network with social purpose built into its core.
We’re even divided by our physical abilities. Society disables people with non-accommodating infrastructure and unsuitable alternatives. OpenUp Music uses imaginative tech to enable any young musician – regardless of physical capability – to create beautiful music with inclusive youth orchestras.
These are just a few of the ways that we can challenge tech to reimagine what is possible – and help us realise a more equal and unified world.
We’re calling on ambitious early-stage ventures who are using tech to unite us. We encourage your interpretation of the theme, so if you’re using tech to increase access, opportunity or quality of outcomes in terms of wealth, health, education, political participation, community engagement or social justice – and you meet the criteria – you should apply!