We got the opportunity to talk about Tech for Good with the folks at Business Live recently, what Tech for Good means to us and why we have decided to make it our focus and wider mission.
Tech for Good is the intentional design, development and use of digital technologies to address social challenges, to improve social, environmental and economic outcomes. A collaboration between those who develop and those who use, a co-design approach, with an end result that’s ethically right-on.
Cassie Robinson from Doteveryone points out: "The field is growing rapidly so it’s important to continually ask ‘What is Tech for Good’? That way we can keep it inclusive and keep connecting it’s people and projects."
Our ethos, approach and wider mission aligns with nonprofits and social enterprises, we are on our way to becoming BCorp certified - check out the article for more details, we will be sharing more details about our BCorp journey soon.
Here is a snapshot of the WalesOnline article:
Tech for good, as you might expect, means using technology to drive positive change in the world.
“The core of what Big Lemon does is building tech with purpose,” said co-founder Kieran Abbott.
“Fundamentally that means we work on projects that make the world a better place in some way. We build life-changing software that enables our clients to make a positive difference to the world.
“We are a purpose-driven team aiming to change lives for the better through technology, and we are proud to be an ethical business changing the world one project at a time.
“Designing and building meaningful digital products that empower others to deliver positive change is at the heart of what we do. Solving challenges with original creativity, innovative co-production methods and intelligent technology, our vision is to make tech a force for good in the world.
“Our approach is collaborative, partnership-focused, and entrepreneurial. That mission, ethos and values are embedded in our business model. The entire team really cares about helping others and we care for each other internally too.”
After delivering a number of projects in the ‘tech for good’ space, the team decided to focus exclusively on this type of work in 2019. A key catalyst for the decision was undoubtedly the appointment of operations director Sam Wheeler as a Director and shareholder.
Initially, Sam joined the team to help out with marketing and share her experiences from working in the tech sector for 15 years.
Passionate about what tech can do for people, the planet and communities, Sam has a long track record of building partnerships, networks and high-performing teams to deliver positive outcomes, both in a commercial and voluntary capacity. She is also a Prince’s Trust delivery partner and a passionate advocate for co-production when designing tech solutions.
Her contribution to the team was so vast that Kieran and Owen quickly moved to make her a Director and a full-time member of the senior team.
On joining the team Sam said: “Everyone is so supportive of one another and there’s an amazing culture here that allows everyone to have a voice and contribute their ideas openly, one that embraces change and progression, champions teamwork and encourages a great work life balance.”
Collaborating closely with the people that will use any new technological solution is known as ‘co-production’, an approach that first came to prominence in the field of public health.
Co-production brings together different forms of lived or living and learned knowledge, understanding, and experience, for better outcomes and mutual benefit. This approach is one that Big Lemon uses for all of its projects, as Sam Wheeler explained:
“It’s really important to us that before we start designing anything, we involve the people who will be using the solution. When it comes to the issues and challenges they face, it’s about recognising that they are bigger experts than we can ever be. By capturing their experiences and input, we can make sure we design solutions that work for them, and that our work is more likely to make a positive difference. By using the co-production process in our work, it ensures we are always inclusive, transparent, valuing diversity and embracing new ideas. It also means that we are continuously reflecting, learning and improving.
“Co-production is still very much in its infancy in the tech world, and we are proud to be a genuine pioneer of this systematic approach to tech design. We have been working closely with the Co-production Collective, a community dedicated to supporting co-production across research, innovation and practice, and are proud to have developed their branding and website. We are now working with them to develop a best practice blueprint to help other companies incorporate co-production methods into their design process. The driving force for us is our unwavering belief in the power of co-production to create better outcomes for users.”
Big Lemon’s clients include University College London, Swansea University, Glasgow University, University of London, NHS trusts across the UK, Amber Energy, Agile Kinetic and miFuture.
Other projects the team have delivered include apps that save clinical care time in the NHS, a speech therapy app to improve children’s language and a digital product designed to nudge the habitual behaviour of rail passengers to impact their personal C02 usage. Big Lemon is also working with care leavers’ community Fabric to develop an operational platform for social care practitioners, and developed Opus by Iungo; a career tech platform that aggregates and connects millions of employability factors to create step-by-step career routes. They have also teamed up with Miller Research to develop a project centred around carbon data, as part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). SBRI brings together government challenges and ideas from business to create innovative new solutions.
Looking to the future, there are lots of exciting plans afoot for Big Lemon. Having joined the Tech for Good UK Organisers Network, the team is also in the process of achieving B Corp accreditation, a growing global movement of businesses striving to be a force for good in the world.
Sam explains: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
“Recognising that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by governments and nonprofits alone, the B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
“This is what gets us out of bed every morning – the idea that our business can and does drive positive change in the world.”
The full article can be found here. Thanks as always for the support folks.