Software for social impact

Michael Linares
2 min readJan 7, 2021

This is a web log about how ~tech can change the world~. I’m not talking about ads. I’m talking about the growing movement of tech nonprofits — organizations that seek to improve society, rather than raise profits, with novel technologies.

It’s a fascinating and diverse space. There are orgs that provide direct services (Trevor Project), mobilize digital communities (Swing Left), democratize knowledge (Wikimedia), expand journalism (The Markup), operate sustainable marketplaces (Etsy), and even modernize gov infrastructure (Code for America).

Tech has a bad rap right now. Rightly so. But there’s a lot of goodness out there, too. I’m more interested in that — in how tech nonprofits are doing better, and setting new standards, and creating innovations for social impact. I know that sounds jargon-y, but I mean it.

Jury’s out

Here are a few topics I’m interested in:

  • Product inclusion and accessibility, and other ways companies build more inclusive UX
  • Machine learning and bias, and how companies address the inherent bias in every dataset
  • Digital communities and how they’re mobilized
  • Data science and how it can be applied in a way that respect user privacy
  • Ethical tech stacks and what that means for different orgs
  • And lessons from Big Tech that can help tech nonprofits help more people more efficiently

At least that’s what’s on my mind right now. We’ll see how it all pans out. XML