The Social Good Summit is in full effect in New York City this week, stirring up discussions on how technology can initiate positive social change. Yesterday, philanthropist and businesswoman Melinda Gates made a strong case for technology's plight in innovating and improving living conditions around the world. She noted the unsentimental nature of statistics, and that she and husband Bill were moved by child mortality figures in the '90s, but didn't truly understand the magnitude of the tragedy until they saw it in person in India and Thailand on a trip in 2001. Then, it became all too real: "I realized that their hopes and aspirations and dreams aren't that different than ours," Gates said. "They dream about the same thing, but they often don't have the same set of tools or the things aren't in place in their country for them to lift up their lives and realize those dreams."
She connected her experience to the present, suggesting that with the virtual access we enjoy now comes with social responsibility. "...Not everyone will have to take a flight to Africa or India or Thailand," she says. "We can connect people to those stories, and get people to move to action. That's my hope." She mentioned organizations such as charity: water providing real, up-close-and-personal views of how humanitarian aid can help afflicted villages. Within a year, 95% of the global population will have cellphone access and 3 billion people will have Internet access. With that level of immediacy, it's easier and more important than ever to become socially aware — and take action.
Gates seems optimistic that our generation will rise to the occasion. She name checks "...the innovators, people who are young and thinking about how we can take what's being discussed on these global agendas and make that happen on the ground" as the tech-positive pioneers who are going to revolutionize the world, and we wholeheartedly believe that's possible. To check out more of Social Good Summit, visit the Livestream. [Mashable]