Tech Founders Who Are Incorporating Social Responsibility Into Their Products
The SBA estimates that more than 600,000 businesses are started each year -- and 76 percent of millennials believe that businesses have the ability to make a difference in the world. And yet, many businesses don’t incorporate social responsibility into their products. Some businesses are started with one cause at their forefront, while others have social impact goals that they meet as a byproduct. Regardless, the 2019 Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Biometrics Study reported that 72 percent of Americans say they feel it is more important than ever to purchase in alignment with their values.
The most inspirational founders are those who are forging new innovations to contribute to a social impact. Founders of tech products that improve the lives of others, or society as the whole, forge an ideal for what entrepreneurship can be. While products should, indeed, solve consumer problems, the best products solve problems that affect us as a whole. Here are three tech founders who are incorporating social responsibility into their products.
1. Agnu Milukaite, Cycle.land
Cycle.land is an online bike-sharing platform intended to make use of existing resources rather than producing more. As a global platform for sustainable transportation, people around the world can share bikes for transportation, rather than having to buy their own bike or take cars. They believe that bikes will create a future for sustainable transportation throughout cities globally.
Cycle.land goes beyond this contribution to social responsibility, and also offers a “Humanitarian Bike.” Co-created by Cycle.land founder Agnu Milukaite and Krizia Delgado, Cycle.land users can donate their bikes to raise money for global humanitarian projects. More and more bikes are being donated for just this.
Related: Celebrating Social Responsibility
2. Julian Jewel Jeyaraj, JJAIBOT
JJAIBOT is an artificial intelligence bot that helps users understand the effects of climate change, mental illness, and wildlife preservation. Founder Julian Jewel Jeyaraj built the AI technology for the platform around every human emotion, which includes a robot that understands cognitive behavioral therapy methods to recommend meditation and breathing techniques. It goes beyond helping with mental health and puts its focus on the ways we must take social responsibility for the environment.
Particularly, JJAIBOT is tackling air pollution in New Delhi, India, where air pollution is the worst in the world, leading to devastating respiratory illnesses for people of all ages. The AI bot can also track days when air pollution is at its worst so that residents avoid going outside or breathing in the air.
3. Alexandra Pittman, ImpactMapper
Finally, ImpactMapper is a tool that enables businesses and individuals to better understand the impact of their social actions. Rather than sorting through a mess of data without seeing the bigger picture, this tool allows businesses to get a global map view of who they’ve impacted, and share this information with donors.
This also can help employees, stakeholders, and investors understand the impact of the business they’re working with and investing in. It keeps a socially responsible company accountable on the whole and goes beyond data points to include case studies and stories. The ability to evaluate the outcomes of well-intentioned business choices helps all businesses on their quest to contribute socially.
These founders prove to us that good can be done in many ways -- by helping those who are currently doing good, adding new initiatives under a business’s umbrella to expand good, or to keep evolving tech or AI to do even more good. I hope that you’re as inspired by these companies as I am -- and know there’s plenty more to be done to impact the world. It’s our own social responsibility to support products that forge the way.