Innovative October in Los Angeles
We started LA Tech4Good with just seven participants in October 2015. Frankly, was kinda painful: a valuable presentation on low-cost, bootstrap videography tips & storytelling that stretched on… there were barely enough people for a discussion. But whoa! From 7 to 75 attendees in 12 months and we are thrilled!
It was a start. Three weeks ago, LAT4G convened an evening on measuring social impact titled “Can We Measure Impact Measurement?”. What one speaker called “a unique and thoughtful dialogue”, it was one of many events affiliated with InnovateLA, a two week, countywide celebration of the breadth of innovation and creativity within our region.
With a focus on social impact and semi-connected to the LA tech scene, I was moved to action by a Mashable article on emerging tech hubs that included LA: Chris Rico, Director of Innovation at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, calls LA, “the creative capital of the planet”… All of this creative talent is now branching out beyond film and television into these industries of convergence, like drone technology, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.”
My twitter response was: Wd love 2 see #LA creative talent stretch its wings more decidedly into #SocialGood & bridge a gap in our ecosystem.
So here we are. The panel and audience were diverse in every way and affiliated with nonprofits, civic orgs, social enterprises, consultancies, tech and impact organizations. One of my personal drivers around Tech4Good is to foster discourse among these often disparate sectors so I’ll admit I was quite pleased. A number of people working around homelessness came out (not something we anticipated), from organizations large and small. Our talented moderator, Michelle Rojas-Soto, framed questions that enabled an animated conversation and our photo/videographer Anne-Marie Williams got us Facebook Live. Cross Campus DTLA, our generous host, invited their community and made everyone feel welcome.
Looking over the range of InnovateLA events around social good, I saw a theme around food issues (food democracy, urban farming, Shared Plates). About the same time, Jonathan Gold was leading a panel titled LA, a Case Study in Innovation at SXSL that highlighted food innovation. I was happy to see Website Weekend reappear this year and LACI/La Kretz Innovation Center is an extremely inspiring, hands-on locale for innovation.
These together comprise the #ILA2016 social good highlights in my mind and Tech4Good and myself were honored to be a part of that. October was a good month for innovation in SoCal!
My hope is that Tech4Good can move the needle on technology as a force for good over evil. We provide a forum for conversations anywhere that technology & social impact meet, create bridges, help raise the level of tech expertise in nonprofits & social enterprises, and find ways for tech to contribute to change.