Week 2 – The Global Movement of Tech for Social Good

Two weeks in and the biggest surprise to date is how much these meetings affect my mood. Even on mornings when I get up on the wrong side of the bed, I’m right as rain by the time my daily Extrovirtual meeting is over, because they’re always so inspiring. This week’s meetings were all over the map, both literally and figuratively – my Extrovirtuals joined me from Austria, Venezuela, the US, and Canada. We discussed founder journeys, the influence of art in our relationships with technology and one another, the correlation between music and programming, and more, but a common thread emerged: all meetings this week had a core element of social good. I met with four innovators who are driven to improve the world through technology.

sage-franch-extrovirtual-trendy-techie-crew-collective-cafe-montreal-coworking-2019
Side note, how beautiful is Crescendo’s new workspace! It’s a coworking collective in a historic bank. 😍😍😍

One such innovator is Nathalie Hazan. She’s the founder of Raison d’art, a non-profit organization that creates interactive art experiences to support collaboration, education and culture. The phrase, “raison d’art,” literally means the “reason of art”, a play on the French “raison d’être” which translates to “the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence.” One just needs to look at last year’s Artupfest event to see their ethos in action: put on by Raison d’art as part of the famous Startupfest, this event brought together 101 young artists and creators to imagine a union of art and tech that could positively change our world. Raison d’art is currently hiring for an administrative assistant in Montreal – see the full job posting here.

Richenda Herzig (who woke up early to make my 8:30am Eastern slot work, despite it being 5:30am for her in BC) is another example of this ethos, embodied. After many years leading projects at the intersection of tech and altruism, Richenda is now seeking new opportunities in user research. I asked her to share a bit about her search so I could post it here: “I recently finished a PhD in digital sociology, and I’m on the lookout for user research opportunities. I can work in Vancouver or remotely, and I’m open to part-time or full-time positions. I have designed a product for a non-profit, based on research, and it was thrilling to apply my skills in a creative and constructive environment. I’m very keen on opportunities to grow and develop further.” Please reach out to Richenda directly if you’d like to work with her!

THE BIG NEW THING IN MY BRAIN THIS WEEK:

Effective Altruism is a term that I first heard this week – from not one, not two, but THREE separate sources in a span of a few days (ever-teetering on the edge of spirituality, I choose to take this as equal parts coincidence and sign from the universe). It’s the practice of crafting your altruistic intentions in a way that focuses your efforts on the most effective and impactful solutions to the problem at hand. It’s a whole movement, and I’m grateful to Fauna, Richenda, and John for introducing me to it this week. Learn more at effectivealtruism.org.

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