Using Technology To Make Social Impact

Photo Credit: Accountability Lab

Seyi Adebote, Abuja, Nigeria

On January 2nd when Accountability Lab called for applications from young people to be a part of the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge, I was quick to share with members of the Nigeria Youths SDGs Network and other young people within my network. Five weeks after, on the recommendation Joshua Alade, I was in one of the conference halls of Community Park standing in front of about 20 amazing young people training them on how they could Use Technology for Social Impact.

From GoFundMe to KickStarter, Couserea to edX, LifeBank to PiggyBank, SustyVibes to PickThatTrash, BudgIt to FollowTheMoney, Podcast to Vlogs, Hashtags to Infographics, Vengage to Canva, Media for Community Change to Andela, I touched on series of innovative ways young people are leveraging technology for social impact and stronger institutions. A greater part of my conversation with the participants was devoted to listening to each of the participant’s idea, the challenge they were out to solve and how best to infuse technology. The thorough understanding of their individual projects and how seamlessly they presented it amazed me.

One thing that formed the core of my presentation is the truth that the power of the technology (especially through the new media) is hard to dismiss. What once seemed like a trivial way to keep in touch with friends, sharing photos and jokes, has become a force for societal change and a platform to promote innovative ideas. Technology now helps more people shine the light on subjects previously unknown, deepen conversations and empower citizens of the world to unite, bring about social impact and effect change in a number of ways.

Lavishly, albeit sincerely, I express my respect to the organizers – Accountability Lab and the Canada High Commission, Abuja for the very commendable efforts of bringing together young innovative minds and opening them to how better drive the Sustainable Development Goal through this Innovation Challenge.

Well, my fingers are crossed already; in the months ahead, I look forward to seeing how these set of champs will use media – traditional and social, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile applications and local people-driven systems to drive social innovations, build skills, strengthen accountability, rule of law and access to justice.

As I sat in between John Crysler of Canada High Commission and Hauwa Kazeem of MacAurther Foundation to rate the participants during their final pitch, I was convinced that indeed, the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge truly achieved the aim set before it. I no doubt that these creative solutions in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institution are the next big thing to redefine social impact. Worthy of note, apart from the SDGs16 Innovation Challenge, Accountability Lab’s year-long program – Accountability Incubator is another unique way Mr. Friday Odeh and his team are accelerating ideas into action by grooming young civil society leaders to build sustainable, effective tools for accountability, participation and social impact in their societies.