SOGA – Social good for tech, tech for social good!

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The non-profit association Social Good Accelerator (SOGA) tries to foster the use of technologies for social purposes as well as the role of social goods in technology.

In history, technical inventions were repeatedly transformed into marketable products and became economically beneficial for many firms: The invention of the car brought high profits to firms like Benz or Ford; the invention of the smartphone to firms like Apple or Samsung. The role of technology is often reduced to this economic aspect. However, in a societal perspective, major technical inventions always also had a major impact on the way people live. This widens the area of application: Technical inventions are relevant for the whole of society and may not only be beneficial for companies, but also for other organisations with a non-economic orientation.

SOGA ties to this and applies a dual approach by integrating technology to social purposes and the other way around. Within this approach, they aim to strengthen the connection between social purposes and technology and to bring together Tech and Social Good actors for fruitful collaborations. Furthermore, they also want to support the concept of Social Innovation which in their view still lacks consideration "by public authorities, companies and inventors" compared to the concept of technical innovation.

SOGA has started several actions to reach its targets, for example the Social Innovation Village, a large annual tech conference, where interesting projects are showcased. They also carry out a European Study to specify the current relationship between social good and tech actors and subsequently give recommendations how to support the relationship between the actors in the future. The results as well as a white book will be published in 2019 – keep an eye on the website.

For "outsiders", there are three possibilities to participate in SOGA:

  • Firstly – and most importantly- you can become member of SOGA and join their community! By doing so, you are automatically invented to various SOGA events (workshops, masterclasses, monthly meetings of the community), get discount on other events and join specific working groups (Digital tools, Events) of the community.
  • Secondly, you can support the scientific claim of SOGA by filling out their current survey. The participation lasts about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • And thirdly, you can sign the manifesto of SOGA called "A European Pledge for the Cooperation between Technological and Social Innovation"

Stakeholder in charge: TU Dortmund

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