So, it turns out that Tech for Good Live has been going for around a year and a half. In that time we’ve been busy running monthly podcasts and events quite happily. December 2017 saw some change for us. For legal reasons (and to get a bank account) we set up as a community organisation. Whilst this change is minor, it did force us to think about our aims and purpose in a more formal manner in order to write a fancy manifesto.
A big part of the reason we exist is to act as a catalyst for collaboration in the tech for good sector and to encourage best practice for those already working in it. We try to showcase what does and does not work through examples, and hope that all of this inspires this amazing community.
But if we’re honest, we were also just a bunch of friends working in the sector who happened to enjoy putting on events and creating content - specifically podcasts. So we kind of fell into what we do, and sometimes, that is fine.
The anecdotal feedback we have is that this is a lively community, and we have a great time running it. We’re also regularly hearing about the impact that our meagre efforts - and all of your support - has had.
You see, we all have day jobs so we do all of this in our own time, and I think that the main reason the content is enjoyable, is that we enjoy creating it. We don’t want to mess with that.
So, Tech for Good Live will continue to operate as an events and content entity focusing on best practice, inspiration and community. So after all of that, we've stayed the same. Crucial to an organisation that shines a light on the good, and bad, in the tech for good sector, we’ll be keeping our editorial freedom. Our content will continue to be fun, honest, and thanks to the continuing efforts of Producer Paul, on the right side of being slanderous towards Zoella.
We have more support!
2018 is going to be amazing. I know that’s tempting fate. But I’m confident. We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned, and it’s all possible due to the with continuous support from our long-standing sponsor 34SP. I also want to announce our new sponsor and venue The Federation. They’ll be supporting us, bringing our events and content into their events programme which is funded by Omidyar and supported by The Co-op Foundation. MCR is Live will also be increasing their support of us this year on the podcast and content side of things.
This financial support will help us scale a little more so we’re making a few fun fun changes this year:
Food and drink
Waste is bad. And we’ve been known for the towering piles of leftover pizza after our events, so we’ll be slightly reducing the amount of pizza and beer. This doesn’t mean you’ll have less pizza and beer to consume. Instead it means we’ll have less waste at the end of the night. We’ll be ensuring that we always have vegan options.
We’ll also continue to look for other catering options, ones that are more sustainable and local. We’ve spent a lot of time on this over the last year, but no one can come even close to matching the price we pay for half price pizza and Asda booze. We are still open to options on this (do you have a beer or food company that would like to sponsor us?).
We made a new website, over the next few months we’ll be populating it more with blogs and more content etc - if anyone wants to help us with that, that would be ace.
This year’s topics
In the New Year we mapped out potential topics and content ideas for the year ahead with some of our friends, and we have a rough list below. This is subject to change but we’re already looking for speakers on each of the topics. If you are a speaker on these topics or know of anyone running cool projects on these themes, let us know.
So rough topics include:
If you’ve followed us over the last year and a half, you’ll have heard us bang on about collaboration. It doesn’t happen enough - and we’re keen to make sure we’re not part of the problem. We’re seeing more and more organisations rise up that are dealing with specific sectors within the tech for good space (such as Delib for digital democracy, My Society for citizen tech and Open Data Manchester looking at - you guessed it - open data). Hopefully this year you’ll see us collaborating more and more with organisations like this instead of creating clashing or similar events.
It’s not just our events that are going to be exciting this year - we also have some fun podcast news.
At the moment, every month Producer Paul sets up the podcast rig. Runs the soundcheck.. We record it. Then it’s packed down. That’s not fun. Thanks to MCR is Live and The Federation, we will soon have a permanent set up - allowing the podcast recordings to become a more efficient and better quality. This will enable us to not only produce more varied and interesting types of podcast content, but will also see us move to a weekly episode format. This will mean more guests, and a larger pool of regular presenters. If you think you’d have something to say about the latest in tech for good and can get to manchester in the evening, let us know!
We already have some boss guests lined up for the year, so keep your eyes peeled and all that.
Experimenting with content
Whilst our weekly podcast format won't change much, we do want to play around with other formats so maybe expect to see some podcast specials/ documentary style podcasts and some videos. If we can find time. They may be terrible. Like our podcast pilot episode that no one will ever, ever hear.
Touring the podcast
I don’t know how, but it turns out that our live podcasts are always a success, and a lot of fun! So we’re touring them this year and have been invited to Camp Digital (where we have a whole room to play with for the afternoon!) And UX Copenhagen. We’ll have more to say on this in the next few weeks, but we are pretty excited.
Engaging the community
We talk about community a lot at Tech for Good Live. Yep, we there is a Tech for Good Live team, and even though it’s expanding - we want to make sure that we’re engaging with you all, regularly, and effectively.
A first step to this has been the survey we sent out before Christmas, the conversations we have on twitter, and the lightning talks at the events.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll be trying new ways of engaging with the community, of getting your input into Tech for Good Live. If you have any ideas on how we can do this, please get in touch via Twitter (@techforgoodlive) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks everyone for being a part of this so far. See you at the next event.
Bex and team