How to make people care

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So, the very last Thursday in February saw us host an event called ‘How to make people care’.

I know, that sounds vague and idealistic doesn’t it?

My experience has been that calls for encouraging feelings of ‘giving a shit’ usually result in the exact opposite. During the event though, we learned exactly how to do this.

Well, maybe not exactly - sorry I’m only four paragraphs in and I’ve already lied - but it at least sparked interesting debates on this topic amongst our lovely Tech For Good Live community and guest speakers. They event helped us believe that maybe, just maybe, we can encourage people give a shit. Maybe. Did I say, maybe?

Bess Mayhew, CEO of More United, led us on our first point of exploration for this topic, with an introduction to her brilliant organisation. More United’s aim is to ‘make politics fit the 21st century’, by offering an alternate method of communications for voter engagement. With a political system today of which 91% of people believe to be broken, this is very much needed.

Bess compared this to the 15 million people who signed online petitions last year in the UK alone, a number much larger than attributed to any UK political party membership. As Bess more aptly pointed out, it seems like people do care, yet the mechanism for engaging with this care, is outdated.

This is where More United’s two way communications platform comes in. The platform allows users to contact MPs, or vice versa, about issues that matter to them personally, now. And what’s even better than this, is that the platform is multiparty, cutting across traditional divides that typically muddy policy campaigns. What a winner! They have even gone on to engage with over 160,000 people so far, and have over 50 MPs using the platform. And we love it. Bess, thank you so much for coming to share this with us.

Next up we had Matmi’s CEO, Jeff Coghlan. Jeff is a specialist in gamification and has enjoyed successes with notable charities and NGOs such as Cancer Research and the United Nations. He has also worked alongside famous celebrities like Lilly Allen and the Gorillaz. Yep. We’re jealous too. Let’s all take a moment to get that out of our systems.

Matmi has been in action since 2001 and has evolved into a ‘games for good’ do-er, teaching things from ‘how to brush your teeth’ to ‘how to escape from a fire’. Ideally not at the same time!

Matmi’s most recent project focuses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and aims at getting businesses to rethink their corporate strategy, in terms of sustainability, and the profitability it brings about. That sounds like a win/win to us! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, hop over to the Matmi site to learn more. And Jeff, thank you for giving us such an awesome insight into your work.

As always thanks to all who came, contributed and even those who boo’ed. Just kidding. You guys are definitely no longer welcome. We have a list.

The event was great, and we have one each month. Next up is the wonderful world of the law. Our event on Thursday the 28th March is on Lawtech. It’ll be exactly like the TV show Suits. But not rubbish. Or anything like the TV show Suits. Please come. You can sign up on the Meetup page here.

Sacha Wynne, Tech for Good Live


Jonny Rae-Evans