Doing Good Through Technology

In the world of technology, we often hear buzzwords like “disruption,” “innovation,” and “transformation.” But what about “doing good”? That was the focus of an episode of the podcast Status Go, titled Doing Good Through Tech.

Host Jeff Ton, InterVision’s Strategic IT Advisor, was joined by Six Feet Up co-founder Calvin Hendryx-Parker to discuss how technology can be used for the greater good. They addressed topics like building a community, defining “impactful” projects, and utilizing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to achieve results.

 

Building a Community

Calvin spoke about his goal of building a community around open-source technology. He shared his experience when he moved to Indiana and struggled to find a community focusing purely on open-source technology and how limited the technology landscape was in that region. “The area was heavily focused on Microsoft and off-the-shelf software,” Calvin said, adding that he started the Indianapolis Python User Group, “Indy Pi” in 2007 to bring together like-minded individuals in the Python community.

The group has grown to more than 2,000 members and hosts monthly speakers. Further, they organize the annual Python Web Conference, which has gathered participants from all over the globe.

Calvin’s drive to build a community highlights the importance of networking and bonding with like-minded individuals toward a common goal. It shows that technology leaders need to facilitate inclusive and welcoming communities of different people’s skills and lifestyles.

Defining “Impactful” Work

Six Feet Up’s core values require them to evaluate their projects based on their alignment with the “Six Feet Up Impactful” criteria. The acronym IMPACTFUL stands for Impressive, Moving, Purposeful, Advanced, Collaborative Effort, Transformative Impact, Future Focus, Unconditionally Benefitting Humankind, and Lasting Legacy. To be considered impactful, a project must reach a certain minimum threshold score on a scale of 1 to 5 for each criterion.

During the podcast, Calvin shared real examples of impactful work, including helping to predict the trajectory of wildfires and saving firefighters’ lives, redesigning the user interface for data coming back from the New Horizons probe, and using leading-edge technologies. These examples demonstrate how impactful work positively affects the environment and society, giving a sense of purpose to our work and making us feel more fulfilled while also affecting the bottom line financially.

It’s important for technology leaders to evaluate their projects not only on their business potential but also on the positive impact they create in our society. Establishing criteria like IMPACTFUL can help focus our efforts, ensuring we use technology for good.

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

In 2017, Six Feet Up adopted the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) – a framework for common practices in goal setting, meetings, and defining company targets. The company uses a quarterly “rocks” system to move the company toward measurable goals. One of the long-term company goals is to complete ten impactful projects, which aligns with its mission of utilizing technology to make the world a better place.

The incorporation of EOS is a classic example of aligning the company’s broader goals according to a predetermined pathway to success. This strategy helps evaluate the progress of ongoing projects, establishes accountability, and ensures everyone contributes to the company’s vision.

The application of technology can have a powerful impact on society, from helping non-profits with their technology requirements to saving people’s lives through predictive models. Moreover, it can also become a source of purpose and fulfillment since it helps us contribute to society positively.

Creating a community of like-minded individuals, defining “impactful” work, and using frameworks like EOS provide technology leaders with ways to magnify technology’s impact on the world. Ultimately, we must reshape how we perceive technology, going beyond short-term financial returns and manifesting a business that can meet its client’s needs, help create an impact, and deliver sustainable success. Learn more about InterVision today.

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