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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Meet the female entrepreneurs using tech for good

Jude Ower loved playing video games as a child, but she never dreamed that her passion would eventually become a force for good and win her accolades and honours.
After 12 years making games for education and training, she went on to create an international games platform with a social conscience - Playmob.
"After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Zynga, the creator of Farmville, launched a campaign to raise funds for the victims by selling an in-game item, with a percentage of each purchase going to help the victims," she explains.
"It was massively successful and raised over $1m in a matter of days. It was then I thought: 'Maybe I could make a platform that connected games and causes?'"
Playmob pairs games developers or businesses with a charity and then sets up in-game advertising campaigns. By clicking on links within the game, players can make donations.
The campaigns have helped more than 3,000 teenagers receive counselling for cyber-bullying, provided protection for 31 pandas, and secured education for 8,500 children in Africa and Asia, the company says.
"With Playmob we can track the social impact, such as number of trees planted, number of meals provided, water wells built, and so forth," she says.
"This allows players to see that the more they play and interact with the branded content, the more good they do."
So far the games platform has raised more than $1m for charities over the past five years, and more than 1.5 million players have interacted with charitable in-game content.
Her success saw her awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2015 for services to entrepreneurship and she's been voted one of the top 100 Women in Tech in Europe.
Ms Ower is just one of a growing number of entrepreneurs - many of them women - exploring how technology can be harnessed in the cause of philanthropy.
This is tech for social good, or "philtech" as it's sometimes called.
Erin Michelson's high-flying banking career took her to Hong Kong, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, where she rose to vice president and director of philanthropic management at Bank of America.
But despite seemingly having it all, she felt there was something missing.
"I realised that even though I had all the trappings of success, I was terribly unhappy," she says.
"So I quit my job, sold everything I owned, set up a charitable fund, and headed out on a two-year around-the-world trip volunteering with humanitarian organisations."
Taking only one suitcase, she spent 720 days travelling to 62 countries across all seven continents - an adventure that helped her find meaning in her life, she says.
After writing a book about her experiences, she returned to San Francisco and founded Summery, a data analytics company that has developed a piece of online software similar to the Myers-Briggs personality test.
Source By BBC.COM

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