Last week I had the opportunity to conduct a workshop with the 2013 Tech Award laureates. The Tech Awards is an international program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity. Technologies are selected based on their impact in four main categories; environment, education, economic development and health. ”They are the best of the best serving the poorest of the poor,” Father Michael Engh recited at the awards gala.
Spending just a short period of time with these passionate entrepreneurs was a sharp reminder of the power and responsibility all enterprising technologists shoulder.
While most of us will not have the opportunity to pioneer initiatives that win global technology awards or change the world, we each have the ability to make a difference at a global scale by impacting our world around us. Here are three memorable moments from the Tech awards to help you continue impacting your world to make a difference.
1. Contribute to a tipping point.
Wecyclers is a company fueling the grassroots recycling effort to push Africa past its recycling tipping point. They report that “By some estimates only 10% of solid waste in Africa is collected”. It is hard for many of us to imagine such a low recycling adoption rate. Having grown up in the United States during the 1970s, I remember a time when everything went in “one can” or to a big city dump. It was not until the early 1970s when the first recycling mill was built and the first city Woodbury, NJ mandated recycling. An entire 60s generation of young passionate people committed their energy toward creating the environmental movement, but it wasn’t until years later that the cause reached its tipping point. These millions of activists didn’t directly profit from the industry, but each of their individual efforts contributed to the tipping point.
Be aware of the potential long-term horizon of causes and initiative that consume your precious time, but focus your passion on the belief that you can be a contributor to an historic tipping point. Continue reading