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Book synthesis

#Techforgood: making innovation useful for everyone

Tech for good, Digital Social Innovation (DSI), social tech… There are multiple names used to describe the growing number of entrepreneurs putting digital technologies at the service of public interest. Who are they? What do they do and how do they do it? How do they walk the line between public interest and private profit, between real impact and marketing talk? And how might they inspire you?

Who are the “Tech for good” entrepreneurs?

Broad generalizations can be risky, but in the realm of social tech, two fairly neat profi les emerge. The fi rst is made up of millennials – sometimes very young — who want to start their own ventures and actively contribute to building a better world. In France, Opinion Way’s 2018 poll of social entrepreneurship revealed that more than half of the people in the 18-24 age range (51%) wish to work in the digital social innovation sector. Many of the entrepreneurs featured in Emilie Videaud’s book fall into this category. Take Raodath Aminou, founder of the platform antigaspiOptimiam or Jean-Charles Samuellan, creator of Alan, a 100% digital mutual fund which “strives to make being healthy, easy” or the three founders of the online training platform, Kokoroe.

The second profile is composed of more experienced entrepreneurs and executives, who seek a new sense of meaning and usefulness in their work. The well-known among them include Xavier Niel, the head of Free, and Ludovic Le Moan, CEO of connected objects industry giant, Sigfox. There are also lesser known fi gures, like Pascal Lorne, serial entrepreneur and creator of the platform GoJob which connects companies with candidates. Some of these people come from privileged backgrounds, while others—Ludovic Le Moan, for example—are the children of blue collar workers. Most have pursued brilliant studies but each of them points to an epiphany—triggered by an inspiring book, a painful event, an unjust situation—which pushed them into action. This eureka moment is what Emilie Videaud calls “the Social Calling”.

What are their projects, and what purpose do they serve?


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Caroline Schuurman
Published by Caroline Schuurman