Gadgets for doing good?
by Molly Webb
"With new technological wonders every month, it is easy to get caught up in Apple's newest iPod or Microsoft's new Xbox 360 or the next Motorola RAZR. It is more difficult to remember transformative technologies that do more than provide entertainment--they change lives."If it's possible to do this under Kim Jong Il's nose, what are people doing all the time in less restrictive circumstances to change their governments? One example is patientopinion.org, built by our friends at Headshift, and started by GPs who want to give patients a chance to improve the NHS through their personal stories. And luckly for us in the UK it's possible for government to get involved in the project - at least enough to respond to the results of communication enabled by the tool.
Global ideas bank and mySociety (see past posts on mySociety projects) allow users to identify and contribute to solving everyday problems. But I also think people are using gadgets or web tools without realizing how much they're contributing to social change. I want to find them! Email me (molly.webb at demos.co.uk) if you have other examples - I'm always on the lookout.