As philanthropy and civil society players, we are all trying to understand how we can improve our society and planet, and we should care greatly about technological developments that are affecting our ability to make positive changes. Technology is revolutionising economies, human relationships, politics, cultures, agricultures, and absolutely every single aspect of life. Yet, we’ve seen little engagement by our field in trying to understand the current and future impacts of this revolution, on our own areas of work, and on broader society. We have also been slow at looking for ways to leverage the power of new technology to accelerate change at scale.

Only a tiny portion of philanthropic organisations and donors have strongly equipped themselves with technology to improve their operations, security and privacy. And only a few have invested to support their partners and grantees having the infrastructure – including simple things such as access to the internet – and the knowledge they need to increase their impact and navigate threats. In the meantime, social movements are embracing technologies and social media, and most foundations are still trying to understand how to support them and harness this energy into lasting change.

New tech issues can and should become a central tenet of all changemakers’ approaches. They should invest to understand how technology will disrupt their area of work and offer opportunities for impact; they should invest in their own infrastructure and that of their partners; and maybe even more importantly, they should invest to help citizens have a voice in the way digital societies are being shaped locally and globally.

But before we can focus solely on tech4good, philanthropy must make sure we put human rights at the centre of tech developments and enable citizens to be involved in developing the digital societies and economies they want.

Read the full article about philanthropy and tech by Benjamin Bellegy at Alliance Magazine.