My personal goal is to channel the aspirations of the technology community to do more social good. More and more of my time is spent around both raising money and raising awareness of how much more could be done with technology to increase social impact. In this update, I’m delighted to be able to share Benetech’s latest efforts to do both. First, I’ll cover our biggest fundraising effort of the year: individual philanthropy is crucial to us; it’s the portion that makes 10X impact possible! Then I’ll share the latest stories on the impact of our tech volunteerism and human rights tech efforts as well our new tech leadership.
Legislative staffers appreciate hearing from Benetech in our role as a Silicon Valley technology-for-good pioneer. Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to join Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman and VP of Human Rights Enrique Piracés in Washington, DC, for a series of meetings with Congressional staffers to present Benetech’s Human Rights Program and its role supporting the global human rights community. We also briefed members of the press who were interested to learn about our human rights work.
Benetech Human Rights Program and Access Examine Digital Security for LGBTI Activists in the African Region
The African region has seen rising levels of homophobia over the last several months. Amidst the changing climate of restrictive, “anti-gay” laws that have swept the region, local LGBTI activists are facing new types of risks and threats, yet digital security literacy among LGBTI activists in the region remains quite low. That’s why a joint team from our Human Rights Program and from Access organized a workshop and a digital security health clinic focused on improving digital security for LGBTI activists in the African region. In a joint blog post published on the Access blog, they report from the field.
Reporting from Oxford, England, where the Skoll World Forum is underway, a Reuters article quotes CEO Jim Fruchterman’s discussion during a Forum’s session that focused on the promise and peril of big data. “As non-governmental organizations and social enterprises gather data on the communities and people they help,” she cites Jim, “they need to be keenly aware that ‘we should treat other people’s data the way we want our data treated.”
I had the chance to sit down with Ugandan LGBTI activist Richard Lusimbo earlier this month at RightsCon. At the conference, he represented the LGBTI community in Uganda, where he says he feels like a criminal since the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February. I spoke to him about a range of issues, including LGBTI Rights and digital security.