The tech industry, unsurprisingly, continues to go absolutely gangbusters. Just a quick scan of the daily news and business blogs with your morning coffee each day would give you an indication that the world is on a perpetual, sustained leap forward in what we can achieve with technology. And startups are taking full advantage and innovating at cracking speed.
So, with those modern resources making it cheaper than ever to get The Next Big Thing off the ground, how many companies are utilizing this to change the world in beautiful, positive ways? There’s a lot… and in celebration of World Day of Social Justice on February 20, we’re going to take a peek at four of our favorites:
Two Australian dudes, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, started with little more than an old van and big hearts. They installed a couple of washing machines and a dryer on board, and with that, became the world’s first free mobile laundromat for the homeless.
Their mission of restoring hygiene and dignity to those who have been dealt a rough hand in life, is one of those truly selfless, valuable goals that seem so rare in society. From its humble beginnings, Orange Sky Laundry now operates in more than twenty locations around Australia with the help of over one thousand volunteers.
The best part? Giving homeless folks a convenient, free place to wash and dry their clothes is just one aspect of their service. While they’re waiting for their clothes to dry, there is an opportunity for them to meet new people, connect with the community and share their stories with volunteers and other users. It’s the removal of that murky layer of societal isolation that makes Orange Sky unique and special.
3. LAMA (Lifelong Archive of Medical Assessment)
This web and mobile platform have pretty much revolutionized the way medical data is collected, stored and analyzed. They’re using blockchain technology to ensure patient data is stored and accessed with unprecedented security, slashing the likelihood of common risks like fraud and unauthorized retrieval.
Why does this matter? This nimble system is perfect for fast, safe collection and analysis, allowing medical practitioners and nonprofits to disperse assistance much quicker to vulnerable areas like war zones and places hit by natural disaster, as well as monitoring epidemics.
When two friends visited Thailand, they stood before an elephant in all its majestic glory. They realized in that moment why they are revered around the world, and left determined to protect these irreplaceable, beautiful creatures in any way they could.
They dreamed up The Elephant Pants - a not-for-profit startup selling pants (perhaps the most comfortable pants known to humanity, just quietly) and other accessories, usually with an elephant motif. One dollar from every product sold is donated directly to organizations fighting poaching and working in conservation for the world’s elephant population.
Since their inception in 2014, the company has donated over $145,000 USD to elephant charities. With an incredible supporter like this in their corner, elephants will rule over us humans for many generations to come.
World-renowned sleep expert, Professor Colin Espie, has dedicated thirty years of his life to sleep research. With one in three people in his native Britain suffering from sleep problems, he decided to do what he could to help.
Sleepio is his digital innovation, and this completely online program has already improved the lives of millions of poor sleepers around the world. In utilizing his knowledge and a team of experts, he is tackling all sorts of flow-on issues that can arise from poor sleep - everything from lost productivity in workplaces, to anxiety and depression.
What social issues get you motivated? Maybe you could put them into action with your own world-changing startup. Check out F4S and unlock your entrepreneurial mindset.