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Defining social good at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017

As tech barrels through innovations, turning industry after industry upside down in the process, there are some very real human problems that tech examines less often. The immediate potential for social good is huge. For those choosing to examine these issues, there’s no one definition of what social good is, how to achieve it or which benchmarks should be measured along the way.

At TechCrunch Disrupt 2017, we’ll be joined by three companies using tech to address access to water, street crime and homelessness in a roundtable discussion lead by former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty.

The conversation will feature:

  • Tiffani Ashley Bell, the executive director of the Human Utility, a nonprofit that helps low income and elderly people with their monthly water bills. Bell, a Code for America fellow, began her mission to make access to water affordable for everyone in the Detroit-area as a passion project, and since then it’s grown to reach over 1,000 families. The Human Utility went through Y Combinator in 2015 and has since opened its program to Baltimore residents.
  • Andrew Frame, creator of Citizen, formerly known as Vigilante, a controversial app that connects its users to real-time crime reports. The app, which has raised $3 million in seed funding from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Slow Ventures, Kapor Capital and others, was kicked out of the App Store last year for encouraging users to take local crime fighting into their own hands. (What could go wrong?) The new app places a greater emphasis on livestreaming crime, to what end we’re not sure, but expect to hear more about it on stage where Frame will unveil the latest version.
  • Rosanne Haggerty, CEO of Community Solutions, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness. Haggerty has been working on housing access since 1990 when she founded Common Ground Community, a New York area nonprofit that would pursue research-driven solutions to homelessness. Today, her early project offers more than 3,500 supportive housing units in the greater New York City area and has served more than 13,000 people in the community.

How do you found a company that can make a real difference? Can nonprofits keep up with the fast-moving model of traditional tech companies? How can we be sure technology isn’t doing more harm than good?

Well, we don’t have the answers, but join us at Disrupt SF 2017 for the conversation.

Featured Image: Max Morse for TechCrunch

Published at Fri, 25 Aug 2017 14:07:53 +0000