Introducing a new Geektime column: Tech that matters
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Man who just went through brain surgery. Photo Credit: Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr

We want to increase the amount of coverage that impactful, meaningful solutions get in tech media

As the tech world covers the latest gadget, selfie app, or business solution, it is easy to feel like technology, and the world at large, is shallow. Why is Snapchat valued at $16 billion, yet despite decades of supposed caring, the world hasn’t found a cure for cancer?

Thankfully, techniques such as immunotherapy are getting us closer to finding a cure for cancer – and at Geektime, we’re going to write more about these kinds of groundbreaking technologies.

In this column, which we’re going to name “Tech that matters,” we want to interview companies, teams, and individuals that are doing just that: creating technology that impacts large amounts of people in profound ways. Whether it’s medical technology, social entrepreneurship in low-income communities, or mass transit systems like the Hyperloop, we want to increase the amount of coverage that impactful, meaningful solutions get in tech media.

We want to hear about powerful solutions to complex, human-centered problems

If you’ve ever cared to read my bio (I’ll forgive you if you haven’t), I was a social worker before I became a journalist. Despite my strengths in working with people and a genuine desire to assist others in helping themselves and their communities, my masters in social work internship advisor aptly explained part of what led me to burn out on the profession: “Things are easier to control than people.”

Indeed, running a tech news site, even though this requires managing a team and working with a lot of people, is still easier than being a social worker.

However, technology often provides bandaid strategies to complicated challenges. Let’s take mental illness as an example. Though many people that have mental illnesses lead happy, productive lives, there are many others that face inordinate challenges in coping with conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I know about this intimately because I have family members and friends who have faced both.

So, for example, if your company expects to get someone who’s refused to take mood regulating medication to do so with the help of an app that notifies that person’s doctor and loved ones, I think you’ve kind of missed the point. As much as an app can help someone who wants to take pills keep up the routine, no app is going to assist someone who refuses medication altogether, even with the assistance of their family and caretakers.

In other words, we want to hear about tech that has a true impact in tackling the world’s hardest challenges. Take Darcy Blake’s inspiring video, where she shows how deep brain stimulation completely relieved tremor symptoms she faced battling Parkinson’s disease (a note of disclosure, Darcy is also my best friend’s mother).

If you know of anyone or any company doing important work that needs to be written about, please have them email me at laura@geektime.com.

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr

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Laura Rosbrow-Telem

About Laura Rosbrow-Telem


I am a social entrepreneurship enthusiast: This is what happens when a former social worker becomes a tech journalist. I mostly write about startups, technology, peace and justice issues, cultural topics, and personal stuff. Before Geektime, I was an editor at the Jerusalem Post and Mic.

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