i3 - January/February 2018 - 52

Gains in innovation are a boon for the
bottom line and also a harbinger of even
greater social responsibility. CTA's Let's
Go Humans campaign is a rallying cry in
the tech industry asking for developers to
champion technology that has a positive
impact on the world.
Take Christopher, a 13-year-old who
likes to play basketball and piano. When
he was just two months old his mother
learned that her son was visually
impaired, but with the use of eSight electronic glasses, Christopher can now see
his mother's face.
Stories like these have helped the campaign bring attention to technology that's
leveraging solutions to achieve social
good. Companies like Aira, which develops solutions for the visually impaired,
and researchers at Case Western that are
building neuroprosthetics to stimulate
the nervous system, are leading the way.
"Technology touches nearly every part
of our lives," says Justin Spelhaug, general manager of Microsoft Tech for Social
Impact. "It can also be used to tackle the
world's biggest challenges."
Spelhaug and his team are helping to
guide the philanthropic arm of Microsoft
into some of the most influential areas of
development. For example, Microsoft
donated $1 billion in Azure cloud services
to 90,000 nonprofits worldwide.
The success of this venture led the
company's promise to bring services to
more than 300,000 nonprofits globally
in the next two years. Its website helps
people find technologies and services
that can aid them. "Our industry has
a big role to play when it comes to ensuring technology is used for good, reaches
communities in need and is designed in
an inclusive way," says Spelhaug.
At Microsoft, social responsibility is
very much a part of the DNA. The company's work is driven by Microsoft
Philanthropies through programs such
as Hack for Good, which empowers
employees - including developers, engineers and non-technical professionals
- to create custom technology solutions
for the challenges nonprofits face.
Hack for Good has produced inspiring
projects making a real difference,
52

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

TOP:
eSight
electronic
glasses allow
the visually
impared,
such as
13-year-oldChristopher
(below), the
ability to see.
RIGHT:
Medical Teams
International
provides
medical care
to one million
patients a year
using new
technology
solutions via
the cloud.

ranging from big data tools to help researchers find the causes of Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome to 3D-printed limbs for people with disabilities.
Medical Teams International is another great example of how tech is being
used for good. In Uganda, which faces one of the worst refugee crises in the
world, Medical Teams International provides medical care to one million
patients a year using new technology solutions via the cloud.
"Its staff used to rely on paper records," explains Spelhaug. "But since its care
providers generate about 10 million medical records each year, it was nearly
impossible for the nonprofit's healthcare professionals to sort through mountains of paper to quickly find lifesaving trends in the data."
Today, Medical Teams International uses an app built on Azure services
donated by Microsoft Philanthropies, to revolutionize the way it works. "The
app, designed by Cambia Health Solutions, has dramatically increased the
speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment by uploading medical records
to the cloud," says Spelhaug.
As tech developers - from startups to big names - continue to look toward
a digital future dominated by social media and the cloud, philanthropy will
play an even bigger role in the dissemination of both. "We're already seeing how
technology is being harnessed to do social good," says Spelhaug. "If more social
impact leaders had access to technology and the right skills to use it, imagine
how many more solutions would emerge to solve the world's biggest social and
environmental challenges."
The Technology for Social Impact group is also engaging with startups
and incubators to create a pipeline of innovation for nonprofits to help
technology professionals build solutions internationally. "We will help build
the kind of ecosystem that works well for businesses - a community of
providers that will distribute cloud services and deliver support and migration services for nonprofits," he adds.
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

Previous Page: Win McNamee/Getty Images, Inset- Courtesy of SkyTruth. This Page, Clockwise from top right:
Courtesy of Instant Detect, Dennis Wegewijs/Getty Images, Barcroft Media/Getty Images, Courtesy of eSight (2).

TACKLING THE
WORLD'S CHALLENGES



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - January/February 2018

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i3 - January/February 2018 - Cover2
i3 - January/February 2018 - Contents
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