Changing the world, one code at a time

Technology has enormous power to make genuine changes for the world and is bringing more people together than ever before. The most exciting thing is we’ve only just started to see the impact of this on humanity. There is so much more to come.

We are in an era where everyone with mobile-phone access is able to connect with anyone, anywhere. Technology is proving to be a huge enabler, and as costs of technology decrease, this audience is getting bigger every year.

It’s also a great leveller because to a large degree geography no longer matters. You can collaborate on your idea to change the world with someone you’ve never met on the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world. Just think of the possibilities.

And while traditional language may provide minor barriers, coding has no such issues. It is also blind to age, race and socio-economic barriers.

Coding is now being implemented in school curriculums across Australia and there are many programs out there helping to speed this process up, such as Code Club Australia, a national charity that I chair.

By implementing coding education through easy-to-use software such as Scratch or relatively inexpensive hardware such as Raspberry Pi kits we’re seeing children across Australia accessing and learning digital skills.

We have thousands of heartwarming stories, like the boy who struggled to read but can now sit in a classroom and code as well as any of his peers. Or a student with high-functioning autism who struggled in class because he wasn’t being challenged to his potential, but is now running coding lessons for classmates.

By running coding programs in classrooms across Australia we’re giving these tech opportunities not only to those students who can afford it, but to students of all backgrounds. In fact, 60 per cent of Code Club students are from low socio-economic backgrounds and more than half are girls. We’re witnessing these same levelling capabilities when it comes to bringing communities together across diverse backgrounds.

Hackathons and meet-ups such as TechFugees give entrepreneurs the chance to give back and to use their tech powers for good. Through this movement we bring together newly arrived refugees and the start-up community to co-design solutions that help solve problems refugees face when they move to Australia. The quicker we can help these new Australians integrate, the better it is for everyone.

Of course, when we’re talking about bringing people together it doesn’t necessarily have to be about changing the world on a grand scale. Every little connection and bit of help counts. When it comes to the start-up ecosystem in Australia we’re also seeing connections grow tighter and tighter.

Queensland’s recent Hot Desq program saw international founders get a taste of Brisbane’s start-up ecosystem, conference events such as Creative3 allow regional start-ups to actively compete with their city peers, and spaces such as Fishburners give founders the chance to bounce ideas off one another.

It’s through these sorts of companies and events that we see all walks of life coming together as a community, helping each other by sharing their experiences, and paying their knowledge forward.

Technology has the potential to connect the world and make it a better place. It’s about realising that potential and remembering that if you want to make a difference, you can.

Read more here.

Image courtesy of The Australian Business Review.

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