Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Tech Awards - Technology Benefiting Humanity

A Guest Beneblog by Teresa Throckmorton, Benetech's CFO

Walking into the Santa Clara Convention Center last night looked very much like so many other black tie events – but that’s where the similarity ended.

I just attended the 2010 Tech Awards Gala Event. Awards were presented in five areas: Environment, Economic Development, Education, Equality and Health. Inside there were 20 stations set up with this year’s laureates. Talking with each of these passionate and amazing individuals was fascinating. It was hard to stop talking to one – so I could move on to the next. The impacts these people and their organizations make are being felt world-wide. Using technology as a base for knowing change is possible, change is happening.

What did I learn last night? I learned that in some parts of India everyone has a cell phone but few have indoor plumbing or access to clean water – change is happening. I learned it’s now possible to give immunizations and antibiotics with a needle-free injection system; to capture a blood smear on a small device, called a CellScope, send the image over a cell phone and get a diagnosis; to generate clean electricity for lights and gas for cooking from rice husks and that it is possible to change the world.

I entered thinking Benetech was a lone voice for social change using technology. I left proud to be a part of this growing family of voices dedicated to making change.

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