What's Good in Tech Issue 10, Tech For Good News Monthly

February 6, 2019 | What's Good in Tech

What’s Good in Tech, Issue 10

February already? January went by in a flash thanks to the storm of tech for good news. (Seriously. We had to cut an absurd amount of great articles.) So what made the cut this month? Planned Parenthood’s foray into the tech nonprofit sector, a tech tool to report sexual assault in the workplace, and the hundreds of millions of philanthropic dollars committed during the month of January. 

tech for good news
Photo credit: One Degree

We must use innovation to ramp up our social safety net

In SF Chronicle, Rey Faustino, Founder of One Degree, argues that as automation steamrolls jobs, tech innovation must be used to bolster social services for displaced workers. We agree, Rey, we agree.

This woman will make you cry laughing with her beauty and cybersecurity tutorial

Want to learn about contouring your cheekbones and crafting a cyber secure passphrase? Same. Thanks to a grant from Mozilla, a Youtuber launched a series of hilarious beauty product reviews, er I mean… cybersecurity tips… just watch it.

Upsolve is automating bankruptcy for those who need it most

Upsolve, “The TurboTax for bankruptcy,” is making the road financial rehabilitation easier for low-income people. In TechCrunch, the tech nonprofit announces they’ve processed $16 million in bankruptcies.

Google is up to some GOOD!

Inspired by a successful partnership with tech nonprofit Thorn, Google plans to donate 50,000 hours of pro-bono tech to charities. On top of that, Google.org’s Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink spoke to PC Mag about how Google is using data science to aid crisis response. And if that wasn’t enough, Google.org just announced that they’re donating $2 Million to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Okta is giving half a million dollars to fight homelessness

This week Okta made a $500,000 commitment to Tipping Point, the organization focused on fighting poverty in the Bay Area. Okta’s support goes beyond funding. The company plans to hire SF high schoolers as summer interns, expand employee volunteering, and offer office space to nonprofits.

tech for good news
Photo credit: Okta

Mayor London Breed, Airbnb, Twilio announce $2.7 million commitment to address youth homelessness

The goal? Reduce youth homelessness by 50% by 2022. Twilio specifically has dedicated over $1 million towards eradicating homelessness, and Twilio.org is partnering with Fast Forward as part of its initiative to support tech-based solutions.

The data that can save lives in rural Kenya

In rural Kenya, tech is changing how healthcare is delivered. BBC’s series The Disruptors covers how 25,000 health care workers in 16 countries are using the Medic Mobile app to increase access to health tools and data in hard-to-access places.  

Planned Parenthood develops chatbot to reach more teens

Tech nonprofit on the rise? Planned Parenthood announces a new tech app, Roo, an AI-powered chatbot bringing sexual health education to teens.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has a $500 million plan to ease the Bay Area housing crisis

It’s no secret that affordable housing is an enormous issue in the Bay Area. To help, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Ford Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation have big plans, like stabilizing housing for 175,000 families in the next five years.

Delivery innovation spreads vaccines’ benefits

6 degrees can be the difference between a vaccine that works, and a vaccine that’s ineffective. Enter Nexleaf Analytics, the tech nonprofit making sure that vaccines are kept at safe temperatures. Financial Times explains why starting at the supply chain matters.

tech for good news
Photo credit: Associated Press

An online tool to catch workplace sexual predators

Callisto Expansion seeks to do to the workplace what Callisto Campus did for colleges across the US. The Wall Street Journal highlights Callisto Expansion, which enables victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace to create secure, time-stamped reports about their experience.

Co-Impact announces first funding round: $80 million for health, education, economic opportunity

A new type of philanthropy is emerging thanks to a collaboration between Skoll Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates, The Rockefeller Foundation, and others. Aimed at systems change, Co-Impact seeks to change the trajectory of five critical, global organizations.


Brandon Anderson, Founder of Raheem, receives a coveted spot as a Ted Fellow. Tarjimly, Peerlift, and Latinas in Engineering win the Westly prize. DRK announces that Gavin McCormick, Founder of WattTime, is their newest Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur. Ronnie Washington, Founder of Onward, wins a spot in Financial Solutions Lab. 

Have some tech for good news for What’s Good in Tech? Send it to press@ffwd.org.