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What is Tech For Good?

June 2023

Ever wondered what exactly Tech for Good is? You’re not the only one, so we’re here to break it down for you.

Tech for Good (also known as Tech4Good) is a term that originated around the 1990’s to describe the leveraging of technology for the specific and sole purpose of social, environmental and economic good. That might still sound like a lot of complicated words; to put it more simply, it’s a movement for good.

With the advent of smartphones in the 2000s, more affordable handsets and widely accessible internet connection, we began as a society to believe that technology could have a real impact socially, economically, politically and ecologically.

In order for something to fall into the Tech for Good category, it needs to tick certain boxes in regards to its core elements:

  • It is accessible to everyone, especially communities that are excluded from the tech conversation through social and economic inequalities (creating something called the digital divide). This takes into account factors such as disability, geographical location, connectivity, race, gender and more.

  • That it prioritises people over profit; most tech will prioritise market solution, profit and tech for tech’s sake. Tech for Good is people centred, where the focus and end goal is always the human impact and end person.

  • That it is net positive; tech that is furthering progress and equality. We may think that technology automatically equals progress, but often the opposite is true. Tech advances can often end up creating deeper divides and inequality, even with the best of intentions; think online data and privacy breaches, scams that target the vulnerable etc…

So why does Tech for Good matter?

In a world becoming increasingly divided, especially post pandemic, tech has the potential to both bring us together and drive us further apart; the potential to solve problems and also to create them.

Even though most people use technology on a daily basis and see first hand how it can improve their lives, they also associate the word technology with issues such as privacy breaches, social media addiction and concerns about artificial intelligence, to name a few.

And whilst most technology is created with the intention of solving a human related problem, be it connectivity, global warming or a financial crisis… its priorities often veer off course as money becomes involved and shareholders start to focus more on the market value and solutions vs. the original intent.

The aim of Tech for Good is to resolve these issues and push a net positive agenda that guides technological advances in the right direction.

The public perception is that businesses have a social and environmental responsibility to do good. In a recent survey, B Lab UK and Regenerate found that “76% of the UK public believe that businesses should have a legal responsibility to the planet and people, alongside maximising profits”.

There has never been a more important time for the Tech for Good movement as businesses seek new ways to improve their footprint both physically and digitally and to be a force for good.

Tech for Good case studies

So what are some examples of Tech for Good in the real world?

There are the more obvious examples like satellite technology used to provide important data feeds for GPS trackers (finding the most efficient routes for planes and cars to save both fuel and time) and climate technology like electric vehicles.

There are also smaller scale examples such as the use of IoT devices like smart energy readers that, along with advances in 5G, AI and blockchain, have even greater potential to make our lives more sustainable and net positive.

We might consider the digital universe as the sole home of Tech for Good, but Tech for Good at it’s core bridges the digital and physical worlds to create solutions that always come back to the end person; whether it be an object that is connected to the digital sphere or an app that someone accesses via their phone.

The Yellow Sticker Cookbook is a perfect example of an app that falls into the Tech for Good category. Developed by Uncommon Creative Studio in 2023 in response to the overwhelming issue of food poverty in the UK, the app is an AI-powered tool that creates recipes from ingredients found in the reduced aisles of supermarkets, both decreasing food waste and helping people save money during the cost of living crisis.

Goodbox, a Manchester based start-up founded in 2016, is another great example of Tech for Good. They created Goodbox after noticing how much charities were struggling to fundraise in an increasingly cashless society. By developing and implementing their contactless technology, they have helped raise over 25 million pounds for their charity partners, with 8,650 devices already distributed throughout the UK and Ireland.

So why is Tech for Good important to us at Lighthouse?

As a B Corp certified company, we are conscious of our impact and believe that it’s our responsibility to use our business as a force for good. B Corp governance requires us to demonstrate, with complete transparency, a high level of social and environmental performance and we make sure that all of our business practices circle back to this commitment.

This includes the kinds of technology that we are creating and the projects and clients we are creating them for. For example, the B Corp certification process has a clear ethical and environmental framework for AI development and use. We also use smart tools that help us manage and reduce our digital storage footprint and data energy consumption on a regular basis.

We also make sure that, wherever possible, we are developing and creating technology that helps companies put positive social and environmental messages out into the world. In 2022 we partnered with Nobody’s Cafe and Netflix for their award winning event “Diversity Isn’t a Fantasy”. We created a custom Message Booth experience that helped support and elevate their discussions around diversity and representation in the TV and Film industries, where guests were invited to create their own personalised video content answering the question “Which TV show or Film do you feel most represented in?”


When we expand our view of how technology can impact the world around us both individually and as a collective, it becomes easier to see all the ways in which Tech for Good can and already is making a difference.

We believe that tech can be a force for good, and as a tech company we understand the important role we have to play in making that happen. We know that with the right priorities, we really can make a difference.


Cover Image: Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Image 2: Lighthouse B2B project discussing allyship, 2022

Image 3: Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Image 4: Lighthouse activation for Nobody’s Cafe and Netflix “Diversity Isn’t a Fantasy” event in London, 2022

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