Recognising ‘Tech for Good’ in All its Forms

Sam Chapman - December 17th, 2019

car passenger looking at their phone to help them understand good driving

As technology continues to make significant advancements, the choices we make regarding how to apply them can greatly influence and shape our world – now and in the future. As a result, the focus on ‘Tech For Good’ has grown allowing the good that technology can do, when used properly, to be showcased and highlighted more widely.

The term ‘Tech For Good’ – which is often used to exemplify good practice in applications of technology – has mainly been associated with charities and social enterprises with it seldom applied to businesses due to the view that they are highly focused on profit.

However, there are a number of businesses who turn a profit and deliver positive benefits to society throughout their business operations. At The Floow, we believe there is a place in the ‘Tech For Good’ movement for these growth organisations and this was a subject that was highlighted when I attended the Tech for Good conference, hosted by The Telegraph, earlier this year.

Despite being a growth organisation, The Floow was nominated for the Tech For Good Pioneer award due to the positive impacts that our technology has had – and continues to have – on society. The telematics and risk understanding technologies we have developed over the last seven years have provided us with insights which are used to positively impact society by helping to save lives, make insurance fairer and improve the environment by lowering pollution and creating safer roads.

Some examples of our work in this area include:

FloowCoach, our driver coaching programme

FloowCoach combines behavioural change techniques with our technology to provide a deep understanding of risk and help to minimise it by coaching drivers to make safer choices behind the wheel through a series of phone conversations with our trained behavioural coaches.

Created by The Floow’s Chief Education Officer and Associate Professor of Driver Behaviour at Cranfield University, Dr Lisa Dorn, The Floow was awarded the Prince Michael Road Safety Award in 2015 due to the programme’s impact on improving road safety by helping drivers make positive changes to their driving behaviour. Our latest research shows for every 100 drivers who have complete FloowCoach, 13 accidents are avoided compared to standard feedback mechanisms.

Involvement in research and development projects

Our work on R&D projects, such as UPLIFT, allows us to seek to address the unfairness or perceived bias in insurance. We do this by ensuring that the insights which we collect into a driver’s behaviour and risk profile are shared with them, providing the tools they require to make positive changes behind the wheel and potentially save lives on the road.

Creating highly skilled jobs

Tech companies can also bring highly-skilled jobs into the regions where they are based. In Sheffield, where The Floow was incorporated and where we are headquartered, these jobs provide a number of benefits to the area and its economy and we are extremely proud to be part of the thriving and continually growing tech sector in Sheffield and the North of England.

For commercial organisations, it is key to deliver ‘shareholder value’ but this is often interpreted singularly as seeking profit. However, there are other measures of success which should be acknowledged such as the value a business adds to society which can provide reassurance to shareholders as well as staff that their work is helping to build a better society alongside economic growth.

For The Floow, this is echoed in our mission ‘to make mobility safer and smarter for everyone’ – a clear aim that we all work towards ensuring that we provide value in everything we do and make the world a better place for all.

‘Tech for Good’ is beneficial for everyone and it is what all tech organisations should be striving to achieve. It is important that we recognise all organisations, whoever they are, who are helping to improve society, be socially responsible and positively impact the economy through the use of their technology.

There is always more to do but our focus on the mission which we are driven by will continue to push us forward and ensure that we are at the forefront of achieving safer and smarter mobility for everyone.

Share this article