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October 24, 2019

How Technologists Spur Social Innovation

Many organizations call business philanthropy “corporate giving.”


Creating IT Futures, CompTIA’s tech workforce charity, prefers the term “social innovation.”


CompTIA’s Executive Vice President, Social Innovation, and CEO of Creating IT Futures, Charles Eaton explains this distinction in the inaugural episode of the Technologist Talk Radio podcast.


“It’s about making new ideas happen, ” says Eaton, award-winning author of How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education. Not just talking, but executing.


“In our case it’s about… using money as a tool, but also having the team design programs, develop concepts, do research that can move the needle when it comes to getting young people interested in tech careers, and helping adults who are career changers find a foothold in a tech career.”


In other words, Creating IT Futures sees social innovation as taking an active role in affecting change, through taking initiative creating programs, not just giving money away.


As an example, Eaton cites the Next Up initiative – which starts working with youth asC.Eaton-ImpromptuMtg copy young as middle-school age – encouraging them to think of themselves as technologists as a way to spark interest pursuing tech careers. This work involves programs, such as TechGirlz, and partners, such as the Technology Student Association (TSA) across the country. Developing these programs allows CompTIA and Creating IT Futures to tailor work to groups currently under-represented in tech fields, such as women, veterans, and people of color.


“It’s fairly easy to give money away, and if you pick the right organization there can be incredible impact. But our feeling is to work with the organization to help them get better,” Eaton says.


Click here to listen to a Podcast Flashback, just in case you missed the episode first time around.


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