Why are we doing this?
In April, 2021 we were asking ourselves this question - When people like us want to learn something, we hop on to unacademy, Edx, Coursera, IGNOU and within a few days, sometimes, even hours, we have acquired a new skill. The same holds true for school-aged kids. They learn by accessing khan academy videos, byjus, govt platforms, etc. Looks like learning is becoming truly universal. Or is it really?
What about the millions of migrant laborers, domestic workers, small and marginal farmers?
Who is thinking about how they learn? Where are the platforms for them?
We live in an unequal and unfair world where the true benefits of technology only reach the top 1% (reminds of you of another resource? Hint: Money) Startups across the world have created new business models and scaled because most of the digital infrastructure available today (Wifi, Payment Systems, etc) have been designed keeping their users in mind.
There is a scarcity of such digital infrastructure for those who need it most - for example the small and marginal farmer in a remote village in India or a migrant worker making his livelihood away from home on a construction site.
Creating this solution is not a technology challenge alone because most of the tech required already exists. Just because gmail is free does not mean that everyone will write amazing emails, right? Similarly, even though there are great open source technologies and tools today - does not mean that non-profits will be able to use it confidently to amplify their impact.
Through our experience of working with changemakers and spending time co-creating solutions with those who are affected by the problem - we learnt that the challenge is much more complex.
There is a scarcity.
A Scarcity of
- long term technology strategy,
- sufficient long term funding,
- a thriving vendor ecosystem,
- easy to use platforms which are high quality and
- free and lifelong training & mentoring to use such platforms confidently and effortlessly.
How are we solving it?
At T4GLabs, we want to convert this scarcity to abundance.
We dream of becoming the YCombinator for Impact tech.
Twice a year we invest small amounts of money and a lot of our time with 2-3 impactful changemakers working on urgent and important problems faced by the most vulnerable.
Once the NGO partners and problems are identified, We take an ecosystem approach and liaison with Funders, Technologists, IT Vendors, Nonprofits and Corporates to co-create a solution that not only solves the problem for our partner NGO but also allows other NGOs with similar problem to use the solution that has been built. This will in time promote an ecosystem of digital infrastructure for changemakers across the world. We are guided by principles of societal platforms, FOSS and collective wisdom in our journey.
We believe in Funding till Impact.
Our journey starts right from ideation. It continues with support in fundraising, co-designing the solution, managing development of the solution, advice in deployment and training, sustaining financially and troubleshooting to create impact on the ground. Read this blog about our method