A big and warm gathering of many different people from all walks of life, with a common purpose to Pay-It-Forward and give back to the society, making the community a batter place to work, live and play in. At We Tech Care 2016, this event rallied and garnered over 200 people from local startups, non-profit organisations and partner organisations, and Microsoft to showcase how powerful and wonderful technology can be in helping the less fortunate, creating a smarter and more inclusive Singapore.
Held at JTC LaunchPad@one-north, We Tech Care 2016 is the official platform for the launch event of the President’s Challenge 2016, with His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam, gracing the launch event. The JTC LaunchPad@one-north is a vibrant and exciting co-working space for local startups, an ideal location to showcase both the power of technology, how organisations using technology can make an impact and give back to society.
The impact of technology has benefitted many people around the world. Singapore has grown and transformed tremendously over the past 50 years, techology and innovation play a significant part in the growing process. However, there are still people who have not been able to fully harness the power of technology and its benefits. While there is a commercial market system to bring technology and its products to the market, the social market system for technology has more potential, they can be build up further into a strong and accessible social capital through technology to help those in need, the less fortunate and less privileged people in society.
At We Tech Care 2016, I saw them coming all together, orgnisations such as Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD), Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Singapore, RSVP (The Organisation of Senior Volunteers), Jaga-Me, together with Microsoft Singapore, playing a part together for President’s Challenge 2016, allowing the rest of the society to learn, understand and more about what they are doing and providing for different groups in society. There were also fringe activities comprising of fun and games for the whole family, there were also talks, workshops and startup discovery tours too.
While I wasn’t able to speak to all the organisations present at We Tech Care 2016, I did manage to have a chat with Mr Amos Miller, Chairman, Guide Dogs Association of the Blind Singapore. During my conversation, I began to understand more on how technology can help visually impaired people, in the form of a headphone that is GPS enabled together with a smartphone, a map and an app. That was also where I learned about this programme/movement known as Cities Unlocked programme. I had a very interesting conversation with Mr Amos Miller, whereby I learned something new and useful. This is something that I can help to do my part (it’s a small part) and help spread the word of the technology and gadgets that they are working on that can provide visually impaired people more empowerment and confidence to move around in society. Although it is still a prototype, I have a feeling that it can be and it would be improved further, until a day that it would be available to the visually impaired people in the very near future.
Singapore has grown so fast and transformed so much in the past 50 years. While we had gained and grown a lot, in aspects of standards of living, wealth and well being, there are some segements of the community that have fallen through the cracks. Now, Singapore can now look at certain aspects of society that can be improved further, our social and emotional capital, helping those that have fallen through the cracks.
Through We Tech Care 2016, the official platform for the launch of President’s Challenge 2016, I hope that more awareness can be generated, to spread across the whole of Singapore, helping to garner the power of technology through accessibility, organisations, services, and giving back to society, to empower people, bridging the gaps in society between the have and have-not.
Remember, you can make an impact and difference to the society too! Using technology, spread the word of this movement – We Tech Care too!