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Shining a Spotlight: Tech4Good South West

Our Head of Data Recruitment, Alex, recently spoke at the Google Analytics, Online Research & Insights event by Tech4Good South West – a local meetup formed for those interested in using digital technologies for social good.

Alex shared his expertise in recruiting top data talent, upskilling and attracting talent into your organisation. Off the back of this, we caught up with Tech4Good meetup organisers; Annie Legge and Helen Woodcock.

ADLIB: For some background information, what is Tech4Good South West and what is the initiative behind it?

Tech 4 Good: Tech4Good South West is part of a global network and non-profit Netsquared; a programme of Tech Soup. We’re part of a movement of innovators in more than 70 cities around the world. We run events and workshops for those interested in how technology is used within social impact projects and organisations, and connecting charities for support from our regional tech community.

Our role is to facilitate the meetups and to find ways of keeping the conversations going between events. This year we have received some funding for a part-time community manager so that has helped us give more online support to our group. The organisers are a team of volunteers and include Annie Legge, Founder of Bath-based DOT PROJECT, a female-led enterprise consulting in responsible technology,

Eriol Fox a senior UX designer at Ushahidi, a non-profit technology company that builds open-source platforms and Helen Woodcock who is CMO at Bristol-based data engineering tech consultancy KETL.

ADLIB: What does a typical Tech4Good meetup look like?

Tech 4 Good: The face to face meetups vary depending on the theme and the speakers. We tend to have sessions at least once per quarter and if we have a specific interest on a topic then we will try to put on separate workshops. For example, Ryan Webb at SearchStar in Bath is doing just that for us with a specific session for charities on Google Analytics as a result of the event at which ADLIB’s Alex presented.

Our events are always very informal and we try to make sure that we focus on topics that are useful to the charity and not for profit sector. We always have a community shout-out section at our events to enable people who have offers of help, or who need help, to let the group know. This helps the networking to take place and we have had some great collaborations that have taken place after our events! We always have some food and drink too to encourage everyone to stay and talk.

ADLIB: Are there any key events or people that inspired you to become an organiser?

Tech 4 Good: The Tech4Good South West group came about in 2017 as a merger of the separate Bath and Bristol meetups and I think that this is important because we are trying not to reinvent the wheel and make sure people who are doing positive work in this area know about each other!

Helen explains: As the not for profit sector embraces digital technology, there are challenges around capacity and expert knowledge. The Tech4Good network is a great way for charities to find out about what is available in the technology space locally to them with people who are entering into the relationship in a spirit of co-operation and not motivated by profit.

We are very lucky in Bristol and Bath to have such a diverse range of tech companies and enthusiasts willing to give of their time and energy. I would encourage anyone who is tech-curious to look at all the events held under the umbrella of both the Bath Digital Festival and the Bristol Technology Festival to get a taste of what is available in our area.

ADLIB: And finally, who exactly would you encourage to join the Tech4Good meetups?

Tech 4 Good: We have a hugely diverse range of attendees and speakers that engage with our network. I would encourage anyone to attend who wants to develop their tech skills, who have time and expertise in the digital space or who have services they can offer as part of their corporate social responsibility. Of course, we want anyone who is involved in any capacity in the charity and not for profit sector to come and find out about what is happening in our region. People who come to the meetups from the charity sector do comment that it is a very welcoming space and that they feel wanted!

Thanks for sharing!