Tech For Good – Feat. AutonoMe
We recently caught up with William Britton, the Founder and Chief Executive of AutonoMe, who combine educational technology with one to one support to improve outcomes for vulnerable people in social care
The purpose of the Tech For Good series of interviews is to create a platform that showcases and champions companies, products and technologists who are using technology as a force for positive change in the world.
Tareek @ ADLIB: Can you please introduce yourself, what your business does and what makes your business and offering unique and a force for good?
My name is William Britton, I’m the Founder and Chief Executive of AutonoMe. We help people with learning disabilities and autism to learn new skills by a mix of human support and clever technology.
We are a passionate team of Learning Disability and Autism experts and our unique blended model of delivery supports over 400 people across the UK aged 14+ with a variety of barriers to independence for which it is our mission to help them overcome.
Tareek @ ADLIB: Can you share the story behind the origin of your business and Service / Product?
Over 14 years ago I left University after completing my Video Production Degree and was working in the industry. Whilst working in the Video Production industry I got a 2-week ‘temp job’ on the side supporting young people with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health needs at a local Further Education College. I enjoyed this experience so much that I stopped taking on video production work and focussed my career on learning disabilities and autism. I progressed to become a full-time support worker, completing my PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) specialising in SEND and I spent 5 years as an Assistive Technology specialist.
I founded AutonoMe in 2015 by combining my understanding of the challenges faced by people with learning disabilites and autism and my skills in Video Production and technology to produce high-quality instructional video content that specifically guided people with barriers to learning successfully through activities. After my prototype received high praise I decided to set up a business so people could have access to this technology.
Tareek @ ADLIB: Why do you think is it a growing trend for tech professionals to seek out opportunities to work in purpose-driven businesses?
I think that people are becoming increasingly aware that change can be driven through businesses, not just the solution provided to the market but also the way a business conducts itself. This includes all aspects of the business such as how it treats employees, how it gives back to the community and wider society and how it can reduce its carbon footprint. This shift is changing employee expectations and enabling tech professionals to not just seek employment that meets their skillset but also the purposes they believe and are passionate about. This is particularly true in the technology industry as the scalability of technology means employees and businesses have the potential to make a significant impact at scale.
Tareek @ ADLIB: What has been the key thing you’ve learned about ‘tech for good’ and your target audience specifically?
Whilst our users are people with Learning disabilities and Autism our clients and partners are often individuals and organsiations responsible for meeting their care needs. This includes but is not limited to; parent carers, local governments, central government, social care providers, healthcare providers and education providers. These organisations certainly like to align themselves with technology providers that share their passion for improving the lives of vulnerable people. This very much aligns not only with our mission and founding principles but our recruitment and operational support process.