Software People are building amazing things. Today’s TwilioCon Keynotes from Tim O’Reilly and Mitch Kapor focused on how to leverage software to spark global change. Jeff Lawson opened Day 2 of TwilioCon announcing Twilio.org a new initiave enabling non-profits and DOers around the world to send a billion messages for good.
Since founding O’Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly has worked to fulfill his company’s mantra “create more than you capture.” This philosophy led him to join the board of Code for America, fund non-profits and advise young startups. Tim urged startups to “build something that matters” and “weave a better world.” He thinks that two most powerful platforms for this type of civic change are the internet and the government.
“The power of the internet as a platform is not ‘one ring to rule them all.’ It’s a large network of loosely connected things that makes it powerful,” said Tim. “The government and the internet are both platforms for connected action. They’re designed to empower individuals, and band them together.” O’Reilly sees this change in Code For America projects such as Textizen, which connects citizens with city planners in their community so they can work together to plan projects. With powerful software tools and the backing of open source platforms, O’Reilly sees developers as the new force for good in the world.
Mitch Kapor was a Woodstock concert go-er, a Radio DJ, and a meditation teacher before he became an entrepreneur. Everything changed with the advent of the PC. “I went from unemployed, to consultant, to software developer, to entrepreneur.” After Kapor founded Lotus Software and built a wildly successful business, he refocused his business to build for good.
Mitch launched the Kapor Center to help underserved and underprivileged youth succeed. “Kids who had never heard of top schools like Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT are now getting into those schools after 6 week programs in the Kapor Center.” He hopes that others companies will follow suit in making a difference saying, “Any business can have social impact, if it chooses to. It’s a question of the commitment of the founders and team to build for good.”
Stay tuned to the Twilio blog for #TwilioCon news, updates and recaps.