How Young Women Can Use Technology to Make the World a Better Place
This interview is a part of our Live Your Dreams Stars series where we feature awesome young women who are changing the world one amazing dream at a time. LYD! This week we are featuring Rose Broome Co-founder & CEO HandUp.
1) You’ve mentioned that you started HandUp when you passed by a homeless woman on the street and felt compelled to help the homeless. What was it that lead you into creating a social network for people who want to help and be helped?
That moment was really the start of HandUp. It was an especially cold night in San Francisco when I passed by a woman sleeping on the street, shivering under a thin blanket. In our city with so much innovation where I can call a car or order dinner, I couldn’t help a person sitting right in front of me. I decided that night that I would do one thing to make a difference and that one thing became HandUp.
2) So many big companies use data and technology for profit. What are some of the best ways to use data and information about the world for improving our society?
We are facing global challenges like poverty and climate change. And at the same time, we recognize that technology can be harnessed as a powerful force. We need so many more people working and testing out new innovations that will serve humanity and the planet.
The thing about data and informational tools is that they can be used for anything – the possibilities are endless. It’s exciting to see more people and companies using these powerful technologies to tackle big and small problems that really matter.
3) How can young girls who want to be innovative find inspiration in a world where everything is so fast paced?
Focus on what you love and on the problems that most inspire you. It sounds obvious, but I see lots of people following a career path because they think they should, not because they really care. When you do something you love you’ll have almost unlimited energy and motivation for your work — it will be challenging but it won’t really feel like ‘work’. Thats when things start getting really interesting.
4) During your spare time, do you read or watch inspirational books or movies that inspire you to make the world a better place?
Two of my favorite inspirational books are The Gift and The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace.
The Gift is a book of poems by 13th century Persian poet Hafez by Daniel Ladinsky. He shares a playful and passionate view of life that is very inspiring during hard times.
The Art of Forgiveness by Jack Kornfield is truly healing words that can help you find strength and compassion in a world that can be both beautiful and painful.
5) What are some of the ways our readers can improve their professional online preferences.
You must have an online presence in today’s digital age. Have your own domain and choose 1-2 social channels that you can manage actively like Twitter or Tumblr. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself to create a lot of new content, just share what you do or what you enjoy. Having a steady stream of activity and connecting with others online is a strong place to start a habit that will grow with your career.
6) Going forward, how do you think young women can use technology to create projects that give back to their community?
There are so many opportunities to use technology to impact the world around us. Sometimes people view technology as impersonal, but it can be a powerful way to express your own creativity and connect with people all around the world. I mean, you can send a tweet to the president right now. Technology is limitless and once you focus on what you’re passionate about the tools will be there to help you reach your goals.
7) What are some of the top things to keep in mind when working in the tech field early in one’s career?
My best advice is to get connected with the startup and impact community. Social technologies aren’t built in isolation. The sooner you can start connecting with the community, the better. Email people you respect, follow organizations you care about on Twitter, go to local events, and if there are none, that is a great opportunity to practice being a leader by starting one.
Entrepreneurship can be very challenging but the good news is that a lot of it is just showing up and being persistent. I’m just a normal person who made commitment to do one thing to change my community, and you can too.
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