There is a wealth of technical talent out there, but energy currently being driven towards creating ‘the new Facebook’ or ‘the next iPhone’ could instead be given an alternative, social outlet. We need fewer cool tools and more useful, effective software to improve our society. As social innovators begin to engage in this new world, the impact on our lives could be huge.

The opportunity is there, but to take it will require a shift of mindset, mandate and expectations on the part of social innovators, charities and public institutions. Because once upon a time, there were captive audiences, things we wanted to tell them, channels for reaching them, a group of people who were waiting to be ‘serviced’. Now that’s all changed.