Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

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Benetech: the Equilibrium Change Machine

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Even though I’m a Skoll Award winner, it really made me think about my organization, Benetech, and what we are trying to accomplish.

A Worthy Read: National Education Technology Plan

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I just finished reading the National Education Technology Plan , and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the future of technology in American education. These kinds of plans can be impenetrable, but I found this one quite readable and understandable. Of course, one thing might be that accessibility is put right up top, front and center!

Commercial Availability: The Poison Pill for Marrakesh Treaty Implementation

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

If you can buy a book, you can’t borrow it. That’s the lobbying position of some companies in the intellectual property field when implementing the new Marrakesh Copyright Treaty. Marrakesh is intended to end the book famine for people who can’t read regular books because of their disability. Bookshare was created under the Section 121 U.S.

Why I’m Scared of the SOPA bill

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech, is a leading nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley. We write software for people with disabilities as well as human rights and environmental groups. We’re against piracy, and have made commitments to authors and publishers to encourage compliance with copyright law. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. And then they go away.

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Thank You, Gerardo!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The Benetech team has just bid goodbye to VP of Engineering Gerardo Capiel, who is moving on to his next adventure.

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Open Source Means Strong Security

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

“Your secure software is open source: doesn’t that make it less secure?” Now, let’s say I’m choosing a safe for my valuables. No, it does not.

From Money to Meaning

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Big complex social problems. Your skills and experiences. Benetech. Combining those three potent ingredients is how we change the world. If you’ve been burning to use your considerable talents to make a difference, rather than make a lot of money, it’s time you considered joining our growing team. Flexibility is one of our core values.

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Accessibility Excitement in Geneva

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

One of the reasons I started the Beneblog more than ten years ago (!) was to keep the Benetech team in the loop. decided to follow through and attend.

Why You Don’t Want this Job!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Almost anyone from the human rights field will tell you that the work can be as rewarding as it is challenging. And yet there are also amazing and fulfilling benefits—bringing the truth to light, making human rights defenders more powerful and helping victims find peace through acknowledgment, reconciliation and even, sometimes, justice.

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Crowdsourced data is not a substitute for real statistics

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Guest Beneblog by Patrick Ball, Jeff Klingner, and Kristian Lum After the earthquake in Haiti, Ushahidi organized a centralized text messaging system to allow people to inform others about people trapped under damaged buildings and other humanitarian crises. We think that this is important and valuable.

Proud Father and Husband: Concert in Palo Alto

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Every once in a while, the Beneblog features something of personal importance to me. Kate Fruchterman, soprano But, there's more! Mark's Church.

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Why Your Country Should Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Access to information and knowledge is a basic human right and a necessary first step towards personal, economic, and social development.

Funding Innovation for Skoll Social Entrepreneurs

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I was recently at the Skoll World Forum, probably the best conference in the world for meeting with top social entrepreneurs. How is it structured?

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Contemplating Boulder and Social Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Social enterprise. Technology. Contemplation. Chuck was the second chair of SEA and I succeeded him as the third chair.

Optimistic about Marrakesh Treaty!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The World Blind Union’s ( WBU ) Right to Read campaign for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty just concluded two days of meetings in Berlin, Germany.

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Accessible eBooks for Equal Opportunity

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Kevin Leong was in kindergarten when he experienced an organic brain injury that forced him to relearn everything from walking to using the bathroom.

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Geek Heresy

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I just finished reading Kentaro Toyama’s new book, Geek Heresy, tackling the cult of technology as a cure-all for society’s ills. He’s a geek (former Microsoft Research guy) who is making the case that technology doesn’t make the kind of social impact it claims to deliver. Wishful thinking makes many people dream of quick fixes.

Mr. Jim Goes to Washington (and New York, and Nairobi, and Seoul, and Kampala, and Boston…)

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Like many other leaders of nonprofit organizations, I travel an unreasonable fraction of the time. Why do I do it? Why do my peers do it? Enough said!

Big Data Means More Than Big Profits

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This post originally appeared as part of an online debate about How Big Data Can Have a Social Impact, which the Harvard Business Review Blog Network hosted jointly with the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. Right now I''m in Oxford, England, for the annual Skoll World Forum! Big Data is all the rage in Silicon Valley.

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Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

President’s Update Fall 2011 Don’t be surprised, but we’re picking up the pace of change at Benetech! and James L. Read2Go Bookshare goes mobile!

The Last Walk

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Two weeks ago, I wrote the following to friends and family: Our beloved Australian shepherd, Calypso, turned 14 years old today. It was bittersweet.

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Donor Spotlight: Lavelle Fund for the Blind

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

What is it like for a nonprofit to have a successful, lasting partnership with a private philanthropic foundation? government and states like Texas.

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On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Guest Beneblog by Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager, Benetech’s Global Literacy Program. Accordingly, U.S. This is important here in the U.S.,

Receiving the 2013 Migel Medal

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Earlier today, I attended the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) National Leadership Conference in Chicago where I received the 2013 Migel Medal. The Migel Medal, often called the highest honor in the blindness field, is awarded annually to one or two individuals whose careers exemplify exceptional accomplishments in the field. Washington?

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Unlocking Technology-for-Good Innovation

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This keeps us focused on projects that offer the greatest social impact for the resources invested. Let me explain how this is so.

CEO’s Update: Fall 2014

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

My personal goal is to channel the aspirations of the technology community to do more social good. Consider third grade student Brennan Draves.

Supporting Artists With Disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For the past ten years, Benetech’s Bookshare library has provided accessible books for people with print disabilities. You can too!

The Road to Accessibility without Borders: Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of the Marrakesh Treaty

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

As a result, the Treaty closely follows the Chafee Amendment , which is the copyright exception that has made Bookshare possible in the United States.

Support Bookshare for Veterans

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The U.S. For veterans with visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries or other disabilities, reading standard print is difficult, if not impossible.

Benetech Closing Statement on the Marrakech Treaty

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

To the Diplomatic Conference in Plenary on June 27, 2013 On the Adoption of the Treaty of Marrakech This is an excellent Treaty. The Benetech team is delighted by its adoption today. At Benetech , we like to think of ourselves as part of Silicon Valley’s heart. For years, we have been working to end the worldwide book famine.

Fair Use Victory Advances a Future of Accessibility for All

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Two days ago, on Tuesday, June 10, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York made a major ruling that emphasizes the legality of fair use for book digitization. In Authors Guild v. copyright law). What is this court case and why do we care so much about it? It allows users to search book content that contains a match for their search terms.

Help Wanted: Wildcards!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Are you someone who is burning to make a difference? Someone who values doing good over a whopping salary? Do you want flexibility in your job?

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Caltech: Founding Values

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

That’s the Caltech advantage! Richard Feynman once tried to reduce an advanced physics concept to a freshman lecture.

UC Santa Cruz Students Volunteering for Impact with Bookshare

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I’m delighted to share with you today a wonderful success story from our Volunteer Program. Congratulations on such great work and Happy Holidays!

Southeast Asia, Social Enterprise Accidental Tour!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I just spent almost three weeks in Thailand and Laos on a combined work and vacation trip. We call it using the social enterprise supply chain.

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SocialCoding4Good: Mobilizing Technology and Volunteerism for Transformative Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech, like many nonprofit organizations building open source software for social good, often relies upon the contributions of experienced software developers to help its solutions grow and scale. We frequently have more volunteers than we have projects; while at other times, we have a list of tasks we could get done -- if only we had the people.

Promise and Peril: Martus for Human Rights in Burma

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We have extended Martus capacity building and technical support to ND-Burma since its inception in 2004. Thank you in advance!

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Understanding Income Inequality

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Data is a bigger and bigger topic in social change. We need to do a better job of understanding social needs, both to improve our programs and measure their ultimate impact. spend more and more of my time talking to leaders in the sector, helping advance the use of data for action and impact. single-adult households, multi-generational households?

Engineers Without Borders Canada

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I greatly enjoy talking to students, and I am now in Ottawa, Canada, just having spoken to an incredible group of students, Engineers Without Borders Canada. Now, I had heard of EWB before, but I hadn't grasped how large, sophisticated and ambitious an organization this is! Oh, and at least half of the engineering students here are women.

Daproim and Steve Muthee, its founder

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

As I noted in my first blog on my African trip, I was delighted with the entrepreneurial culture in Nairobi, Kenya. Of course, I showed off a textbook!