Collaborations that drive inclusion in the digital age

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Lucy Murdoch explains how third sector organisations globally and in Scotland are helping to create technological solutions to social issues

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31st January 2019 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

We are living in a volatile era, with the pace of change disrupting society faster than communities can adapt. Technology is a driver of some of these ongoing changes, but it can also be part of the solution.

If, in fact, we want to achieve impact at scale and to help people and communities, technology must be part of the solution.

Through our corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, we are closing skills and employment gaps for marginalised people around the world. And through our Accenture Labs’ Tech4Good projects we are addressing everything from accessibility and inclusion to health and the environment.

Lucy Murdoch

Lucy Murdoch

But these achievements have only been possible because of the foresight and open-mindedness of our non-profit partners and NGOs who have been willing to collaborate and embrace new technology with a spirit of optimism rather than fear.

Youth Business International (YBI) helps motivated young entrepreneurs who face significant barriers to business ownership start and grow their own businesses, and ultimately create jobs. In the United States, to better meet the needs of thousands of young entrepreneurs seeking support, Accenture helped YBI affiliate Youth Business USA (YBUSA) develop the skysthelimit.org platform. The platform uses artificial intelligence and analytics to help connect budding entrepreneurs with the resources, skills, training and mentoring they need to achieve their goals.

Social Enterprise CircleUp Education is an example of the platform’s success. Set up by two individuals in response to the prejudice and discrimination they had experienced in the workplace, they founded the company with the help of YBUSA mentors which designs and implements bespoke workplace training on diversity and inclusion, restorative justice and communications skills.

Since its launch in 2017, more than 8,000 young entrepreneurs and volunteers have registered on to the platform and it is now being piloted in Nigeria, South Africa and the Caribbean.

In Argentina, Accenture has created Job Interview 360, a virtual reality experience that allows young people looking for their first job to immerse themselves in an interactive job interview experience. Based on guidance from our own recruitment team, the six-minute experience takes the user from first contact with the recruiter through the interview, providing feedback on their performance.

Currently in use by six non-profit partners, Job Interview 360 has helped many jobs seekers prepare for success.

In Scotland, we launched our digital skills programme in partnership with Young Enterprise Scotland, helping young people across the country to build skills for the future. For us, too, there is an overwhelming driver to ensure those on the edges of society aren’t left behind.

By combining human ingenuity with groundbreaking technologies, it is possible to delivery innovation that fosters a more equal and inclusive society. And whilst we can set ambitious goals and make strategic investments to drive progress, it is the collaboration with non-profit partners and NGOs to scale our innovations responsibly and with integrity that truly advances inclusion in the digital age.

Lucy Murdoch is managing director of global corporate citizenship at Accenture

1st February 2019 by Ruchir Shah

Hi Lucy, have a peek at globalgoals.scot - I think there may be a connection to make. Thanks.