Since 2000, Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum of Innovation has honored a staggering 287 social entrepreneurs and nonprofits, through its annual Tech Awards–recognizing the achievements of “a collection of the most effective social entrepreneurs on the planet”. Past winners have ranged from microfinance game-changer Kiva, to MIT’s Open Courseware team, to international development implementers CARE and Counterpart.
This year, to mark its 15th anniversary, the Tech Awards are taking a retrospective look at the past decade and a half of social innovation, naming seven social enterprises as the “World’s Best Changemakers” for 2016. Souktel is honored to join global health leader PATH and solar energy pioneer Angaza in receiving a 2016 Tech Award, in the “Equality in Technology” category, sponsored by PayPal. The award recognizes Souktel’s sector-leading efforts to design and deliver digital solutions for aid and development implementers—and in particular, its early work to link job-seekers in emerging markets with employers via mobile.
The Tech Awards were created to “celebrate and support organizations that are using innovative technologies to benefit humanity in truly extraordinary ways”. The 2016 awardees share key attributes, noted the awards selection committee: All are using design-centric methods of thinking through, and then solving, problems. Each has gone to communities and learned from them what exactly they want. The awardees also believe in “giving a hand up, not a handout. They have succeeded by helping people without means to help themselves”.
“These [organizations] commit everything to making a difference,” said Craig Stephens, a Santa Clara University professor who oversaw the selection process. “It’s inspirational to see people who are willing to help others who don’t have a voice”.
“We’re deeply humbled to accept this award,” added Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum. “It’s an honor to join the ranks of past awardees like the Grameen Foundation and MIT. We now have a new responsibility to the communities we serve—to ensure that this increased visibility translates into greater impact at the grassroots level, across the 30+ countries where we’re active”.
The 2016 Tech Awards ceremony will be held in San Jose, California, on Nov. 17, 2016. For more information, click here.