FutureStack14 Video: How To Make a Difference With Software

FutureStack14, our user and technology conference in San Francisco this fall, focused on a number of key topics, from startups to DevOps. But a common theme was the power of data and software to alter the status quo.

Software and data can affect how companies are organized and go about their business, and can disrupt the established winners and losers in entire industries. But perhaps just as important, software and data can help change the world beyond the P & L of whatever company you’re in.

As New Relic CEO Lew Cirne noted in the second-day keynote on Making a Difference with Software, it has the potential to “make everybody’s lives better.”

That may sound “over the top,” Lew said, but “I sincerely believe it.” And so do lots of people at New Relic, as indicated at 5:03 of the video below.

But that’s only part the story. The keynote showcased non-profit organizations dedicated to using software and data to scale their ability to help heal people around the world.

Software helps scale the good work

Joel Worrall, CTO of CURE International, which runs Cure.org, said his organization helps heal kids in 30 countries, and plans to provide some 20,000 “life-changing surgeries” to correct crippling deformities in the coming year. His group builds software than helps enable all that. Go to 8:27 in the video to hear Joel explain how it all works.

Spread the health

Of course, paying for healthcare remains an issue in many parts of the world, and that’s where Watsi comes in, making it easier to connect donors with people in need of healthcare and the organizations that can provide it (19:21 in the video). Watsi founder Chase Adam said that “by using technology to connect people, to make the world smaller, then we’ll succeed in making the world better.”

Finally, Lew introduced then 12-year-old Alannah Forster, president and founder of Codingclubhouse.com, (27:27 in the video) to talk about her efforts to inspire girls to get interested in programing. After all, if software really can change the world, we need as wide a spectrum of people as possible to contribute to that change.

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Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite, AllBusiness.com, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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