fbpx

A Complete Guide To Digital4Good (And Why You Should Consider It)

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Asian creative team sitting and working sharing creative ideas inspire in workshop together.

A Complete Guide To Digital4Good (And Why You Should Consider It)

Digital4Good aims to support student innovators who utilize digital technology to make a positive difference in their community. The Digital4Good Summit is the main event, showcasing exceptional student projects that tackle social, economic, environmental, and educational issues.

In this blog, we will explain everything you need to know about the Digital4Good program and provide tips on how you can start an initiative of your own in preparation for your Digital4Good journey.

What is Digital4Good?

Digital4Good is an initiative by #ICANHELP focused on promoting and recognizing positive digital citizenship among youth. It emphasizes encouraging students to use digital tools for social good, highlighting their innovative solutions to pressing societal issues.

Digital4Good runs in the following missions and beliefs:

  • Empowerment: Equipping students with the skills and confidence to create impactful digital projects.
  • Recognition: Celebrating young digital leaders through the Digital4Good Summit.
  • Support: Providing mentorship and resources to amplify student projects.

“We created the Digital4Good Summit because you have to celebrate these students using digital for the right reasons. As adults, our tendency can be to talk about all the negative stuff without taking time to celebrate the good things that are happening online and through digital platforms. If we always talk about the negative, that becomes the focus. Digital4Good gives us an opportunity to talk about and celebrate all the positive. In doing so, we hope to inspire students and provide a way for them to inspire their peers–both other students and adults–to come together and work side by side with student change-makers doing really cool stuff online.” Kim Karr, founder of Digital4Good and #ICANHELP

What does the Digital4Good do?

At Digital4Good, they focus on encouraging students who use digital technology to make a positive impact on their communities. Each year, they organize the Digital4Good Summit where they choose ten exceptional student innovators who address significant social, economic, environmental, and educational challenges with digital media and technology.

Caltech undergraduate requirements for internation students

This event is a globally accessible LiveStream that serves as a virtual space for these young pioneers. The students, known for their creative ideas and leadership skills, are matched with experienced mentors from the industry. These mentors offer helpful advice and support, allowing students to enhance their projects and increase their influence.

Here is a list of what Digital4Good does and provides all year round:

  • Digital4Good Summit: An annual event that showcases and celebrates student innovators. The summit features presentations of student projects, discussions, and networking opportunities.
  • Mentorship Programs: Connects students with industry professionals who guide and support their digital initiatives.
  • Educational Resources: Provides tools and educational materials to help students develop their digital skills and leadership qualities.
  • Community Building: This initiative encourages the formation of a supportive community of like-minded individuals dedicated to using digital technology for positive change.

Digital4Good believes in the power of youth and technology to create meaningful change. They aim to nurture a generation of responsible and proactive digital citizens and inspire more students to use their digital skills for the greater good by celebrating and supporting young innovators.

What is #ICANHELP?

#ICANHELP is dedicated to promoting positive digital citizenship and empowering students to use technology for good. They provide resources and training to help students, educators, and communities manage online negativity and create a supportive digital environment. Through various programs and initiatives, #ICANHELP encourages youth to use digital tools for positive community impact, aiming to create a safer and more positive online world.

#ICANHELP emerged from a social media incident targeting a school teacher. The organization focuses on online safety, digital wellness, and positive digital citizenship, training students to become Digital First Responders. Since 2013, #ICANHELP has empowered thousands of students and educators worldwide.

Their efforts center on student leadership, digital citizenship education, and community engagement through various programs, courses, and events. By raising awareness and empowering students, their goal is to stop cyberbullying and other online abuses.

two finance managers working

#ICANHELP promotes the following to students:

  • Online Safety
  • Privacy Protection
  • Reporting Negative Content
  • Self-Image + Self-Comparison
  • Healthy Online Relationships
  • Screen Time Management
  • Digital Literacy
  • Youth Leadership + Empowerment

How can you participate in Digital4Good?

To join Digital4Good, you can get involved in several ways:

  • Nominate a Changemaker: If you know a student innovator, you can nominate them to be recognized at the Digital4Good Summit.
  • Become a Sponsor: Support the summit by becoming a sponsor to empower student leaders and innovators.
  • Host a Watch Party: Partner with organizations to host a Livestream watch party, sharing the achievements and stories of student innovators.
  • Become a Mentor: Share your expertise and guide young innovators by becoming a mentor.
  • Enter the Raffle: Participate in fundraising raffles to support the initiative.

How to nominate a Changemaker

To nominate someone for Digital4Good, fill out a nomination form provided by #ICANHELP. The form typically asks for the nominee’s name, contact information, and details about their project or initiative that uses digital technology for a positive impact.

Considerations for the nomination usually include:

  • The significance and impact of the nominee’s project.
  • How the nominee has used digital media and technology to address social, economic, environmental, or educational challenges.
  • The nominee’s potential as a future leader.

Previous nominees in the Digital4Good Summit

Changemaker Nominees Project Decription
Taanvi Arekapudi UpLift Teens Today (book) Taanvi Arekapudi is a mental health advocate and the author of “UpLift Teens Today.” She strives to encourage teens to discuss their mental health openly. In her book, Arekapudi shares her personal mental health journey and provides tools to help others improve their mental well-being. Her work focuses on creating a more open and supportive environment for mental health discussions among teenagers.
Areen Hashemi Normalizing the Conversation (website) Areen Hashemi’s website, Normalizing the Conversation, is an online platform that enables people to share their personal mental health struggles and access various mental health resources. The platform offers a safe space for discussing mental health issues. As of 2021, it has reached over 10 million people and continues to engage with over 24,000 users on social media platforms like Pinterest and TikTok.
Sharada Suresh Little Apple Academy (coding program) Sharada Suresh co-created Little Apple Academy with her sister Harita to spark interest in coding among children as young as eight. The program teaches coding languages like JavaScript and Python. Beyond coding, Little Apple Academy emphasizes community outreach. Their initiative has reached children across various countries, including the U.S. and France, making a significant impact globally.
Saket Pathak Learning Quest (non profit organization) Saket Pathak is the founder of Learning Quest, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing school supplies to underprivileged youth worldwide. Initially collecting books from door-to-door visits, schools, and libraries, the organization has donated over 8,000 books to nearly 20,000 children in Africa, India, and the U.S. Utilizing digital platforms and media exposure, Learning Quest raised $4,000 via GoFundMe and partnered with other organizations, extending their impact across five countries.
Areli Rosales KeepInMind (non profit organization) Areli Rosales founded KeepInMind, a non-profit based in El Paso, TX, that promotes mental health discussions, particularly in Hispanic communities. Combatting machismo culture, they advocate in both English and Spanish through Instagram. KeepInMind addresses topics such as mass shootings, legal changes, anxiety, trauma, and seasonal blues, making information accessible for all ages. The organization also supports its mission through a podcast featuring other mental health advocates.
Elisa Torres-Durney Girls in Quantum (online platform) Elisa Torres-Durney founded Girls in Quantum, an online community aimed at helping girls understand quantum computing. By connecting members with professionals and fellow students, she has built a supportive environment where girls can access resources and enhance their skills. Girls in Quantum has reached twenty-one countries and engaged 1,500 students, continuing to expand its impact.

Digital4Good Prizes and Awards

Nominees at the Digital4Good Summit receive various forms of recognition and support, though there is no specific mention of monetary prizes for the winners. Instead, the primary benefits include:

a female student studying with her laptop and looking at the camera

  • Recognition and Celebration: The summit celebrates ten outstanding student innovators annually. These students are recognized for their innovative solutions and leadership potential in a globally accessible LiveStream event.
  • Mentorship: Winners are paired with industry mentors who provide guidance to help them enhance their projects and amplify their impact. This mentorship is important for professional and personal growth.
  • Promotion and Media Exposure: The achievements and stories of the winners are promoted throughout the year via digital media and traditional PR campaigns. Their projects are featured on a dedicated microsite and regularly highlighted across social media channels.
  • Networking Opportunities: Nominees connect with leading companies and organizations, expanding their professional network and opening doors for future opportunities.

How to Become a Changemaker

To be a Digital4Good Changemaker, you must build a profile demonstrating your innovative use of digital technology for positive community impact.

Here is a comprehensive guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Identify Your Passion and Purpose

Reflect on Issues

  • Identify Key Areas of Interest: Start by considering the broad categories of challenges that resonate with you the most:
  • Social Issues: These can include mental health awareness, bullying, community building, inclusivity, and social justice. Reflect on issues that you or those around you face regularly. For instance, if you’re passionate about mental health, think about how technology can provide support and resources to those in need.
    • Economic Challenges: Look into areas like financial literacy, poverty alleviation, job creation, and economic empowerment. If you have an interest in helping low-income families, consider how technology can offer educational tools, job training, or access to financial resources.
    • Environmental Problems: Focus on sustainability, climate change, pollution, and conservation. If you are passionate about the environment, think about how digital tools can raise awareness, promote sustainable practices, or facilitate conservation efforts.
    • Educational Needs: Consider issues like access to quality education, remote learning, STEM education, and digital literacy. If you’re concerned about educational disparities, consider how technology can bridge gaps, provide resources, or enhance learning experiences.
  • Research and Empathy: Conduct research to understand these issues deeply. Read articles, watch documentaries, and talk to people affected by these challenges to gain a comprehensive perspective. Empathizing with those who face these problems will help you identify real needs and potential solutions.

Choose Your Focus

  • Narrow Down Your Passion: Once you have a broad understanding of the issues, narrow it down to one specific area where you believe you can make the most impact. Consider your skills, interests, and the resources available to you.
    • Feasibility: Evaluate the feasibility of addressing the issue with digital technology. Consider the resources you have, such as access to technology, expertise in digital tools, and the potential for collaboration with others.
    • Impact Potential: Assess the potential impact of your project. Will it address a significant need? Can it be scaled to help a larger audience? For instance, a digital platform for mental health might have a profound impact on your community and can be expanded to reach more people over time.
    • Personal Connection: Choose a focus that you are personally connected to. This personal connection will keep you motivated and passionate about your project. If you have experienced the challenges of remote learning, you might be driven to create an online tutoring platform to help others.

Step 2: Develop a Project Idea

  • Brainstorm Solutions: Come up with innovative ideas on how to use digital media or technology to solve the identified problem.
  • Research Existing Projects: Look into existing initiatives for inspiration and identify gaps your project could fill.

Step 3: Plan and Launch Your Project

a female student in a virtual class but is looking at the camera

Create a Detailed Plan 

  • Define Objectives: Clearly define what you aim to achieve with your project. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). For example, if your project is about mental health awareness, an objective might be to create an app that offers mental health resources and support to at least 500 users within the first six months.
  • Outcomes: Consider the desired outcomes for the community you aim to help. What changes do you hope to see as a result of your project? This could include improved mental health literacy, increased access to educational resources, or heightened environmental awareness.
  • Develop Strategies
    • Action Steps: Break down your objectives into smaller, manageable tasks. Outline each step necessary to develop and implement your project. For instance, creating an app might involve steps like conducting user research, designing the app interface, developing the app, and testing it with a focus group.
    • Methodology: Decide on the methods you will use to achieve your goals. Will you use surveys to gather initial data? Will you host workshops or webinars to engage your audience? Choose methods that align with your objectives and resources.

Identify Resources Needed

  • Human Resources: Identify the skills and expertise needed to execute your project. This could include programmers, graphic designers, marketers, or subject matter experts. Determine if you need to recruit volunteers or collaborate with other organizations.
  • Material Resources: List any physical resources required, such as computers, software, or equipment for recording videos.
  • Financial Resources: Estimate the budget needed to fund your project. This includes costs for software development, marketing, hosting events, and any other expenses. Look into funding options such as grants, crowdfunding, or sponsorships.

Create a Timeline

  • Milestones: Establish key milestones to track progress. Milestones are significant points in your project timeline, such as the completion of the app prototype, the launch of the website, or the first community outreach event.
  • Deadlines: Assign deadlines to each task and milestone. Ensure that these deadlines are realistic and consider any potential obstacles that might arise.

Step 4: Implement and Monitor Your Project

  • Execute Your Plan: Start working on your project according to your outlined steps.
  • Gather Feedback: Engage with your community to get feedback and make necessary adjustments.
  • Track Progress: Monitor your project’s impact through metrics such as user engagement, reach, and feedback.

Step 5: Document Your Journey

  • Record Milestones: Keep detailed records of your project’s progress, challenges, and successes.
  • Create Content: Develop multimedia content (videos, blog posts, social media updates) that showcases your work and its impact.

Step 6: Engage with the Community

Three students talking in front of a laptop.

  • Network: Connect with other changemakers, mentors, and organizations that align with your mission.
  • Share Your Story: Use platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to share your project’s story and engage with a broader audience.

Sample Project Ideas

  • Mental Health Awareness: Create an online platform or app that provides mental health resources, support groups, and counseling services.
  • Educational Resources: Develop a digital tutoring service or educational content platform to help students with remote learning.
  • Environmental Advocacy: Use social media campaigns and apps to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practices.
  • Community Support Networks: Build a digital network that connects volunteers with people in need, such as the elderly or underprivileged families.
  • Digital Literacy Programs: Create workshops or online courses to teach digital skills to underrepresented communities.

FAQs

1. Is Digital4Good prestigious?

Yes, Digital4Good is prestigious due to its recognition of exceptional student innovators who use digital technology to address significant challenges. Winners receive mentorship from industry professionals, enhancing their projects and personal development. The summit’s global reach and collaborations with leading companies amplify the impact and credibility of the showcased initiatives.

Additionally, extensive media exposure highlights the achievements of these young leaders, further establishing Digital4Good’s reputation as a respected platform for promoting positive digital innovation​.

2. What does it mean to me as an upcoming college students?

As an upcoming college student, participating in Digital4Good can significantly enhance your profile and future opportunities. Being recognized by Digital4Good means you’re acknowledged for your innovative use of digital technology to solve real-world problems, which colleges and future employers highly value.

The mentorship from industry professionals offers valuable guidance, insights, and networking opportunities. Additionally, the extensive media exposure and global reach of the summit can elevate your project and personal brand, making you stand out in college applications and job markets.

3. Can you be nominated more than once in Digital4Good?

Yes, you can be nominated more than once for the Digital4Good Summit. The guidelines for Digital4Good do not restrict previous nominees or winners from being nominated again. This allows individuals who continue to innovate and impact their communities through digital technology to be recognized for their ongoing efforts.

Therefore, if you have a new project or significant updates to a previous initiative, you can be nominated again to showcase your continued contributions to positive digital change​.

4. Is there an age limit for nominees?

Digital4Good primarily targets student innovators who use digital technology to impact their communities positively. While there’s no specific age limit for participation, the program generally focuses on high school and college students.

Participants are expected to have developed or be working on projects that address significant social, economic, environmental, or educational challenges through digital media and technology.

Author

Search

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.