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20 Leading Social Impact Platforms Making A Difference With Digital Potential

Social impact platforms have been the fastest growing category of social business in recent years, according to a report by Global Impact Investing Network. Digital transformation is now affecting every business sector, it involves everyone in every industry and every aspect of our life. It is clear to all of us that Digital Transformation is underway and that it will change how we work and how we live. With every passing day, artificial intelligence adoption and impact are accelerating. As a result of this narrowing opportunity gap, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that everyone can have equal access to digital technology that will improve people’s lives. It is possible to use existing platforms and offer new technologies like AI to create communities where people are incentivized to develop novel products and solutions. By working together with artificial intelligence experts from around the world, it is possible to ensure a brighter future for everyone worldwide. With such growth, it is critical to identify and evaluate the leading players in this space.

1. ClimateWorks Foundation

ClimateWorks Foundation is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization founded in 2008. One of the biggest platforms which works in order to support a low-carbon and climate-resilient global economy.   It helps investors, governments and businesses to invest in solutions to climate change. Also supported by foundations and other non-profit organizations giving their support on global clean energy initiatives.

It has helped companies like Duke Energy, the world’s biggest electric power company that is running a series of projects aimed at developing clean energy technologies. At ClimateWorks, they are working with leading investors, governments, and businesses to steer the world onto a path of climate-resilient growth.

Large impact potential:  Millions of people are affected by extreme climate events every year, millions of acres of land go up in flames and billions of dollars are lost to natural disasters. According to data from the World Bank, the amount lost to climate change equals almost 3% of global GDP. According to the Global Impact Investing Network, an estimated $1 trillion is invested in climate change every year.

Differential potential for AI or Digital: Digital data can be used to spot trends in climate patterns before it is too late. One example is  how wind patterns can be analyzed by compiling and analyzing satellite data gathered over years. The information will reveal how air circulates around the world, which can help predict droughts and extreme weather events. 

Pathway to scale: ClimateWorks partners with leading organizations, investors, and governments to make a difference on this issue through global cooperation.

2. Carbon Collective  

The Carbon Collective, based out of California, is a sustainable investment platform using data from Project Drawdown. It is a $1 billion investment fund designed to invest in and accelerate projects that can help solve the climate crisis.

The Carbon Collective has Investors like Sir Richard Branson, Shakira, and even Leonardo DiCaprio, who have invested millions into these climate solutions. It has also partnered with many big corporations like Google and Microsoft to use their AI to find cleaner energy sources.

Large impact potential: Lack of access to information and services due to language barriers affects hundreds of millions of people. According to the data from the United Nations, 8% of the world population is not proficient enough to speak English. Furthermore, statistics on lack of access to information from the CIA World Factbook show that there are 14,495,226 million people who have limited or no access to information or communication services.

Differential potential for AI or Digital:  The idea of the Carbon Collective is to use digital data and renewable energy production for sustainable growth. This can help scale up these solutions quickly and easily, making a significant impact in the process. For example, the Carbon Collective’s platform allows consumers to exchange their data for clean energy. As a result, AI can predict where and when renewable resources are most needed.

Pathway to scale: Can integrate with existing digital platforms, become part of the digital economy.

3. BackStage Capital

BackStage Capital, based out of Los Angeles, California, is a venture capital seed fund investing exclusively in startups that underrepresented founders lead.  The idea of Backstage Capital is to break the barriers that the tech world has created to provide a fair opportunity for all.

Large impact potential: There is a considerable gap in the startup investment world.  Black founders have founded only 1% of all unicorns; only two have been established by Latino founders (Prisma and Thumbtack) and none at all by women or those with disabilities.

Differential potential for AI or Digital: Opportunity for the underrepresented entrepreneurs to boost the AI economy and make a difference in the world with AI startups. For example, the VC invested in an African-American led startup called Reflekt Me, which uses an AI-powered chatbot to make diversity data visible. 

Pathway to scale: Backstage Capital can partner with other companies looking for investments and startups to invest in.

4. AdAstral Funds

AdAstral Funds is committed to investing in companies with a strong social or environmental impact.

Large impact potential:  The social impact objectives are aligned with those of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and they utilize leading Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) methodologies to carefully select, develop, and incubate ideas and disruptive technologies with the power to transform humanity on a global scale. Universal change requires moonshot thinking which has the potential to deliver stellar returns.

Differential potential for AI or Digital:  AdAstral Funds is dedicated to investing in moonshot opportunities that can provide better services through new innovative solutions, many of which are run by AI and digital data. This helps put a difference into the world with startups that produce sustainable growth solutions.

Pathway to scale:  AdAstral leverages the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and organizations such as Knowledge Pledge to help startups realize their social innovation growth potential.

5. The Global Impact Investing Network

The Global Impact Investing Network based out of New York is a network of individuals committed to building an inclusive investor community that powers investment in and financial flows toward impact through capital, knowledge, networks, and advocacy.

Large impact potential: There have been many investments since the inception of GIIN, which has led to hundreds of millions of dollars going towards sustainable growth solutions.  This impacts billions of people.

Differential potential for AI or Digital: AI systems can make better decisions and provide better solutions with higher accuracy than humans, making them invaluable in the impact investing world. This offers an excellent opportunity to scale these solutions quickly and easily. For example,  an investment company called SEED has used AI to provide expert advice and recommendations on sustainable impact investments.

Pathway to scale: GIIN helps connect those that are looking for investments with those that have them. They can also combine those with the knowledge with the professionals that need it.

6. Gratitude Railroad

Based out of Utah, Gratitude Railroad is a group of investors focused on top-tier offers support startups at the intersection of profit purpose and planet-A community of investors committed to helping solve environmental and social problems through the profitable deployment of capital into conscious businesses.

Large impact potential: One of the top-tier startups that have been recently funded by Gratitude Railroad is BlueVision. This startup will help reduce plastics by recycling them into building materials. They hope to create a more sustainable environment for generations to come.

Differential potential for AI or Digital:  The business model of these companies looks for sustainability solutions that help the environment and people. AI/Digital can provide an excellent opportunity to make smarter decisions when it comes to sustainable growth. For example,  a company called LeanPath uses a search engine to help restaurants make better decisions about sustainability.

Pathway to scale: Once these investments are made, they hope to support and use companies who want more investment in their ideas and cause. This will also allow them to develop alliances with other companies that want to invest.

7. Intellecap

Based out of Mumbai, India, Intellecap nurtures early-stage, high-return businesses that create or significantly impact social and environmental good. And invest in companies that employ innovative tech to lower costs and risks in infrastructure for humanitarian agencies. It is one of the key impact investing groups in south Asia and east Africa.

Large impact potential:  Intellecap has had many investments over the years that have helped build many great ventures with positive social and environmental impacts all over the world. Intellecap has invested in over 100 ventures around the globe. For example, they invested in a company that uses an app to bring tech solutions for the unbanked people in third world countries and help them build a credit score and a company that allows small-scale farmers in developing countries that are using AI technology to protect their crops and help them with the best times for planting.

Differential potential for AI or Digital:  The businesses that Intellecap invests in, especially those with digital platforms, can use this data to make better investments with more accuracy. They also help improve the transparency, automation, and efficiency of these digital ventures, allowing them to scale up much faster than humanly possible.

Pathway to scale:  By providing capital for innovative solutions, Intellecap builds political will in these countries, which helps them build a business-government relationship. They hope that this relationship can be formed around solving society’s problems through impact investments from IntelliCap. This will allow solutions to get scaled.

8. Africa Eats

Africa Eats is a non-profit organization that connects established restaurants across the globe with chefs and entrepreneurs in Africa and leverage partnerships to solve problems of food waste, food security, and creating jobs for people in Africa.  This is done through their restaurant network, website, and events.  They hope these collaborations will build a network of restaurants that can help solve food insecurity and provide jobs to get people in Africa out of poverty.

Large impact potential:  Feeding everyone is a big task for any country. With an ever-growing population, this problem has the potential to get much worse. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1 in 9 people is at risk of going hungry. Millions of people in the world do not have enough food to lead an active, healthy life. By providing a platform where these chefs can work together has great potential to solve this problem. 

Differential potential for AI or Digital:  By helping restaurant owners see the benefits of these solutions, they can help create a better environment for all types of businesses to grow and thrive in Africa. Digital platforms are essential when it comes to collaboration across continents, countries, and cultures. They allow for everyone involved to have their voices heard and greater insight into helping create solutions.

Pathway to scale: Africa Eats has an extensive network of restaurants that are willing to help provide food for these communities in Africa that need it most. This way, they can build their restaurant collaboration business while providing many communities with a sustainable and efficient delivery method.

9. ImpactAlpha

Located in Berkley, California, ImpactAlpha is a media platform that focuses on impact investing.  They are dedicated to journalists and investors who want to educate how small investments can drive societal change.  They also have an online community where people can connect, share ideas, and discover ways to be part of solutions. They hope this digital platform will allow for many more investors to make impact investments.

Large impact potential:  ImpactAlpha hopes that the information they can provide will allow people to identify and invest in ventures that are focused on making positive changes. They want to grow a community where people feel confident in investing in social enterprise funds.  

Differential potential for AI or Digital: Their digital platform can give people access to information and businesses that can help them identify ventures that are making a positive change. This will allow for more impact investments. For example, ImpactAlpha’s focus on transparency and data has a great digital platform that makes creating solutions easier.  It also helps potential investors find venture opportunities beyond only the social entrepreneurship sector.

Pathway to scale:  ImpactAlpha has an extensive network of journalists and investors connected. They also spend time walking them through the process of investing in impact funds, so they feel comfortable making an impact investment in the future.  

10.  AI for Good

Geneva’s United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized the AI for Good Global Summit. It focuses on bringing together international researchers, policymakers, innovators, and business leaders. The summit is focused on making sure that artificial intelligence is used to help solve some of the major problems that face humanity.

Large impact potential:   The AI for Good Global Summit is focused on using technology to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Thousands of experts and innovators will come together to help identify ways that AI can be used to fight poverty, disease, hunger, and more.  

Differential potential for AI or digital:  This summit aims to identify ways that AI and digital technology can be used to help make an impact.   

Pathway to scale:  This summit is focused on identifying ways that many different types of organizations can use technologies such as blockchain or AI to improve lives all over the world.  

11.  Tech Policy Lab

The Tech Policy Lab is a research group that is part of the University of Washington. They focus on policy analysis and development to make sure that technology continues to improve people’s lives.  They are focused on ensuring that AI and digital solutions have positive impacts across many industries, including healthcare, energy, emergency services, and more.

Large impact potential:  The Tech Policy Lab was created to identify how technology can help people. Their purpose is to ensure that all parts of society benefit from the latest technologies, including AI and other digital solutions.  

Differential potential for AI or Digital: The Tech Policy Lab has a team of researchers who want to make sure that AI and digital solutions continue to make the world a better place. For example,  their team found a novel algorithmic solution to food waste, which could significantly positively impact poverty.  

Pathway to scale:  The Tech Policy Lab is working with the government to identify ways that technology can be used to make an impact. They are currently focused on healthcare, energy, education, justice, and emergency services.  

12. AI Innovation for Australia

The AI Innovation for Australia (AIIA) is an organization that was created to help startups scale up through government grants and programs. They work with the government to identify ways that technology can be used to improve people’s lives.  They are focused on helping companies develop solutions using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies to ensure that Australia continues to be a leader in innovation.

Large impact potential:  The AIIA is focused on identifying ways that technology can be used to improve people’s lives. They are currently focused on educating the public about the potential of AI and helping startups develop successful solutions.  

Differential potential for AI or digital: The AIIA works with the government to identify issues that humans cannot solve. This includes things like climate change and emergency services, which can now be helped through digital data analysis.  

Pathway to scale: The AIIA works with the government to identify ways that technology can be used to impact people’s lives. They are focused on helping startups develop scalable solutions, which the government and other organizations can then implement.  

13. Precision Human Services- Social Impact AI  Lab

Based out of Vermont, the Precision Human Services Social Impact AI Lab is focused on finding ways that artificial intelligence can be used to help people. They have a team of consultants and researchers working with other organizations to ensure that AI can be used to improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.  They are also focused on sharing their AI solutions with other organizations to help them improve the lives of more people. They offer free consultations and are focused on assisting companies in creating successful solutions that will have a positive impact across many areas, including healthcare, education, and emergency services.

Large impact potential:  Precision Human Services helps people by applying artificial intelligence to their work.  By harnessing the power of AI, they can help millions of people globally to ensure including refugees and those who lack access to quality healthcare and other services.  For example,  Precision Human Services develops medical devices to help people in remote areas. They created a device called the Ambulant Care External Tracheostomy System (ACETS), which paramedics and first responders use to make sure that patients can breathe easily after an accident or trauma.  

Differential potential for AI or digital: Precision Human Services is focused on applying artificial intelligence to help solve issues in various industries. This includes things like emergency services, where following the natural disasters last year, they were able to use AI to help coordinate aid and provide relief assistance more effectively.

Pathway to scale:  Precision Human Services has experience with government contracts and is focused on learning more about how to use artificial intelligence to share their knowledge with others to help them improve emergency services and other areas.  

14. Data Science for Social Good

Based out of Chicago, Illinois, this organization is dedicated to using data and analytics for social good.  Many organizations around the world can benefit from using new technologies, including artificial intelligence and mobile solutions. There are also many areas where technology can help solve significant problems, such as lack of access to education or healthcare. The goal of the Data Science for Social Good is to help the public understand how technology can be used to improve people’s lives while also assisting organizations to learn about new technologies that they may not know about.

Large impact potential:  This platform focuses on sharing information with organizations who need it to help them create successful solutions through artificial intelligence. With the correct information, organizations can create new platforms that will help people and positively impact society.  For example, the platform has a section where people can learn about the use of artificial intelligence for healthcare, including creating chatbots that help answer questions related to healthcare.

Differential potential for AI or digital:  Artificial intelligence can solve many issues worldwide including issues related to climate change. By identifying ways to use artificial intelligence to tackle environmental concerns, we can help preserve the planet for future generations.  

Pathway to scale:  By providing information about how artificial intelligence works and how it can be used for social good, organizations can learn more about new technology that they may not have known about before. This helps create effective solutions that will solve major problems while also improving people’s lives.  

15. Mila

Mila is a non-profit organization that is focused on artificial intelligence. They are based in Montreal, Quebec, and their goal is to help the public understand how technology can be used to improve many aspects of society including climate change. Artificial intelligence can solve major global issues, including issues related to climate change and energy consumption. By identifying ways to use artificial intelligence to tackle environmental concerns and help the planet, we can protect future generations. The organization is focused on educating people about how technology works to make better decisions related to their usage of it.

Large impact potential:  Mila is dedicated to helping solve problems through the application of artificial intelligence. We can address global issues and make a real difference in people’s lives with the right technology. This encourages companies and other organizations to use their new understanding of artificial intelligence for social good instead of purely for profit.  

Differential potential for AI or digital:  Artificial intelligence can solve many issues worldwide, including issues related to climate change. We can protect future generations by identifying ways to use artificial intelligence to tackle developing environmental concerns and help the planet.  For example,   in 2016, one of Mila’s projects used artificial intelligence to incentivize organic farmers.  

Pathway to scale:  By providing information about how artificial intelligence works and how it can be used for social good, organizations can learn more about new technology that they may not have known about before. This helps them create effective solutions that will solve major problems while also improving people’s lives.  

16. Arthan Social Forum

The Arthan Social Forum, based in Austria, is a non-profit organization created to help people understand how artificial intelligence can solve significant problems. There are many areas where technology can help solve major issues, such as lack of access to education or healthcare.  People need a way to learn about all of the solutions that technology has to offer to make choices about their usage. They strive to share information with people interested in learning more to make good choices regarding their use of technology.  

Large impact potential:  Arthan focuses on helping people understand how technology works and how it can solve many different problems in society. By encouraging the adoption of artificial intelligence, they help people improve their quality of life. This will encourage more businesses and organizations to find innovative ways to use technology for social good.  

Differential potential for AI or digital:  Arthan identifies how artificial intelligence can solve the problems that face society today. By providing information about these issues, they can help more people understand how technology can transform their lives and others around them.  

Pathway to scale:  Arthan works with governments, organizations, and individuals interested in using technology for good. By identifying ways to use artificial intelligence to tackle environmental concerns and help the planet, they work to protect future generations.

17. Partnership on AI

The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence is an organization that is benefiting people and society based out of San Francisco, California, created by companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. They are interested in using artificial intelligence for social good. The goal of the Partnership is to help people understand how technology works to make better choices about how it impacts their lives. People need a place to learn about the innovations that they could benefit from, and the Partnership is providing that framework. The organization was created in 2016, and it currently works with a variety of different stakeholders who are interested in making sure that people can maximize their potential through technology.  

Large impact potential:  People need to be informed about how artificial intelligence can make proper choices about how it affects their lives. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans are not confident that AI will work to improve their lives. When more people understand how technology works and how it can be used for good, the more likely they are to make choices that will positively impact society.

Differential potential for AI or digital:  The Partnership on AI wants to ensure that people have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about where they want to use technology. By informing more organizations about how artificial intelligence works and what is available, it allows more people to adopt the technology to fit their lifestyles.  

Pathway to scale:   By identifying how artificial intelligence works and how it can benefit people, it paves the way for more people who may not have had access before.  

18. AI Now Institute

The AI Now Institute based out of New York is a research organization that studies the role of artificial intelligence in society. The AI Now Institute works to understand what these issues are, how they affect people, and how they can be solved so that everyone has an equal chance at succeeding in our modern society.  

Large impact potential:  By working with different stakeholders and people interested in artificial intelligence, it works to provide everyone with a fair chance.  

Differential potential for AI or digital:  The AI Now Institute is looking into ways to use artificial intelligence to help people understand how technology works and its role in our society.

Pathway to scale:  The AI Now Institute is working with researchers, experts, and stakeholders to find out how to ensure a fair playing field for everyone who uses artificial intelligence.

19.  AI for Good Foundation

The AI for Good Foundation, based out of Delaware, USA, is a nonprofit organization created to make sure that artificial intelligence was used responsibly. The AI for Good Foundation intends to come up with solutions that will help people use artificial intelligence to allow everyone instead of just the people who are in charge.  

Large impact potential:  With so many different companies and organizations working on technology, we all must work together to ensure that our world stays safe. By working with various stakeholders and experts, we can come up with solutions that will benefit everyone. They bringing together a broad network of interdisciplinary researchers, nonprofits, governments, and corporate actors to identify, prototype, and scale solutions that engender positive social change.

Differential potential for AI or digital:  AI for Good Foundation fosters activities to maximize the benefit of AI technologies for social good. It is focusing on initiatives related to sustainable AI policy, Intelligent Cities Project, and workforce diversity.

Pathway to scale:  The AI for Good Foundation is working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop ways to help people. It is helping to advance the global sustainable development goals (SDGs)  to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”

20. Wadhwani Foundation

Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation based in India with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving job creation in India and other emerging economies through large-scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, small business growth, innovation, and skilling.

Large impact potential:  Foundation is scaling impact in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America through technology, networks and partnerships 

Differential potential for AI or digital: It is developing AI solutions for social good for underserved communities in developing countries. It empowers small business entrepreneur with AI-enabled business management and business consulting services to maximize their growth potential. As an example, they provide automated ‘Business Discovery and Transformation Tools’ and Do-It-Yourself Tool Kits for building insights and defining digital transformation. Furthermore, they established India’s first AI research institute in Mumbai.

Pathway to Scale: They are delivering scalable, tech-led solutions to meet challenges in developing countries like inadequate healthcare and educational facilities. Wadhwani Foundation is helping entrepreneurs to scale and experience rapid growth.

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