In today's day and age it is all about social good (or at least it should be). There are numerous companies that are leading the trend. TOMS is one of the most widely recognized companies doing social good with the concept of buying a pair of shoes and giving one to someone in need. LSTN donates money to the Starkey Hearing Foundation for every pair of headphones or speakers purchased. Love 41 gives 100% of their profits from selling high-end handbags to programs in Africa. It's easy to see the impact consumer products like TOMS, LSTN, and Love 41 are making in this space.
But what about the companies that don't have consumer facing products? What kind of impact are they making in our world?
Meet Qualcomm - one of the largest tech companies most people have never heard of. (Unless, of course, you are a football fan since they hold the naming rights for the San Diego Charger's football stadium.) They became a behemoth by creating the technology that makes our world wireless. Most of your mobile technology is likely powered by a one of their chip sets, anything from your smartphone to the navigation system in your car. They believe in, and have a history of, inventing mobile technology breakthroughs.
They also believe in using their technology to improve people's lives. Over the last ten years, their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative Qualcomm Wireless Reach has invested in over 100 programs that bring wireless technology to underserved communities in 46 countries. In collaboration with more than 650 stakeholders, they have positively impacted nearly ten million beneficiaries to date.
One program in Morocco uses mobile technology to decrease maternal mortality through mobile ultrasounds. Doctors there realized that many pregnant women in rural areas were having complications due to a lack of prenatal care during their pregnancies. An ultrasound is the only way to identify potential complications that could ultimately end in maternal death. To address this issue, Wireless Reach and Trice Imaging collaborated on a program to provide ultrasounds to women living in remote areas, and used mobile technology to instantly transmit the scans to doctors in the city for diagnosis.
The team, in conjunction with Temme Media, recently produced a virtual reality film called Mothers of the Atlas to share the compelling results from the program. The time for medical data to be reviewed and sent back was shortened from 4 days to 2 seconds; the cost of a diagnosis was decreased by 98%, from $80 to $2; and the wait time for an individual to receive a medical opinion went from 2 weeks to less than 24 hours.
As program results demonstrate, mobile technology is a powerful tool that is helping to reduce maternal and infant mortality around the world, as well as working towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
What's innovative about this CSR program, is that while it is doing positive things in the world, it is also strategic in nature as it is demonstrating the transformative potential of the company's technology. Qualcomm is setting a great example for how others can succeed in business, while also incorporating social good into their business model.
What are your organization's strengths? What are your individual strengths? How could you use these strengths to give back? Is there something simple you can do today? Perhaps you can mentor a new entrepreneur or make a connection for someone unexpectedly. There are infinite possibilities for you to give back to the world and be an example in the ever-important trend of social good. And, you may find you and your business benefit from it too in more ways than you can imagine.