About AI

Appropriate IT is a for-profit social enterprise that harnesses the power of technology to advance social justice, equitable access, and inclusive international development. Learn more about the people behind the organization, search open positions, or email partnership enquiries.

 

Why We Do It

At Appropriate IT, we love the potential and excitement around emerging technologies. We are equally, if not more, passionate about utilizing this cutting edge technology to design solutions for social change.

 

Why cutting-edge technologies?

AI works on the cutting edge of current and next gen technologies. Many of these are nascent technologies that are shaping the future of education, work, and life.

We have to be actively involved in cutting-edge tech so that we can effectively contribute to shaping the field as it is being developed. Being actively involved = developing technical expertise by undertaking software development projects through AI’s Innovation Lab.

Underprivileged youth, especially young women, should not just be the ‘beneficiaries’ or ‘consumers’ of these tools. We have to create opportunities for underprivileged youth to become ‘creators’ and ‘owners’ of these technologies. Creating opportunities = providing software development trainings in current and next-gen technologies through AI’s Development Academy.

What is a social enterprise? And, why a for-profit social enterprise?

Besides innovating on the technology side, we are also keenly exploring alternate models for doing business. Capitalism 1.0 with its sole focus of wealth creation for investors has resulted in a blinkered approach to the world, resulting in a lot of damage to many other aspects such as environment, eco system, traditions, culture, and community. A for-profit social enterprise model gives us the freedom to strive for a balance with multiple stakeholders – people, planet, and profit.

What makes AI unique?

Founded in 2007, it is run by a team of professionals seasoned in the information technology, finance, non-governmental and nonprofit sectors.

Why open source products at the Innovation Lab?

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been developing technologies and tools for many decades now. Many of these remain project-oriented with a lifecycle that ends when the project ends. Appropriate IT is interested in developing technologies that are released with open source licenses for community benefit. This will allow a tool developed for one project in one country to be used in a totally different context and region. If many such projects combine their software development effort and cost, it will be possible to create powerful technology solutions with a strong developer community around it. While releasing software with open source license requires additional effort in the short-term, it is the better option for the long-term.

Why heavy youth focus in the Development Academy?

Globally, youth unemployment is rising, resulting in a socio-cultural turmoil. Our vision for the Academy’s impact goes far beyond the initial value of high-quality workforce preparedness training. As globalization gathers speed, its emerging corporate leaders must be prepared to lead both effectively and responsibly–for the good of their own industries and for the world as a whole. With its emphasis on active citizenship, personal character, and social consciousness, Appropriate IT Development Academy is designed to develop youth not just as model employees and managers, but as future drivers of positive social change.

Why special focus on women & girls?

Revenues from AIDA services will support free and subsidized technology training and professional mentoring for low-income and marginalized young women who face additional language and socio-cultural barriers in accessing high quality jobs.