Dossier - Working in Tech & in Impact. Is it compatible ?
At jobs_that_makesense, where would we be without our web developers to manage the platform's features?
However, when you want to engage in a structure of impact and you work in tech or in a digital profession, you can ask yourself the question of its environmental impact. The digital sector has indeed an impact since it represents 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. It could reach 7% by 2040. These emissions are linked to the manufacture of technological equipment, the production of electricity (rarely green) necessary to operate the machines (computers, laptops, servers processing a large amount of data...) and the cooling of data centers via air conditioning. In addition to their pollution, these 3 items (manufacturing, electricity, cooling) also require significant water resources.
At the same time, digital and new technologies are tools to save time, to be more productive as a team, to reach a large number of users, to bring together communities of thousands of people or to process and understand a multitude of complex data. These tools are now essential for the impact sector so that it does not represent a drop in the bucket, but rather challenges the more traditional sectors by using these powerful levers.
So how to engage in the ecological and social transition, while taking advantage of digital tools and limiting its impact ?
Impact sector issues
Capture audiences where they are
Website, e-commerce, social networks, mobile applications... It's all part of the daily uses of the French. 75% of French people are active on social networks, 87% watch videos every month, 74% have made an online purchase in December 2020, says Wearesocial and Hootsuite's 2021 Digital Usage Report. So if only traditional businesses use these technologies and impact businesses shy away from them, they could be missing out on a lot of partnerships and customers.
Creating communities, bringing people together;
Associations and impact companies also need to gather communities around their issues. The creation of websites, platforms and applications for connecting people allows them to create connections and facilitate exchanges between people. Just look at the success of Team for the Planet, a platform that offers to become a shareholder in order to finance large-scale ecological transition projects, up to the amount you want. To date, it has brought together more than 110,000 investors. There are also the Climate Fresco workshops, based on the work of the IPCC, to educate citizens about climate change, having trained 1 million people since 2018, especially via the online format, which was of great help during the containment!
Understanding and acting in complexity
The climate emergency and the complexity of our organizations, made up of interacting subsystems, require us to process a large amount of data in order to make strategic decisions and drive change. Tools such as Machine Learning and AI are therefore precious allies to act quickly. They also provide easier access to information on these topics. Functioning in the manner of ChatGPT, the AI Climate Q&A, for example, gathers complex information from scientific reports, including the IPCC report, to allow the general public to get answers to their questions on this topic, via a ChatBot.
Optimizing resources and reducing pollution
For example, Big Data allows us to be able to collect carbon data on an entire production chain, to understand which are the big emission items, and artificial intelligence can help in making decisions to reduce them. Greenly, for example, uses data to carry out carbon assessments for SMEs, accounting for emissions on scope 1,2 and 3. Its technologies also allow to optimize expenses and resources. For example, from an energy point of view, thanks to data analysis, it is possible to create predictive and intelligent energy management systems in buildings, with temperature and lighting control programs.
Securing information and uses
As in any industry, data security and cybersecurity skills are necessary. From the moment a business with impact harvests a large amount of information and confidential data, it needs competent IT security professionals. Security also involves controlling the content posted on networks and communities. Moderation tools like Bodyguard, thus protect users from toxic content in real time.
Technologies and not only !
New technologies are therefore means to achieve the transition and they are not the only ones! They accompany other tools that are just as necessary, such as raising awareness about changes in our lifestyles, communication about new viable and desirable futures, action on the ground to create links on the territory and promote local economic dynamics, all the work that aims to propose solutions around degrowth...
To go further
👉Working in tech & impact. It's organizations do it!
👉Working in Tech & Impact. Jobs and training
To take action
👉Find all of our tech and data job openings.
👉And our training courses for the ecological and social transition professions