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Thinking Big: Technology Solutions for Social Impact Conference at Santa Clara University

Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

Unique opportunity to learn about some of the world's most promising socially beneficial innovations, as The Tech Awards laureates join top NGOs from NetHope and leading Silicon Valley tech companies at a conference hosted by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 28, 2010 — Top non-governmental organizations from NetHope and leading Silicon Valley tech companies will converge at Santa Clara University for a Nov. 4 conference hosted by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. The unique conference will highlight a novel partnership designed to help humanitarian groups and enterprises vastly improve the social benefit of their technological innovations.

Also attending will be 15 laureates from The Tech Awards 2010 Presented by Applied Materials, the annual signature program of The Tech Museum. The program honors global innovators that use technology to benefit humanity.

Conference participants include the 15 laureates, representatives of more than 30 leading global non-government organizations who are members of NetHope, prominent technology corporations, funding organizations, and the University community.

The conference, Technology Solutions for Social Impact: Taking Innovations to Scale, is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday Nov. 4, at Santa Clara University. A reception and additional opportunity to meet The Tech Awards laureates will follow. 

Media and the public are invited to attend the conference and reception. Additional information and RSVP is available at

The Tech Awards Showcase

A highlight of the conference is The Tech Awards Showcase, the highly anticipated debut of the 15 global innovators who are being recognized for their outstanding technology innovations for the benefit of humanity in environment, economic development, education, equality, and health.

The laureates are brought to Silicon Valley for a week filled with opportunities to strengthen their business skills and contacts with Silicon Valley venture capitalists and companies. At the end of the week on Nov. 6, five of the 15 laureates will also receive additional recognition with a $50,000 cash prize at The Tech Awards Gala.

The Tech Award Laureate Showcase portion of the conference takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Locatelli Center. The laureates will introduce their innovations starting at 11:30 am.

This year’s laureates were selected from more than 1,000 nominations sourced largely by The Tech Museum’s program partner, SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), an interdisciplinary center focused on promoting the use of science and technology through social entrepreneurship to benefit underserved communities worldwide.

Nominations were received from more than 50 countries. The 15 laureates were selected by CSTS judging panels, which comprised SCU faculty members, CEOs and other senior executives of some of the world’s largest multinational companies, and thought leaders from research institutions and the public sector.

“The Tech Awards honors those who have dedicated their technological prowess and entrepreneurial spirit to the causes of social justice and the betterment of life for the underserved,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of CSTS. “In selecting the laureates, the Center and its judges look for technological applications that demonstrate the most potential for improving the human condition worldwide.”

The five cash prize recipients of The Tech Awards 2010 will be revealed on Nov. 6 at The Tech Awards Gala, where Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will accept the 2010 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award presented by Applied Materials.  More information on the gala can be found at

The Conference

At the conference before and after The Tech Awards Showcase, CSTS and NetHope will announce a novel partnership between NetHope’s NGO members, leading technology companies and CSTS’s social-entrepreneur network and resources.

The partnership represents an agreement to collaborate, share and leverage technology and resources from companies like Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, Applied Materials and Accenture for the benefit of social entrepreneurs in CSTS’s network, and for humanitarian aid groups that are members of NetHope.

“This partnership, for the first time, will combine the efforts of influential technology companies, foundations and NGOs along with social entrepreneurs who together are positively changing the lives of the world’s neediest,” said NetHope CEO Dr. William A. Brindley.

During the conference, NetHope will announce some advancements already underway with partners such as HP, which is working with NetHope to evaluate technology to help thwart killer counterfeit drugs in third-world nations; Intel, working with Catholic Relief Services to develop a platform for mobile field workers that’s helping over one million farmer families across Sub-Saharan Africa using cloud-enabled innovations to scale to new areas; and Microsoft, which is supporting CARE in its efforts to innovate on affordable mobile phones enhanced with cloud computing to support CARE’s HIV/Aids programs in Kenya and Mozambique.

 Silicon Valley Training for The Tech Awards Laureates

During the week of the conference, the CSTS will introduce The Tech Awards laureates to proven techniques from the Center’s signature Global Social Benefit Incubator™ program, which enable social entrepreneurs to build sustainable business models, reach scale commensurate with the level of the need they seek to address, and attract funding.

“The GSBI has graduated more than 121 social entrepreneurs, with a focus on sustainability and scaling of their ventures,” said Dr. Kreiner, “Fifty-five percent are growing earned income faster than expenses, a metric that would delight most VCs.”

The week also includes the NetHope Global Summit: Connect. Collaborate. Innovate. This unique conference includes 32 of the world’s leading NGOs, major corporations, and program spotlights that highlight best-of-breed innovations and technologies for driving social benefit. The Tech Awards laureates will participate in elements of the Summit, including a special plenary dinner.

The conference is a collaboration between The Tech Awards Presented by Applied Materials, a signature program of The Tech Museum, NetHope, and Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. 

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Founded in 1997, the Center for Science, Technology and Society (CSTS) is one of three “centers of distinction” at Santa Clara University. Its mission is to promote the use of science and technology to benefit underserved communities worldwide. CSTS implements its mission through education, public engagement, and direct social impact. The Center’s Social Impact Program includes the internationally recognized Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) and the sourcing and judging of the Technology Benefiting Humanity Awards in partnership with The Tech Museum of Innovation. More information can be found at

About NetHope
NetHope, Inc., which started in 2001, is a new-generation collaboration of the international community’s leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) representing over $33 billion (USD) of emergency relief, human development and conservation programs in more than 150 countries. Through member collaboration and by facilitating public-private partnerships with major technology companies, NetHope enables members to leverage their technology investments to better serve their end beneficiaries. For more information, visit

About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Museum celebrates the Spirit of Silicon Valley by encouraging the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum visit

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | Asst. Media Relations Director | Santa Clara University
Office: 408-554-5121 | Cell: 408-768-6898

Michael Celiceo | Media Relations Lead| Waggener Edstrom Worldwide for NetHope
Office: 415-547-7034 | Cell: 415-370-6943

Tags: CSTS, social entrepreneurs, Tech Museum

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