For Food Ladder chief executive Kelly McJannett, technology is a game changer.
The not-for-profit organisation uses hydroponics and environmentally sustainable technologies to create food and economic security for communities otherwise reliant on aid and affected by poverty, and technology is helping it spread its work further around the world.
“What technology is allowing us to do is take our award-winning model that we’ve been refining over more than ten years now – social enterprise developments – internationally and in Australia and proliferate that on a global scale,” says McJannett.
“We don’t actually have to physically be in the community in Cambodia to be creating a social enterprise with the village, for example.”
Food Ladder rolls out its programs and training online, which has significantly reduced its costs and allowed it to work in more locations. The organisation also uses commercially-available technologies to do things like mapping weather patterns so they that we can work from afar with very remote off-the-grid communities.
It is further trying to leverage technology with the launch of its Food Ladder 2.0 competition for the design of a sustainable, low-cost commercial food growing system to be rolled out to disadvantaged communities. “Currently, we have food growing systems in Australia, India and Uganda, and are now hoping to extend our reach by creating a 2.0 model that can be replicated at a more attainable price-point,” the NFP says.
McJannett explains: “We really want to provide this opportunity to any visionary person anywhere in the world that wants to be a part of a movement to bring this technology to communities that really need it, and I think that’s what is so exciting.
“With our platform and our social enterprise model, we can really provide this solution to anyone anywhere. If it wasn’t for technology and the advancements that we’ve been able to make in getting our system and our training platforms online, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” she says.
Australian social enterprises are adopting technology to help them scale and achieve their objective of change for the better.
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