Developing scalable tech interventions for social good: Kieron Kirkland

Developing scalable tech interventions for social good: Kieron Kirkland

Developing scalable tech interventions for social good: Kieron Kirkland

Introduction

The potential of technology to solve social problems and meet public need is vast. Many interventions have been developed in the UK across a range of areas, from healthcare to education to employment. However, these are rarely sustained over time or get adopted at scale.

“My Fellowship was a life changing opportunity. It transformed my approach to using technology to address social challenges and set my career off on a new and exciting trajectory.” - Kieron Kirkland, Fellow

Product manager Kieron Kirkland (CF 2015) has been exploring ways to increase and scale up the impact of tech interventions to improve people’s lives. Around the time of his Fellowship, Kieron co-founded a charity called CAST, which helps organisations to use digital for social good. The learning Kieron acquired on his Fellowship strongly informed CAST’s working model, which is to encourage organisations to think about sustainability and social impact from day one when planning their digital interventions.

Soon after CAST’s foundation, Kieron and his colleagues secured funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief to run a programme called Fuse, which incorporated learning from models he had seen on his Fellowship. The programme supported charities to develop sustainable social tech innovations, with those participating including AgeUK, Oxfam and Breast Cancer Care. Breast Cancer Care went on to receive £655,000 in funding from the National Lottery to further develop their breast cancer care app ‘BECCA’, which had been prototyped through CAST’s Fuse programme and which now helps thousands of women across the UK each year. CAST has gone on to support over 500 charities and is now the incubator for Catalyst, an alliance of civil society organisations, funders, and digital agencies, with wide-ranging impact.

Alongside this work, Kieron has been responsible for helping to develop new digital health interventions to meet specific needs during the pandemic, again informed by his Fellowship and guided by user-led research. To meet increased need for mental health support, Kieron is in the process of developing a prototype artificial intelligence chatbot to deliver such support at scale, supported by one of our Covid-19 Action Fund grants. In his role as Head of Product at Pacmed, Kieron also led the development of an artificial intelligence product that provides decision support to medical staff working in intensive care units.

Kieron’s Fellowship to Sub-Saharan Africa explored how technology can solve social problems.

He said, “My Fellowship was a life changing opportunity. It transformed my approach to using technology to address social challenges and set my career off on a new and exciting trajectory.”

“My Fellowship was a life changing opportunity. It transformed my approach to using technology to address social challenges and set my career off on a new and exciting trajectory.” - Kieron Kirkland, Fellow

Product manager Kieron Kirkland (CF 2015) has been exploring ways to increase and scale up the impact of tech interventions to improve people’s lives. Around the time of his Fellowship, Kieron co-founded a charity called CAST, which helps organisations to use digital for social good. The learning Kieron acquired on his Fellowship strongly informed CAST’s working model, which is to encourage organisations to think about sustainability and social impact from day one when planning their digital interventions.

Soon after CAST’s foundation, Kieron and his colleagues secured funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief to run a programme called Fuse, which incorporated learning from models he had seen on his Fellowship. The programme supported charities to develop sustainable social tech innovations, with those participating including AgeUK, Oxfam and Breast Cancer Care. Breast Cancer Care went on to receive £655,000 in funding from the National Lottery to further develop their breast cancer care app ‘BECCA’, which had been prototyped through CAST’s Fuse programme and which now helps thousands of women across the UK each year. CAST has gone on to support over 500 charities and is now the incubator for Catalyst, an alliance of civil society organisations, funders, and digital agencies, with wide-ranging impact.

Alongside this work, Kieron has been responsible for helping to develop new digital health interventions to meet specific needs during the pandemic, again informed by his Fellowship and guided by user-led research. To meet increased need for mental health support, Kieron is in the process of developing a prototype artificial intelligence chatbot to deliver such support at scale, supported by one of our Covid-19 Action Fund grants. In his role as Head of Product at Pacmed, Kieron also led the development of an artificial intelligence product that provides decision support to medical staff working in intensive care units.

Kieron’s Fellowship to Sub-Saharan Africa explored how technology can solve social problems.

He said, “My Fellowship was a life changing opportunity. It transformed my approach to using technology to address social challenges and set my career off on a new and exciting trajectory.”