Many people believe that software is like a soul that gives life to skeletons of all kinds of machines and devices; a soul that only a few people know how to manipulate it through cold calculations and indecipherable codes for the vast majority.
However, the software is present in many of our daily life activities. It is not only a great tool to facilitate our tasks but also to improve ourselves as a society. Perhaps, the most unknown dimension of the software is its capacity for radical transformation and its usefulness for Triple Bottom Line enterprises.
In Triple Balance businesses, the axis of the strategy no longer passes only through the search for profitability, but also through a development where
revenue is generated without compromising existing resources. It is a model based on three concepts: economic value; social view and environmental impact. It is there where software can play a fundamental role. For this reason, more and more entrepreneurs are relying on software to develop projects that protect the environment and the well-being of workers, users and consumers. Shall we know some of them?
Software to improve our lives
One of the axes where software is advancing the most and that impacts us on a daily basis is in our cities. Cities become intelligent thanks to a large amount of data collected and the powerful processing achieved with them.
“Today, technology is the basis of all the ventures in the world that are
revolutionizing markets“, says Daniel Merege, CEO of CityTech, a company that is dedicated to the development of technologies to build smart and cognitive cities.
As Daniel points out, the software allows the connections and intelligence (and efficient) to solve problems of the most different natures. For example,
CityTech uses software to understand urban problems and help governments make more effective decisions, whether in transportation, in citizen participation or in territorial planning, which directly affects the lives of citizens.
Daniel also points out that in Brasil and Chile, as well as in other Latin American countries, there are very interesting cases of software-based technologies that benefit rural areas, where they are making agriculture more productive while significantly reducing the environmental impact.
However, how do you live from within a Triple Balance venture? Daniel defines it as “the one that is already born taking into account a mission of sustainability.” In short, it is any project that takes into account social, economic and environmental changes, and is offered to the market as a solution that seeks to impact positively in the three axes mentioned.
“While all organizations come up with the idea of changing something for the better in at least one of the three axes, if you do not have the idea of triple impact at the beginning of your life as a business, you can create new negative impacts on the other axes.”, Daniel admitted.
For Carlos Guillermo Costa, CEO & Co-Founder of OTTAA Project, an Alternative Augmentative Communication System for people with speech disabilities; it is a totally different way of undertaking. In other words, Triple Bottom Line is synonymous with responsibility: “Being aware and responsible for the people you are in charge of, what you are offering, your users …“. Undoubtedly, this requires effort and thinking about the business from a new approach. The other side of the coin according to the CEO of OTTAA ?: “The satisfaction of knowing that you are significantly improving not only the quality of life of people with disabilities but also their environment, and thus facilitate social integration and job”.
Carlos Guillermo also emphasizes banishing prejudices: there are very profitable businesses in various areas that are not usually covered by the market, as is the case of people with disabilities. According to Carlos Guillermo, the essential thing to be able to conduct a Triple Bottom Line model in these sectors “is to transfer the cost to other agents, such as health insurance, so that they do not weigh on the person. We must find the way”.
Tips for entrepreneurs
From OTTA, they recommend enrolling in the Huella Program and relying on institutions such as Start-Up Chile and its community, which already know how to maximize triple impact through different methodologies and tools. The experience with Huella, for OTTAA, was a “before and after“. Above all, because “they save time and money, which are the main shortcomings of entrepreneurs“.
For software developers, in particular, Daniel suggests checking if the technology project they work has a negative impact. If so, it would be appropriate to think about how they can adjust the project or technology so that this impact is canceled or diminished.
Finally, he advises users to control whether the technologies they use produce negative impacts for the sustainability of society: “The demand for sustainable solutions from the point of view of Triple Bottom Line can be key to produce the right incentives for entrepreneurs and software developers change their perspectives on their solutions and adopt the triple impact axes“.
As we could see, software can channel the Triple Bottom Line and move
towards the long-awaited sustainability, do you not think?