RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARKNC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association) will be hosting Tech For Good, a keynote and panel discussion moderated by RacePoint Global’s CEO Larry Weber, describing how companies from a variety of industries are using technology to address a purpose that benefits people and the planet.

It will be held at the Research Triangle Foundation in RTP from 8.30 to 10.30am.

Among the panelists is Jess George, a Government & Community Affairs manager with NC Google Fiber. She will be speaking about the power of a creating a purpose-driven brand that naturally appeals to the values of a company’s core audiences and the positive outcomes of authentic marketing.

WRAL TechWire’s Chantal Allam had the chance to pose a few questions to her on the topic. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us your story, and describe how your company is using technology to address its corporate purpose.

Google Fiber believes that the world’s greatest problems should be solved by the people directly impacted by them. That’s why we focus on connecting people to the tools and resources they need to be a part of their community and take advantage of the opportunities online and in the real world. High quality internet is not a luxury in 2019, and we want to help more people get where they need to go online even faster.

Around the country, communities are working on digital inclusion- — asking: ‘What can we do to offer more opportunity to more people?’ It’s a matter of equity and a pressing economic concern. Finding a job, doing your homework, almost everything starts online. At Google Fiber, we work to develop impactful partnerships to take on this challenge.

NC Google Fiber’s Jess George.

  • How different is this approach to, let’s say, 10 years ago? Do you think consumers’ expectations are so different from a decade ago? And is this, in part, what is driving this movement? 

Yes! Ten years ago we didn’t even exist, and the idea of needing a gig seemed crazy. The last decade has seen a transformation in what we can do online and what we expect from the experience and how much broadband speed we need to be able to do it. From gaming to streaming to video conferences, none of this was ubiquitous ten years ago.

In a very real way, all the innovation, all the tech wizardry stems from human  curiosity and imagination. But we face a real challenge: there are haves and have-nots in the digital world, just as in the real world.

  • What are some of the strategies your company is deploying to create a purpose-driven brand?

Our mission focuses on connection. We do this in two distinct ways: First by helping more people connect to superfast internet both through our Gigabit communities program, where we partner with local housing authorities to connect residents at no cost to high speed Internet, and also through our Community Connections program which provides a no cost connection to local nonprofits. Additionally, we work with local, high impact nonprofit organizations focused on bridging the digital divide through digital literacy training, device refurbishment, and STEM education.

  • Why do you think more people are looking to build a shared sense of purpose between the people, products and services? 

There’s so much opportunity to have an impact as an individual in the digital age. A 16 year old can change the conversation on climate change. You can not only choose where you invest your time and resources you can share it with your online community, and thus the entire world.  This shared influence means that all of our choices combine to shape the world in a way it never has before. Technology has made us a truly globally connected world and that’s only going to grow.