As we are fast approaching the end of the nominations period for this year’s Tech4Good Awards, it’s time to start introducing our amazing panel of judges. Remember the panel will be looking closely at every nomination, so if you want any of the judges to know about you or your organisation, make sure you nominate yourself!
Fiona Miller (right, pictured with Liz Williams, Programme Director and General Manager of Sustainable Business, BT) is the Consumer Affairs Manager at BT. Fiona has been involved with the Tech4Good Awards for a number of years, with a focus on inclusive design and its benefits both for customers and for business – in particular the improvement of accessibility for older and disabled people.
Hi Fiona. What are you most looking forward to about judging this year’s Tech4Good Awards?
BT has been involved with the Tech4Good Awards from the start and we are delighted with the way they have grown. Each year we see more inspiring nominations, and what is so fantastic is the diversity and range of ways that technology is being used for good. I really enjoy the fact that the judging is challenging as this demonstrates the high quality of entries – there is always stimulating debate amongst the judges. This year, the shortlisted finalists will have the opportunity to come together at BT Tower to share experiences and learn more about how to promote themselves. I am looking forward to finding out who becomes the people’s choice in the public vote.
Is there a specific Award that you’re most looking forward to judging?
I am really looking forward to seeing the nominations in the BT Ingenious Award. This is a new category this year and wide open to all kinds of innovative ideas. Lives can be transformed by bringing people together, whether locally or globally, as has been shown from nominations in other categories in past years.
What’s the most exciting development in technology that you’ve seen in the past year, that you think will really make a difference in people’s lives?
Technology is advancing so fast that sometimes it is simply the ways people are finding to use it to connect to others that really make a difference, rather than big advances and new gadgets. With the population ageing and loneliness affecting people’s well-being, I am always pleased to hear of new ways to support independent living, while helping individuals to keep in touch with friends and family, and develop new interests.
Which aspect of Tech4Good really interests you?
It is the stories about the impact on people’s lives, rather than the technology itself, that I find so interesting. We have heard inspiring stories of how local radio is supporting diverse communities, how innovation has given communities a new lease of life, how connecting people has made a significant difference to individuals in Africa and IT volunteers have gained personally as well as helping others. And what is so brilliant is that past winners of the Tech4Good Awards have gone from strength to strength, enabling them to have even more of an impact. In a new study we found that 62% of Brits believe technology levels the playing field for people with disabilities, while 41% think innovation that achieves something for social good is important.
You can find Fiona on Twitter and LinkedIn.