(we are only human). The human race
has always had an altruistic streak; it
is not exclusive to recent generations.
Yet the youth of today have a few advantages that help them do more good
faster, says Anbu Anbalagapandian,
who works for the Orange Harp ethical
“With advances in technology, it
Charity Meets Cool
is much easier to create solutions
and have a bigger impact,” says An-
balagapandian. “For example, donat-
ing food from a local restaurant to a
homeless shelter, or microlending to
a small business in remote parts of
the world, have been made incred-
“Smartphone users are ordering
meals, cars, making appointments,
and conducting more and more as-
pects of their personal and work lives
from their devices,” de Brun says.
“Why wouldn’t they also be able to do-
nate, give back, or effect social change
from their phones as well?”
To all the Millennial naysayers out
there, it might be time to revise your
criticisms: the Millennial generation is
connected, conscientious, and ready to
combat social ills.
Perhaps Millennials like to pat themselves on the back a little too much P H O
Society | DOI: 10.1145/2949664 Logan Kugler
for Social Good
Mobile apps make it easier, faster, and cheaper to create massive impact
on social causes ranging from world hunger to domestic violence.
THE INTERNET IS chock-full of gripes about Millennials, the smartphone-obsessed gen- eration that reached young adulthood at the turn of the
century. Millenials are entitled, lazy,
self- —and selfie- —absorbed, and uninterested in the world at large. They
vex and puzzle employers in equal measure, and they cannot be counted on to
do anything other than, well, whatever
they feel like doing.
Tell that to a new generation of app
makers who are busy building programs that make it easy and fun to do
massive good around the world. Their
apps feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
and shelter the homeless, all with a tap
of that little screen typically reserved
for Angry Birds or Amazon purchases.
The first wave of smartphone apps—
the Instagrams, Foursquares, and
Snapchats of the world—prided themselves on being social. This new generation of apps prides itself on being socially good, and they are being adopted
most frequently by Millennials.
Apps that do social good range from
ethical marketplaces like Orange Harp,
which “makes the world more socially
conscious and sustainable by providing people access to amazing products
and behind-the-scenes details about
how they are made,” to Feedie, which
donates a meal to the non-profit Lunchbox Fund each time a user shares pictures of his or her own food at participating restaurants.
Far from wasting their time ordering stuff, broadcasting their breakfast
plans, or gaming with friends, Millennials are using apps like these that
do social good to change the world,
because they are conditioned to do
so, says Steve de Brun, co-creator of
MicroHero, a free app that allows users to earn money for charity by taking
The Lunchbox Fund fosters education by providing nourishing meals to children in rural
areas of South Africa.