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Humane Technology April 2021 



Identify a challenge related to the humane and healthy use of technology and propose a solution that advances systemic change.

The Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership is partnering with The Center for Humane Technology calling on students to imagine a world built on the humane and healthy use of technology. Social media has positively impacted our world through platforms that raise and mobilize community voices, increase access to educational and employment opportunities, and build greater global connections. For this Impact Challenge, however, we ask students to consider the harms and consequences of technology and propose systemic changes that advance positive change. The purpose of systemic change is to transform systems by addressing root causes rather than just results, and can include policy recommendations, public awareness campaigns, training for technologists, school and corporate policies, or investment practices. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Image courtesy of The Center for Humane Technology

We would like to congratulate our student winners of the recent BCIL Impact Challenge on Humane Technology! We again saw participation from students around the country, and this time we received international submissions as well. We encourage everyone to view the compilation video of the winning ideas below. Winning teams met with industry leaders, including Tristan Harris and Randima Fernando (Co-Founders of the Center for Humane Technology, and both profiled in the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”) and Susan Reynolds (Co-Founder and Board Chair at They also participated in a workshop with the BCIL staff and other student winners to share and receive feedback on their ideas. Doug Keller, who leads Education Outreach at the Center for Humane Technology, reflected on the experience meeting with student winners: "We need technology that protects our vulnerabilities and helps build a more humane future. The students who contributed to this impact challenge showed that this future is possible if we listen to and take seriously the ideas of the next generation."

Humane Technology Challenge Video

Guiding Questions

Your submission can address individual or multiple challenges, and you should feel free to explore additional questions not listed below.

Health & Well-Being

How do we address tech companies’ race for human attention in order to reduce the effects of technology addiction, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and depression?

How do we diminish the use of social media to bully and shame others?

How can technology mitigate rather than exploit insecurities with regard to self-image, self-worth, and fear of missing out?

Civic Engagement

How do we mobilize public opinion to shift societal norms and public policies around the humane and healthy use of technology?

How do we promote accountability by tech companies either by reform from within or through external regulation?

How do we create technology that fosters shared understanding and minimizes the threats of political polarization, conspiracy theories, and fake news?

Equity & Inclusion

How do we combat hate speech? 


How do we avoid monopolies and ensure access in the fields of innovation and technology?


How do we ensure that computer coding and search engine algorithms reduce racism, sexism, and inequality?