Show cover of Tech Can't Save Us

Tech Can't Save Us

Tech Can't Save Us explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of tech. Hosted by Paul David and William Gadsby Peet, Co-Founders of Literal Humans Each episode we invite an expert from a specific sector of tech for a no-bull**** chat about how technology can make us better people, how it can enhance life on earth for all creatures, but also how tech can harm society, and what we can do to fix it. Through open conversations with representatives from brands like Adidas, Google, Buffer, Facebook, and smaller emerging companies like myNexus and The Black Men's Book Club, Tech Can't Save Us aims to give an honest insight into tech and the Tech for Good sector – what it's doing well, and what could be improved.

Tracks

S3 Ep44: Building Well-Connected Neighborhoods w/ Tech with Michael Wood-Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO of Front Porch Forum
In this episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, host Paul David is joined by Michael Wood Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO of Front Porch Forum (FPF), an online community-building service in Vermont.  Launched in 2006, FPF aims to connect neighbors through local forums that only local people can access.  Tune in to hear Paul and Michael discuss the benefits of local online forums like Front Porch Forum in connecting neighbors and building well-connected neighborhoods. Michael shares the history of FPF and its evolution over the years, highlighting the role of technology in local community building.  There’s also an enlightening discussion about diversity and inclusion, and creating welcoming spaces for neighborhoods to come together both online and in the community. Listen to the episode now.
27:53 5/16/24
S3 Ep43: Generative AI for in-depth qualitative research with Ross Mitchell, Co-Founder of ResearchGOAT
Ross Mitchell is the CEO and founder of ResearchGOAT, an AI-powered qualitative research platform that helps businesses understand their customers and audiences. He’s also the creative leader at NEOL, a London-based company that helps businesses hire creative leaders for fractional support and assemble project teams quickly. Ross has worked with clients including Netflix, Amazon, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung. In today’s episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, Ross joins host Paul to discuss how generative artificial intelligence is transforming the tech industry, the art of prompt engineering and how to get the most out of AI tools, and the ethical considerations around AI.
28:48 5/9/24
S3 Ep42: Coaching Tech Startup Founders with Simon Court, Founder of Value Partnership & Author of “Founder’s Legacy”
In this episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, we welcome Simon Court—coach, founder of Value Partnership (a leadership consultancy firm), and author of ‘Founder’s Legacy: Fifty Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business’. After working as a management consultant at YSC and HR Director at Ericsson, Simon became a leadership coach and co-founded Value Partnership with his wife, Jane, in 1998. Simon has helped two tech companies (Miniclip and Tipico) to grow into unicorns in the last 10 years–experience that inspired him to distil his knowledge into the book. Join us as Paul and Simon discuss the differences between leaders and founders, how great leaders are formed and how advances in technology, such as AI and virtual reality and augmented reality, are being leverage to support leadership training.
53:11 5/2/24
S3 Ep41: AI Climate Tech for Industrial Decarbonisation with Dominic Shales, Founder & CEO of Reset Media & DUNE Communications
Dominic Shales is the founder and CEO of not one but two purpose driven companies: Reset Media, a digital publisher, and DUNE Communications, a corporate comms agency.  He also acts as fractional CMO for Nexus Climate, a business that creates and nurtures climate startups, and Carbon Re, an AI climate tech pioneering industrial decarbonisation. In this episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, Paul, Will and Dominic dive deep into the topic of industrial decarbonisation, discussing the biggest industrial culprits for greenhouse gas emissions and how lower-carbon alternatives can help to reduce those emissions.
31:37 4/25/24
S3 Ep40: DEI, AI and Diversity Washing with Dr. Sarah Saska, Co-Founder & CEO of Feminuity
Through an evidence-based, data-informed approach paired with leading practices, Feminuity has helped more than 100 companies worldwide build stronger, more inclusive organizations. In this episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, Dr. Saska joins Paul and Wull to discuss the importance of DEI in the tech industry, the threat AI algorithmic bias poses to DEI efforts, and mainstream backlash. She also talks about her views on integrating DEI competencies into every aspect of a business, rather than relying on a single chief diversity officer or related role.
29:50 4/18/24
S3 Ep39: Insurtech & Reproductive Health Insurance with Ambra Zhang & Sam Pratt, Co-Founders of Juniper
Insurtech is poised to narrow the gender health gap. Companies like Juniper have raised millions in pre-seed funding to offer reproductive healthcare insurance. Founders Ambra Zhang and Sam Pratt highlight the overlooked niche of high-frequency, moderate-cost healthcare, touching on a range of conditions including contraception, STD testing, and reproductive organ cancers.  How will this focus on reproductive health transform employee well-being and corporate responsibility? Paul and Will discuss the emergence of specialised insurance models like Juniper's in addressing the comprehensive health needs of employees in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
32:52 4/11/24
S3 Ep38: Expanding Black Representation in Tech with Jermaine Murray, Founder of JupiterHR
Jermaine Murray is making strides toward diversity in tech by helping Black job seekers secure their dream roles through his company, JupiterHR, having already celebrated 400 success stories. Despite Black individuals making up a significant portion of the population, they are severely underrepresented in the tech industry, with Black women holding a mere 0.7% of IT roles. How can companies better support Black employees and ensure inclusivity? Paul explores the critical role of representation, inclusivity, and support systems in expanding Black representation in tech with Jermaine Murray in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
41:19 4/4/24
S3 Ep37: Democracy, Social Media, and the World’s Biggest Election Year with Sahar Massachi, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Integrity Institute
In the world's most significant election year, social media faces is struggling to safeguard democracy, with soaring political ad spend and peaking geopolitical tensions. The advent of generative AI has brought in new problems, with rising concerns over deepfakes and other forms of digital impersonation. How can tech companies and governments counter these threats to maintain democratic processes? Sahar Massachi's insights from his tenure at Facebook to co-founding the Integrity Institute reveal both hurdles and hopeful strategies for a more secure online democracy. Paul and Will explore the intricate relationship between democracy, social media, and emerging technologies in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
35:51 3/28/24
S3 Ep36: Closing the Tech Gender Gap with Dora Palfi, Co-Founder & CEO of imagi
The tech industry's gender gap is slowly closing, with women's participation in tech roles in the UK and US showing marginal increases since the pandemic. Surprisingly, despite advancements, only a small fraction of tech leadership roles are held by women, and a significant gender pay gap persists. How can innovative education technologies like imagi, which focuses on making Python coding accessible and fun for girls, play a role in bridging this gap? Dora Palfi shares insights into overcoming biases with AI-enhanced education and her journey in founding imagi to empower young women in tech. Paul and Will delve into these challenges and solutions in closing the tech gender gap with Dora Palfi on this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
39:27 3/21/24
S3 Ep35: Femtech and Inclusive Fertility Care with Tess Cosad, Co-Founder & CEO of Béa Fertility
Femtech is breaking new ground by extending its focus to include menopause and endometriosis, marking a shift from its traditional emphasis on fertility. Despite reaching over $1 billion in global VC investment in 2021, the sector faces criticism for not fully addressing broader health concerns affecting women and LGBTQ+ communities. How can femtech evolve to bridge these critical gaps in healthcare? Consider Béa Fertility, under Tess Cosad's leadership, which is pioneering inclusive, affordable fertility care with its innovative at-home Intracervical Insemination kit, challenging the traditional and costly routes to fertility treatment. Paul and Will team up with Tess Cosad to explore the intersection of technology, inclusivity, and fertility care in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
33:53 3/14/24
S3 Ep34: The Future of the Voluntary Carbon Market with Jon Leland, Chief Strategy Officer at Kickstarter
The voluntary carbon market is critical for companies like Kickstarter, allowing them to offset carbon emissions by investing in environmental projects, aiming for carbon neutrality. Despite its growth and potential, the market faces criticisms for greenwashing and ineffectiveness, with calls for increased transparency and integrity in carbon offsetting practices. How can the market address these challenges to ensure its future viability? Paul and Will discuss the complexities and future prospects of the voluntary carbon market in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
27:24 3/7/24
S3 Ep33: The Impact of AI on Agencies with John Higginson, Founder and CEO of Higginson Strategy
AI is transforming marketing strategies and agency operations. John Higginson, Founder and CEO of Higginson Strategy, emphasizes AI's role in augmenting human creativity, rather than replacing jobs, through examples like the Cadbury campaign and Sephora's AI chatbot. However, concerns about AI mismanagement and the importance of ethical use lurk underneath. How will agencies navigate these challenges while maximizing AI's potential? Paul and Will team up with John to explore these dynamics in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
33:21 2/29/24
S3 Ep32: AI, Neurodiversity & Mental Health with Zareen Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of Cogs AI
Zareen Ali, CEO and Co-Founder of Cogs AI, aims to redefine mental wellbeing support for the neurodiverse community, recognizing the unique challenges and strengths of individuals with neurodiversity. Neurodiversity encompasses a range of neurological differences, and embracing it can enhance creativity, problem-solving, and productivity in the workplace. However, societal and workplace structures often overlook the needs of neurodiverse individuals, leading to higher unemployment rates and mental health issues among this group. Cogs AI seeks to bridge this gap by offering tailored support that not only aids in mental wellbeing but also leverages the unique abilities of neurodiverse individuals for greater societal and economic benefits. Paul and Will discuss the transformative potential of inclusive technologies like Cogs AI in fostering a more supportive and diversified society in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
37:01 2/22/24
S3 Ep31: Web3 & International Aid with Dr. Melyn McKay, Founder & CEO of Coala Pay
Blockchain technology's decentralised nature offers transformative potential for international aid, yet adoption is hindered by trust, security, complexity, and regulatory challenges. Examples like UkraineDAO and UNHCR's use of blockchain in Ukraine highlight Web3's growing role in humanitarian efforts, despite concerns over the tech sector's profit motives and risks to vulnerable communities. How can aid organisations balance innovation with responsibility?  Dr. Melyn McKay's Coala Pay seeks to navigate these waters, offering a fresh approach to aid delivery. Paul and Will join Melyn McKay to discuss blockchain's impact on international aid in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
40:28 2/8/24
S3 Ep30: The State of VC funding in the UK
In 2023, the UK's venture capital landscape showcased significant trends, aligning in some aspects with the US and diverging notably from European counterparts, particularly in government support for startups.  As the panel delves into predictions for 2024, they anticipate shifts in investment focus, influenced by the preceding year's outcomes and the broader economic environment. How will these trends impact the UK's tech scene, and could they herald a new era of investment strategy? Paul, Will, and Chris Sisserian explore these dynamics in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. The Venture Capital Market Dealroom Report on Climate Tech Dealroom Article on AI  'Dry Powder' Article by Forbes VC Predictions for 2024
52:32 2/1/24
S3 Ep29: Empowering Minds: Accessibility in EdTech
Tech can't always save us, but when it comes to supporting neurodivergent individuals, apps like Tiimo are making a real difference. From aiding neurodivergent teens to empowering them in society, Tiimo's journey from a startup to a globally recognized planner app highlights the evolving role of technology in inclusivity. But what about the broader landscape, especially in education where resources for neurodivergent children are stretched thin? Paul, Will, and Rebecca discuss the challenges and opportunities in the edtech sector for neurodiversity in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
29:06 1/25/24
S3 Ep28: Silicon Sprouts
The intersection of veganism and technology reveals fascinating innovations and challenges. Tech aids in vegan diets through apps for finding plant-based restaurants and deciphering food labels, alongside the revolutionary introduction of 3D-printed meats. However, technology also highlights environmental concerns in veganism, like the high water usage and carbon footprint of avocados, yet offers solutions through water-saving technologies and regenerative farming. Can technology balance the environmental impact of vegan products while promoting sustainability? Paul, Will, and Rebecca discuss the complexities and potential of veganism enhanced by technology in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links:  iNews  The Guardian Environment Europa Greenmatch
38:41 1/18/24
S3 Ep27: Can Tech Solve The Housing Crisis In 2024?
Technological innovations are reshaping the housing landscape, addressing affordability and sustainability. Innovative companies like Hometap and OptiFunder are revolutionizing property accessibility, offering creative financing solutions. Surprisingly, advancements in sustainable construction, like 3D concrete printing and BIM software, are not only making housing more eco-friendly but also more attainable. Can technology truly be the key to solving the housing crisis? Splitero offers one such unique solution to the problem.  Paul, Will, and Rebecca discuss these technological strides in solving the housing crisis in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links:  Moneyweek  Research Briefings  Politics Home HousingWire Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
44:45 1/11/24
S3 Ep26: 2023 Year in Review & 2024 Predictions
2023 witnessed a significant decline in tech funding, especially in FinTech, and a disillusionment with hyped sectors like NFTs and the metaverse. Despite these setbacks, AI, particularly OpenAI's ChatGPT, surged, marking a mainstream embrace of AI in business and personal spheres. What implications might these shifts have for the tech landscape in 2024? Paul and Will discuss the tech trends of 2023 (such as funding declines and the rise of AI) and predict 2024's focus on social media, generative AI, cybersecurity and GreenTech in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
33:43 12/7/23
S3 Ep25: We Review the Top Christmas Ads of 2023
Christmas ads in 2023 have pushed the envelope, blending emotional storytelling with advanced technology. From PETA's provocative animation urging veganism, to John Lewis's quirky 'Snapper' and Amazon's nostalgic 'Joy Ride', each ad uses tech to resonate with viewers in different ways. Paul and Will explore the tech behind the top festive ads of 2023. 
30:49 11/30/23
S3 Ep24: How can tech make Black Friday green?
Black Friday, a symbol of consumerism, ironically follows Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude. In 2022, global businesses made a staggering $65.3 billion during Black Friday sales. This shopping frenzy has serious environmental repercussions: Black Friday 2021 in the UK alone was expected to emit greenhouse gases equivalent to the weight of 3679 blue whales. Is the allure of discounts worth the environmental cost? Paul, Will, and Rebecca discuss the complex impacts of Black Friday consumerism on society, the environment, and businesses in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links:  EuroNews GreenAlliance ClimateLab The Guardian Country Living Crunchbase  Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
37:51 11/23/23
S3 Ep23: Hollywood vs. AI
After a 118-day strike, Hollywood actors have reached an agreement, marking the end of a historic work stoppage. There were concerns about AI undermining the roles of writers and actors, and addressing this was central to the agreement. The US government is now looking to tackle AI's risks, prompting debates on enforcement mechanisms. As AI embeds deeper into creative sectors, many questions arise: What protections will society demand? Will protests and backlash persist in these realms? Join hosts Paul, Will, and Rebecca as they dissect the strike's resolution and delve into AI's broader impact on creative industries. Links:  Wired Bloomberg  The Hollywood Reporter  Reuters The Guardian Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
33:22 11/16/23
S3 Ep22: WeWork won't work
The downfall of WeWork, X and other businesses is a tale of ambition clashing with reality. As leaders like Neumann and Musk navigated controversial leadership styles and aggressive expansion, their companies' vulnerabilities surfaced, culminating in financial and reputational damage.  How will these events shape future leadership in the tech industry? Paul, Will, and Rebecca dive into these questions in the latest episode of Tech Can't Save Us.​​ Links:  The Guardian The New York Times The Drum Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
24:28 11/9/23
S3 Ep21: FTX Scandal & X (Twitter) 1 Year Under Elon Musk
The cryptocurrency world is still recovering from the Sam Bankman-Fried trial, painting a bleak image of the FTX founder. Meanwhile, X transforms under Elon Musk's guidance, sparking a scattered mix of praise and scrutiny. How has this tech titan's leadership influenced the social media giant? As debates about X and FTX rage on, the everyday human watches in ironic amusement. Paul, Will, and Rebecca dive into these insights in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links:  BBC News CNBC News Wired The Verge Metro Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
34:13 11/2/23
S3 Ep20: Hacked! How Brands Fight Back
Brands face immense pressure when their data is compromised. While some react promptly to assure consumers, others grapple with public relations nightmares. Can ethical hacking be the silver lining in the murky world of cyber threats? What if brands collaborated with these white hats? Will, Rebecca, and Savena discuss the varied responses of brands to hacks in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.​​ Links:  Wired  Vox Gawker The Wrap  Newsweek Bugcrowd Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
33:25 10/26/23
S3 Ep19: Smell-O-Vision
Digital scent technology is making waves with an impressive expected Compound Annual Growth Rate of approximately 9% from 2021 to 2027 fueled by the rise of smart devices and advancements in the tech world. Yet, it remains to be seen if this is a tangible tech marvel or just a passing trend. Can we truly digitize our olfactory experiences? Paul and Rebecca discuss the burgeoning world of smell-based technology and its potential impact on our digital experiences in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links: Odeuropa Kickstarter for Eau de Space Osmo funding statistics Positive article on smell-based tech by OVR The possible dangers of synthetic smells Guardian article on synthetic smells WebMD article on the intersection of smell tech and VR Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
30:02 10/19/23
S3 Ep18: Chatbot Etiquette
Voice search is revolutionizing brand interaction. AI-driven chatbots, like ChatGPT, are now chattier than ever, responding vocally in real-time. Imagine a world where your device understands not just words, but emotions. Still, what if there's more to communication than just voice? Paul, Will, Rebecca, and Savena discuss the cutting-edge blend of AI and voice search in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
35:30 10/12/23
S3 Ep17: GreenTech Boom
Climate tech is radically transforming green infrastructure and sustainable urban spaces, extending from agriculture supply chains to monitoring digital carbon footprints. Yet, with its expansive scope, does climate tech truly promise a greener future? Last week marked the launch of a notable global climate tech venture studio, underlining the growing significance of climate tech. But questions around its efficacy persist. Paul, Will and Rebecca join Kasheef Wyzard of Dream.org to dive deep into the multifaceted world of climate technology in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links: BXVentures Forbes Global news wire The Greenhouse OECD Global Startup Studio Network  Post-Mortam Study CTVC Yale Program on Climate Change Climate Action Tracker.  Axios Shell’s net-zero focus Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
47:33 10/5/23
S3 Ep16: Tech in Focus: September 2023 Roundup
September brings a mix of insights and noteworthy happenings in the tech world. From the intriguing world of B2B SaaS sales to the hefty fine faced by TikTok for breaching EU data laws, the month has been bustling with activity. Surprisingly, Babylon Health, a once-prominent name in digital health, has gone bust. What insights do these events provide into the evolving tech landscape? Alternative perspectives unveil more facets of these developments. Paul, Will, Rebecca, and Savena discuss these varied topics in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Links covered in this episode: Report from Capchase on B2B SaaS Sales Cycles Tiktok fined for collecting children’s data Babylon shareholders wiped out in restructuring deal Wired– The fall of Babylon is a warning for AI unicorns Parsa refers to Babylon workers as ‘Babylonians’ Major concerns raised about Babylon’s impact on the NHS Babylon app admits GP data suffered a breach Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
31:43 9/28/23
S3 Ep15: Ctrl + Alt + Heal: Mental Health in Tech Unplugged
The digital lifestyle has subtle implications for our mental well-being—and not all of it is negative. Studies show that online therapy, for instance, can be just as effective as its in-person counterpart. Consider the duality: technology both challenges and aids mental health. The hosts of Tech Can’t Save Us discuss the intricate relationship between technology and mental health and invite Ashleigh Tennent, Co-founder and CEO of More Happi to share her journey of creating an online space for coaching in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
48:59 9/21/23