Rapido Social: Good Things Don’t Come Easy

Having a mobile app is de rigueur for large companies, and on the way to becoming an expectation even for small enterprises. Technology’s integration into our everyday lives – from buying coffee to learning how to best appreciate champagne – is mirrored by businesses and even charities adopting and creating tech solutions; think CRMs, but also remote working and raising money for communities in need.

Yet, many social enterprises who dedicate themselves to community work don’t have enough money to access IT pros who can hook them up with an app or set them up in the cloud. Thanks to the team at UTS Rapido and its brand new sub-division Rapido Social, these organisations can now access tech fixes for free.

Rapido Director, Hervé Harvard, says this pro-bono work is particularly important to democratise technology and make IT solutions available for everyone.

“The moment you start charging companies for the service, you are inevitably being selective and you prioritise those who can pay over those who can’t.

“I just wanted to be able to engage with Social Impact organisations, listen to their software idea or problem, and then just do it. I want to help them regardless of whether they can pay,” Mr Harvard explains.

It is no secret that prestigious tech companies pay generously and offer their employees all the bells and whistles. Setting up a pro-bono version took almost a year and quite a lot of effort.

When asked if it wouldn’t have been easier to use his skills to work for a tech giant and enjoy those sweet perks, Mr Harvard’s answer is simple.

“I’ve never done something because it’s easy. I do things because they are the right thing to do.

“I believe in giving back to society in whichever way you can. Rapido is excellent at technology development, so this is our contribution and our way of using our skills to make a difference,” he says.

Not surprisingly, Mr Harvard prides himself in working with a great team who are driven by the same sense of social values and responsibility.

“Many industry leaders in the technology world can offer their staff all sorts of exciting things, often material incentives.

“I’m very proud that the Rapido team is valuing the opportunity for them to serve the community in a very personal way,” he says.

Case study

The Problem

Technology and mobile tools are essential for most companies today, but many social enterprises don’t have the funds to invest in technology development.

The Response

UTS Rapido Social was established to deliver hardware and software solutions on a pro-bono basis to support organisations that work for the public good.

What helped accomplish this?

The team pulls together the contributions of UTS Rapido staff, FEIT students and the UTS IT infrastructure to make this work possible.

What has changed as a result?

Under Rapido Social, the unit has already been able to deliver IT solutions to multiple organisations for free and is working on expanding its team and services.

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Impact Area

Expertise

Beneficiaries

UTS Faculty or Unit

Organisers

Interviewee

Hervé Harvard, Director, Rapido
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