— Ben Turley —
Entrepreneur, Coder, Investor, Astrophotographer, Composer, Technologist, Foodie, Father
Find Me Here
Areas of Interest
(ways I'd like to help improve the world)
- FoodFood: delicious, healthy, and affordable. Good food is at the foundation of healthy lives and productive societies. Unfortunately, a lack of good food is also contributing to countless problems throughout the world. Technology can help by making good food more accessible through advances in production (using innovative, clean farming techniques), more efficient distribution of fresh ingredients, and improved food preparation processes. The goal is to enable everyone to enjoy fresh, easy, and affordable foods prepared at home rather than from a factory where quality is compromised by shelf stability.
- EducationEducation: we need to rethink how it works. A lot of people agree that improvement is needed, but it isn't going to be solved by simply increasing budgets, offering more scholarships, or putting more screens in front of students. Technology can help by enabling primary and secondary teachers to be more efficient in what they do, offering each student the chance to learn at the pace — and method — that's best suited for their individual needs. Post-secondary education is ripe for disruption as the price for attending traditional institutions increases, while at the same time, value-per-dollar is lower than ever. We need more affordable options for preparing students to enter the workforce, especially in fields where demand is the greatest. Technology (along with supportive government action) should be able to help bridge the skills gap, but it will require some fundamental shifts in the way we educate people.
- Personal FinancePersonal Finance: where is the frugality and self-control? The systems and companies that people interact with daily are incentivizing debt and irresponsible spending. It's no wonder more and more people are struggling to get out of debt and save money, and those with lower incomes struggle the most. Rather than approaching the problem with more social programs, cheaper money, or increased regulation, I believe we need innovative personal finance tools that encourage good financial habits. Existing tools are of little help because they're mostly reactive, not proactive. Plus, they're often out of reach for the people who need them most. Budgets, savings goals, and debt reduction plans should be "first-class citizens" in everyone's wallets, helping to shape behavior before, rather than after transactions occur. Technology and innovation can help keep long-term financial goals prescient in the everyday decisions that ultimately determine success.
- Transparent TechnologyTransparent Technology: it should serve us, not the other way around. Technology is transparent when it's open (either open-source, or documented sufficiently to allow for a full understanding of its processes, functions, limitations, data uses, repairability, etc.) and pragmatic (in form and function). User interfaces should be simplified (or eliminated) where possible — provided that the underlying complexities can be accessed and controlled at will. In too many cases, hidden incentives and opaque systems cause harm to unsuspecting users due to technologies that are sold (or given away) using inaccurate or incomplete characterizations. Transparency isn't an all-or-nothing attribute, but responsible technologists should strive for as much transparency as possible.