A beloved father
Eyes so wild
Screaming at the world
His family slowly disintegrating around him
Helplessly, watching on.

A young daughter
Her innocence lost
Clutching her beloved teddy
Stares vacantly ahead
As her uncle closes her bedroom door.

A teenage boy
Family a distant memory
Inhaling and numbing his mind
Vanquishing thoughts of the tricks he’s performing.

An elderly lady
Deep lines etch her face
Teeth rotten
Swollen feet her grace
Preferring the safety of the streets to the danger of a shared home.

A woman
Toils with years of emotional and physical abuse
Incessantly beaten
To breaking point
Calls the police
To just make him stop
Charged for wasting police time.

A teenage girl
A bright and beautiful future ahead
Drowning in dread
She sees no other way
She steps into the abyss.

An old, pitiful man
Slowly shuffling on the streets
Confused and afraid
His mind slowly
Whittled away.

The hopelessness of the refugee
Feared for colour and religion
His qualifications not recognised
Loosing not just a home
But his essence
His meaning and his pride.

The middle-aged man sits at home
Solitude for company
And In that silence he is alone

The carer
A parent, sibling or child
Driven by love and duty
Makes the ultimate sacrifice
Their life not their own

Here – Oh Dot – in our pristine towers
We lead such safe and privileged lives
Our endless selfies showcasing our beautiful lies with our beaming, megawatt smiles
Our burning question no more inconsequential that our order
“Earl Grey. Soy on the side”.

But occasionally…
Oh so occasionally…
Real life peeks through, with its creaks, its cracks and crevices
The ugly but plain truth casts its shadow on our green plains
We join the unwashed masses
Gravity holds sway
Our feet touch the ground
We smell our fear
Our faces crease in uncertainty
We pause…
We have to turn away from our PowerPoint
We remove our hands from the keyboard and coding is stopped for the day.

Can we as technologists do more?
Can we in our youth focus our energies and passion?
Can we open our eyes to the world around us?
To the injustice that surrounds us?
To take some time out and do battle for a worthwhile cause?
Can we bring meaning?
Can we make an impact?
A social impact and make our lives matter more?

Last year, we gathered on several occasions
Our zealous zeal unbounded
In smalls teams to tackle a cause
We used hackathons to focus
To learn. To think. To try. To feed the soul.

It is an imperfect system
But if we can start to look beyond our iPhone’s camera lens
At a younger age, to really see beyond our field of view
To see what’s authentic and what’s fake
To refuse to let destiny become reality.

The fusion of technology, creativity and humanity
Where everything is possible
Not baulking, but applying to where there is the greatest need
Can technology transform society?
Can we serve people more?

That would be a sight to see.
Join me
Or don’t join me
Just take stock
Just think beyond your safe and pretty life
Apply that brain
That passion
Those ideas
Bring change
Breathe Change
Make change
Be the difference.

Oh my beloved father
My daughter
My son
My wife
My mother
My sister
My friend
My grandfather
A stranger.
One day, you will fear no more.
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