Technology for Good: The Role of Technology in an “Everyone a Changemaker” World


  • Mario Calderini School of Management, Polytechnic of Milan
  • Konstanze Frischen Ashoka
  • Ambra Giuliano TIRESIA research centre at the Polytechnic of Milan


social innovation, social impact, system change, technology for good, social-tech entrepreneurship, mindset shift


The relationship between technology-based social innovation and social impact scaling has gained increasing attention in recent years. It has been recognized that technology has an intrinsic disseminative nature and can allow for reaching larger audiences more efficiently, and thus more beneficiaries. Therefore, the emphasis of research has primarily been on the replicability of social innovation and on an operational type of scalability. However, literature has fallen short of offering a comparable assessment of the relationship that instead may exist between technology and the achievement of system change, arguably the ultimate and most valuable outcome of social impact scaling.

Starting from this gap, this study aims to analyze the potential relationship between social entrepreneurship deploying technology and the achievement of system change. To accomplish this task, a conceptualization of system change, which is itself permeated by an aura of ambiguity in interpretation, is provided. In this study, system change is conceptualized as a co-evolving process relying on three levers: mindset shift, which acts at the individual level and cultural level, if happening at scale; market alteration, acting on new and existing market dynamics to enhance accessibility and inclusion; and institutional transition, which is concerned with the legislative, regulatory, and public policy level.

Therefore, the overarching objective developed by this study is to see if and how the use of technology-led social innovation has a positive relationship with the achievement of system change. Encompassing three different pathways, the specific hypotheses are that using technology in social entrepreneurship supports the shifting of societal mindsets; it alters established market dynamics, and it supports the achievement of changes at the institutional level.

By leveraging a quantitative approach on 817 survey responses of social entrepreneurs within Ashoka’s network, this study will use cross-analyses as a preliminary empirical examination to illustrate that technology, and in particular social innovators deploying technology in their work, can act on each of the levers conducive to system change.

Author Biographies

Mario Calderini, School of Management, Polytechnic of Milan

Mario Calderini is Professor at Politecnico di Milano, School of Management, where he teaches Social Innovation. He is the Director of Tiresia, the Politecnico di Milano School of Management's Research Centre for Impact Finance and Innovation.

Konstanze Frischen, Ashoka

Konstanze Frischen is a member of the Leadership Group and leads Ashoka’s new global initiative on Tech & Humanity. She’s also the head of Ashoka in North America.

Ambra Giuliano, TIRESIA research centre at the Polytechnic of Milan

Ambra Giuliano is a PhD Candidate with the TIRESIA research center at the Polytechnic of Milan focusing on sustainability and social impact. She holds an MSc in Management Engineering and an MA in Business Management and Politics.




How to Cite

Calderini, M., Frischen, K., & Giuliano, A. (2022). Technology for Good: The Role of Technology in an “Everyone a Changemaker” World. Social Innovations Journal, 11(1). Retrieved from