At Voys we believe that the world is a better place when you share your success. That’s why we want to share about how we made an impact in 2023: with educational activities, environmental impact, digital inclusion and internet freedom. We aren’t doing this to pat ourselves on the back, but more to be transparent and possibly share some inspiration.
If you are curious about our vision around making an impact, check out the impact page on our website.
Every year we open our office up to groups of kids so that we can share our enthusiasm for technology and development, and this year was no exception. Throughout the year, our awesome team of colleagues that lead these different educational activities take turns working on things like beginning coding lessons or talking to female students about working in IT as a woman. We even had two students be our bosses for a day and help think of ways we could lessen our impact on the climate.
Throughout the year we continued monitoring our CO2 output in an effort to minimize it and also compensate for it. But more than that, we focus on furthering the sustainability cycle around us.
How do we do that? We have a group of colleagues with roles in the Planeteer circle that work on different aspects of sustainability.
We are a gold partner at our local park, the “Koploperbos”. We helped plant trees to fill the park, and even some of the students that came for one of our educational activities planted trees and talked about our impact on the climate.
We also created a sustainable purchasing policy that helps colleagues be conscious of where they buy things from. That also helps support local businesses, which we love to do. When our colleagues have a birthday, they can choose a book that we purchase for them from our local bookstore. The book is wrapped and put on the birthday bookshelf, and they can choose to keep the book or read it and return it. Any books left on the shelf at the end of the year are donated to a good cause, and then the cycle restarts for the new year!
One other change was our approach to having company cars. We have always encouraged colleagues to ride bikes or use public transportation when possible. Now if someone needs to go to visit a customer they can lease a car for the day, instead of having cars waiting in our parking lot. This means that the cars are only used when necessary and that we all think twice about how we get from place to place.
This year the foundation we founded, 48percent.org, did a lot of work towards equitable connectivity in many different parts of the world. So far they have contributed to 13 projects spread out all over the world. One project focused on bringing connectivity and digital skills to Sherpas in Nepal so that they could do more online advertising for the village’s tourism business. Some other projects focused on bringing connectivity to new communities in South America and Africa.
They also worked on a project close to our hearts, a pilot project to offer a digital inclusion package to those to need affordable access or more digital skills. They are doing this with the municipality of Westerkwartier, which is close to Groningen, and there 50 families will be given affordable internet access, a laptop, and the resources needed to build their digital skill set. The University of Twente is also a part of the project and will look to see if a regional approach is effective for strengthening digital inclusion in the Netherlands.
Privacy, security, and the freedom to make your own decisions in these areas are all things that we find extremely important. That’s why every year we support organizations that focus on digital issues. One such initiative is Quad9 and their fight to win a court case against Sony Music to not have to control what people see on the internet when using the Quad9 DNS server. We also supported Privacy First and Bits of Freedom, two organizations we have supported for many years.
We also shared what we are doing to make sure that our Freedom platform is extra secure. We have created a Bug Bounty program to make sure that any weak spots are found as soon as possible and fixed ASAP. We pay these ethical hackers for the time they spend testing the platform as well.
As you can see, 2023 was full of different ways that we tried to make an impact. 2024 will be no different because we are starting on a journey towards steward ownership. We are also looking for new ways to contribute! Do you have an initiative that fits Voys? Have you heard of an organization working to bridge the digital divide that fits 48percent.org’s program lines? Please let us know!
On our blog we post about a lot of stuff, just go for it and read some posts for your own fun.
from 2 October 2023
from 31 May 2023