One of the things I think is impressive is how much technology companies are stepping up to help the world during this COVID-19 pandemic. No two firms are doing the same thing, but collectively they have a significant impact. They are partnering ever more broadly as well, which is increasing this impact significantly.
One of the more interesting examples is HP and what they are doing to help with education. We don’t often realize how big an impact this event has had on education, but, according to HP, 91% of the students in the world have had their education adversely impacted. That is 1.3 billion students, and this impact ranges from reduced learning and loss of grades to having to be held back a year to catch up.
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, 260 million students all over the world were unable to get even elementary education. HP has decided that this can’t stand and has stepped up. Here are some of the more exciting things they are accomplishing. (This is part of their impressive initiative to impact 100 million people by 2025 positively)
Starting From The Top
Like all good social responsibility programs, HP’s started at the top, and HP’s CEO, Enrique Lores, is all in with this effort. Both his sister and his youngest brother are doctors fighting this pandemic in Spain—one of the most horrific hotspots during this pandemic—making the event even more personal to him.
They have pivoted much of their 3D printing capacity to creating parts for face shields, face masks, respirators, ventilators, and other related projects. They are planning to expand this effort for 3D printed nasal swabs for COVID-19 field tests as well, to assist with the massive requirement to test everyone so we can all get back to work.
But it is the focus on teachers and education that seems to really catch his interest.
HP’s Education Efforts
HP has launched several efforts to make it easier for teachers to connect to students during the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the significant HP initiatives is “Turn To Learn,” which focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and environmental courses and provides printed materials to students currently underserved due to a lack of technology in their respective regions. Working with partners like Britannica, NASA, and Time for Kids, HP is working to help bridge the technical divide for those underserved students.
Another broad partnering effort surrounds their <href=”#filters_printables_section=creator-creator_crayola”>Print, Play & Learn initiative, where they provide millions of families without access to technology with the materials they need for remote learning. Partners in this effort include Canva, Crayola, Education.com, KiwiCo, and Time for Kids.
Finally, to address the technology shortfall, they have engaged their HP Refresh program that collects obsolete PCs, fixes and refreshes them. This effort is so that communities can use them to provide the kids who can’t afford PCs with the tools they need to study and advance while working remotely.
HP has one of their best people, <href=”#!”>Michele Malejki HP’s Global Head of Strategic Programs for Sustainability & Social Innovation, working on this, and their education efforts go beyond kids.
HP also has other endeavors that include materials for general business skills (something most of us lack, which speaks to why many startups fail). If you have time on your hands, you should <href=”#courses”>check out some of the courses. They could help give you or your older kids the skills they need to succeed.
It is great to see our technology companies stepping up during this COVID-19 catastrophe. What HP is doing for kids and adults during these times is particularly impressive. Kids are our most important future resource, and if we can assure their education, perhaps they can fix the problems our generation created or failed to fix. To get there, they need resources, and HP has provided them to address the shortages that exist in our troubled world.
During these times, it is just heartwarming to see CEOs like Enrique Lores and executives like Michele Malejki step up and set an example for the rest for us. We desperately need positive models during these hard times as well, because we still have too many negative examples in front of us every day for my piece of mind. Thanks to HP for making a real difference!