Rally Software and Rally for Impact
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Interview on Rally for Impact with Ryan Martens, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Rally Software
Q1 | Innov8Social: How did you first get involved with Rally for Impact? How long has it been around?
A1 | Ryan Martens, Rally for Impact: The idea has been percolating for 10 years. We officially launched it in October 2012.
Q2 | Innov8Social: What problem/pain point is Rally for Impact addressing?
A2 | Ryan: I feel strongly that business is the only force on the planet large enough and pervasive enough to change our broken global systems. With Rally for Impact, we are stepping up to say that business must lead the way in solving social problems. We can embed our social enterprises within the wrapper of business and be successful at both by bringing the learnings from one into the other.
My vision is to bring citizen engineers and social entrepreneurs together to help scale their efforts, as well as to inspire businesses to create sustainable and equitable solutions that span the globe.
Together, citizen engineers and social entrepreneurs can be the giant lever to fix the global systems that create clean water, clean air, rich soil, biodiversity and happiness as a natural by-product of everyday work.
I do not believe you can make one singular giant leap to become a social impact enterprise, but rather, incremental progress. You need the support of the business to value the work and thus create an environment where citizen engineers are empowered to explore not just feasible and effective solutions, but highly desirable and sustainable solutions. We need to build the right things that help us make the world better with every use..
Q3 | Innov8Social: The site emphasizes the presence of citizen engineers—how did you first think of this broad category? Who are the most typical ‘citizen engineers’ you have come across?
A3 | Ryan: I did not coin the term Citizen Engineer; Dave Douglas and Greg Papadopoulos actually did in their book: Citizen Engineer. There really is no “typical story” – the profile is someone who identifies a social problem and then works to solve it. Much of comes from finding an unfortunate opportunity that they are compelled to wrestle with and attempt to solve. We have great examples on the Rally For Impact site that include business, technical and grassroots organizing stories: http://www.rallydev.com/community/rallyforimpact/stories.
Q4 | Innov8Social: What is the primary purpose of Rally for Impact?
A4 | Ryan: Our mission to mobilize citizen engineers to solve the world’s toughest problems is based in part on my interactions with Dave Douglas, co-author of the book Citizen Engineer. Dave and Greg define citizen engineers as “the connection point between science and society—between pure knowledge and how it is used. Citizen engineers are techno-responsible, environmentally responsible, economically responsible, socially responsible participants in the engineering community.”
To mobilize citizen engineers to do this, we need to leverage:
- design thinking to produce highly desirable solutions that scale quickly
- agile thinking to bring the power of small teams to large problems
- lean startup to simultaneously solve for feasibility and effectiveness
- open source licenses to disseminate learnings and solutions freely across the planet
- sociology and biology to design sustainable solutions that work with nature
We believe business can be the force that helps us create sustainable systems for billions of humans to live on this planet in a just, equitable and restorative fashion. It is why we are here as a company.
Rally for Impact is seeking to build its base of social innovation-minded engineers. If you are interested you can take this pictorial citizen engineer survey.