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How technology can improve lives, not isolate people

This article was originally published on B&T on October 11, 2018.

The word technology comes from the Greek ‘tekhnologia’ – meaning either the ‘art or craft’ through which we move things, or the ‘systematic treatment’ of things. Ultimately both senses of the word relate to tool use, but the interpretation is quite different. This is a very apt way to consider how humanity applies – or often misapplies technology – in the post digital age.

Too often we blame technology for disconnection – the irony of over half of all Australians expressing feelings of loneliness and isolation in an age of ‘social media’ is not lost on us. In the purest sense of the word, social media technology is a tool that can be used to empower, enrich and connect our experience of the world. Dr Genevieve Bell, Intel’s director of interaction and experience research, sums up this positive opportunity powerfully: “We’ve put technology on our bodies to make ourselves better, to find a way to kind of move through the world and extend ourselves.”

This is where technology innovations can actually improve lives. It has the power to reconnect our ageing population and those amongst us with different needs. It can help them to remain independent, active and socially engaged.

One such platform that is paving the way in social connection is Mable. Formerly, ‘Mable,’ Mable has rebranded to better represent their entire community of people seeking support, whether they be living with a disability or ageing, as well as those providing independent support.

Alex Boardman, marketing and communications manager of Mable said the rebrand was sparked by insight from their growing community. “We heard from our community that the word care didn’t resonate with them, as they are looking for support to help them live their lives independently. This insight was instrumental in our name choice – our new name Mable is inspired by the phrase ‘I’m Able’ which is the first-person expression of what people are able to achieve through the platform. It’s also an easily memorable name which will allow us to stand out in a market dominated by ‘care’ companies” said Boardman.

The new logo is an M, resembling two people standing side by side, equal and connected in a continuous endless loop. They wanted to empower their clients to drive their own support journey, enabling them to choose their own support-givers and clients. It’s free to join and allows people to connect with each other based on personality, location, price and services needed.

“Off the back of the rebrand, an awareness campaign was a natural progression of our go to market strategy. It’s not an approach typically used by the sector, so we thought there would be enormous potential in bringing the new brand to life in such a manner – and with so many positive stories on our platform, video was naturally the primary channel” said Boardman.

Channelzero helped launch Mable by developing a creative platform across video and still imagery which puts the support workers and clients at the centre while naturally interacting, a reflection of the mutual choice the platform allows.

Patrick de Teliga is head of motion at Channelzero; he wrote, directed, shot and edited the four versions of the videos. He said of his work:

“I’m really proud of what we created and incredibly inspired by the people we were lucky enough to meet. It is amazing to be a part of a platform that genuinely connects people. We shot every scene to show our very human ability to relate, regardless of any differences we might have.”

The multi-channel campaign will roll out across TV, press, radio, digital and social media in NSW metro and regional markets over October and November.

It’s easy to lose focus on the potential of technology when it gets obscured by mainstream social platforms, but when used in the service of a human centric vision like Mable it can be a positive force for change around the things that really matter – everyone having the opportunity to live independently and to be included.

Technology is a tool that serves the agenda we use it for. Mable has created something that we urgently need more of in our time of information overload – social inclusion and human connection.

You can read the original article here.

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