Spirituality, values and giving back

Something I’ve been pondering lately is the role that spirituality and values play in my daily life and the pursuit of my interests in ICT4D, tech for social good and giving back. Or in other words….why am I wired this way? A while back, Ken Banks of FronlineSMS wrote an interesting post “Spirituality: A home in ICT4D” related to this topic, which really got me thinking.

Personally, I would have to say spirituality and values both play a role in my thought and work practices. To me spirituality can encompass both faith and values – one does not have to be a “religious” person to be spiritual. As a matter of fact, some of the most spiritual and kind individuals I’ve ever met don’t actively practice an organized religion. Myself, I was raised Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic High School and work at one of the most well known Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Now, I don’t regularly attend church services, but I do experience spiritual growth in other ways, through how I choose to live my life, my actions, as well as how I interact with my family and friends.

I’m involved in several activities both at my workplace and on my own, that give me the opportunity to use my knowledge, education and passion to build spiritual fulfillment, and make a positive impact. Or at least, I hope I’m making some difference. 🙂

A few of the values ventures I’m currently involved in include:
-My role as board member and technical advisor to BOSCO-USA. BOSCO is an NGO serving northern Uganda, focused on ICT4D communications infrastructure and technology enablement to break isolation for internally displaced peoples.

-I also serve as a volunteer “Hero” for FrontlineSMS, providing Forum support for social change users and organizations around the globe using open source SMS gateways to communicate and support their respective missions.

-Additionally, at work I’ve been co-chairing a Catholic Mission Team in my department. We focus on identifying and fostering opportunities to assist our staff in supporting the University goal of Catholic character. This presents a chance for our technology folks to reflect Catholic social teaching through various social good, service and volunteer activities. This one is just starting to gain traction, so I’m hoping for more growth here and I’m very excited about the possibilities.

-Finally, I’ve been working for some time with the ND Haiti Program on some technology initiatives. More on this one in a later post.

A big question I ask myself – why do I seek out these opportunities, get involved and find fulfillment out of these commitments? The short answer, I guess, is that I enjoy working in technology and I love helping people. It’s where these two areas intersect that I see my greatest professional and personal satisfaction.


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