Social impact


Opencast is committed to being a purpose-led business that makes a positive impact on society. We are focused on doing the right thing for everyone, and this includes our people, our clients and our wider communities.

Our social impact approach is about living our values and delivering on our purpose to “make life better through the power of people and technology”. The aim of our social impact work is to meaningfully contribute to solving the collective challenges our society is facing.

Opencast’s social impact strategy

Our work focuses on three social impact pillars, which are informed by and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and His Majesty's Government Social Value Model (HMG's SVM). They are underpinned by the values and principles of intersectionality and inclusion. 

Better health and wellbeing

The right to health is a fundamental human right. It means everyone, regardless of identity or circumstance, has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Healthy populations are also the bedrock of peaceful, thriving societies. 

Within this pillar, we have three focus areas:

  1. Improving mental health and wellbeing, including loneliness.
  2. Improving physical health and wellbeing, including substance abuse and dependency including drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Improving access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, rights, and services.

Fairer economy and society

There is an inequality in the uneven distribution of global wealth and income. This inequality leads to further disparities including lower literacy and educational attainment, worsening health outcomes, concentration of power and weakened democratic governance. 

Within this pillar, we have three focus areas:

  1. Improving access to decent work with equal pay for all, with particular emphasis on women, LGBTQIA+ people, people of colour, people with disabilities, young people under 24 years old and migrants.
  2. Improving access to entrepreneurship for all, with particular emphasis on women, LGBTQIA+ people, people of colour, people with disabilities, young people under 24 years old and migrants.
  3. Eliminating forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labour.

Thriving places and planet

The global temperature has already risen 1.1ºC above the pre-industrial level, and the impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere but especially by the poorest and most marginalised communities.

Climate change is not the only negative environmental phenomenon making the world a more inhospitable place and threatening our survival: biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction are pushing forward a mass extinction, increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, displacing millions of people, increasing poverty and economic inequality, worsening people’s health and even causing armed conflicts.  

Within this pillar, we have three focus areas:

  1. Decoupling economic success from environmental destruction
  2. Supporting healthy habitats and strong biodiversity
  3. Achieving decarbonisation and Net Zero

How will we get there?

Opencast is determined to harness the power of digital technologies to collectively tackle the most serious global challenges and build healthier, happier lives, a fair economy, and support a thriving planet.

To achieve this, we must consider digital technologies in light of the values that drive the social, economic and political systems in which they exist. In turn, this means examining the power systems and structures that govern society.

We note three core beliefs we must challenge:

  1. ‘Digital technologies are neutral’ > needs to evolve into > ‘Digital technologies are purposeful’.
  2. ‘Every problem has a technological solution’ > needs to become > ‘Digital technologies are one of many potential tools to solve collective challenges’. 
  3. ‘Digital technologies give people what they want’ > must evolve into > ‘Digital technologies do no harm’.

Our approach

Ways we can make an impact

We have identified three ways in which we believe Opencast is well positioned to contribute to meaningful positive change for people and planet.

Impact mindsets and behaviours 

We will embody a social impact-led business to showcase the enormous potential for good that happens when private sector actors embrace doing the right thing for people and planet day to day.

Thought leadership and advocacy

We will help further the understanding of digital technologies’ potential for good by publishing thought products and engaging with governments, international organisations, civil society and our wider industry. 

Service provision

In partnership with non-profits, governments, social enterprises and other impact-focused organisations, we will work in places, spaces and with communities that are underserved or excluded from the benefits of digital technologies to deliver direct impact.

Our initiatives

Opencast’s social impact initiatives are the ways in which we deliver and contribute solutions to collective problems society is facing. They align with our social impact pillars and fall into two categories: Communities and Beyond sustainability.


These are the ways we work with our communities. It’s a flexible offer we can adapt to collaborate on a wide range of social and environmental projects across multiple organisational and operational contexts. This initiative covers sharing expertise and providing services directly to purpose-led organisations:

  • People and skills
  • Funding
  • In kind support


We are committed to more sustainable working and contributing to a greener, cleaner, fairer future. These are the ways we’re working to integrate sustainability in all we do:

  • Sustainable by default
  • Our move to Net Zero

Why are we doing this?

Digital technologies can help us tackle the biggest collective challenges we face as a global community and have huge potential to bring about more accessible and fairer solutions for everyone, especially those who are excluded due to race, ethnicity, gender or disability.

However, when implemented poorly, these same technologies can also cause harm, reinforce the predominant social values and norms, or disproportionally impact systemically marginalised populations.

There are three key concerns:

Digital technologies created for maximising profits can negatively impact people’s health and wellbeing

Where business models and design choices are not aligned with user needs or an equitable approach, the following issues can arise:

  • An increase in harmful content, pervasive online bullying, harassment, and exploitation which is in turn leading to increased polarisation, radicalisation, and social isolation. 
  • A loss of collective sense and decision-making, as people increasingly live in ‘information bubbles’ where misinformation and disinformation replace objective, evidence-based information flows. This erodes democratic governance and human rights.
Digital technologies are contributing to an extreme concentration of wealth and power

In a sector dominated by a few big players in high-income countries, the risk increases for economic inequality, oppression and exclusion. This includes:

  • Excluding people (either through a lack of access or digital literacy) from access to education, employment, public and business services and opportunities. Digital technologies can contribute to the marginalisation of people of colour, people living in poverty, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities.
  • Increasing pressure of public services.
  • Limiting governments’ policy options, as technology businesses drive high percentages of GDP and governments are reticent to make choices that might impact their economic interests. This contributes to weakened democratic governance, worsening human rights violations and, in the worst cases, failed States.
Digital technologies are resource-intensive which can contribute to serious environmental harm

Technology requires a large amount of resources but this increases the environmental footprint of technology. In addition, the countries with these resources often face economic inequality. The challenges in this space include:

  • A need for the mining of minerals, high amounts of waste and high energy consumption. This contributes to the rapid breakdown of ecosystems and worsening health and wellbeing. 
  • Economic inequality as countries rich in natural resources see the profits from their extraction syphoned off back to high-income countries through free trade and foreign investment agreements. This also leads to weakened democratic governance, and human rights violations on a global scale.
  • Huge flows of displaced people: 117.2 million people will be forcibly displaced or stateless in 2023, according to UNHCR's estimations.