Voys’ impact – how we made the world a little better in 2023

At Voys, we believe that the world becomes more beautiful when you share your success with others. That's why we'd like to tell you how we made an impact in 2023.

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Ashley Gottula
23 Jan 2024
Clock 3 min

At Voys we believe that the world is a better place when you share your success. That’s why we want to share about how we made an impact in 2023: with educational activities, environmental impact, digital inclusion and internet freedom. We aren’t doing this to pat ourselves on the back, but more to be transparent and possibly share some inspiration. 

If you are curious about our vision around making an impact, check out the impact page on our website. 

Sharing our knowledge with the next generation

Every year we open our office up to groups of kids so that we can share our enthusiasm for technology and development, and this year was no exception. Throughout the year, our awesome team of colleagues that lead these different educational activities take turns working on things like beginning coding lessons or talking to female students about working in IT as a woman. We even had two students be our bosses for a day and help think of ways we could lessen our impact on the climate. 

The students that came to visit us were in 19 different groups and ranged in age from 10-22 years old. We also added a new type of coding lesson to our repertoire this year – working with a microbit. These boards can be programmed in 3 different languages (Scratch, Python, and Javascript), and gives them direct feedback through lights and sounds so they know what they have made. Lessons are more interactive, which is great for the kids.

The JINC-project ‘Tomorrow’s managers’.

A more sustainable environmental impact

Throughout the year we continued monitoring our CO2 output in an effort to minimise it and also compensate for it. But more than that, we focus on furthering the sustainability cycle around us. How do we do that? We have a group of colleagues with roles in the Planeteer circle that work on different aspects of sustainability. 

We are a gold partner at the local park to our Dutch office, the “Koploperbos”. We helped plant trees to fill the park, and even some of the students that came for one of our educational activities planted trees and talked about our impact on the climate. 

We also created a sustainable purchasing policy that helps colleagues be conscious of where they buy things from. That also helps support local businesses, which we love to do.

Planting trees in the Koploper-forest.

Working towards more digital inclusion

This year the foundation we founded, 48percent.org, did a lot of work towards equitable connectivity in many different parts of the world. So far they have contributed to 13 projects spread out all over the world. One project focused on bringing connectivity and digital skills to Sherpas in Nepal so that they could do more online advertising for the village’s tourism business. Some other projects focused on bringing connectivity to new communities in South America and Africa. 

They also worked on a project close to our hearts, a pilot project to offer a digital inclusion package to those who need affordable access or more digital skills. They are doing this with the municipality of Westerkwartier, close to the Voys offices in Groningen, the Netherlands, and there 50 families will be given affordable internet access, a laptop, and the resources needed to build their digital skill set. The University of Twente is also a part of the project and will look to see if a regional approach is effective for strengthening digital inclusion in the Netherlands.

The world map at the Voys office showing all the projects 48percent.org has done.

Supporting initiatives close to our organisation’s values 

Privacy, security, and the freedom to make your own decisions in these areas are all things that we find extremely important. That’s why every year we support organisations that focus on digital issues. One such initiative is Quad9 and their fight to win a court case against Sony Music to not have to control what people see on the internet when using the Quad9 DNS server. We also supported Privacy First and Bits of Freedom, two organisations we have supported for many years. 

Continuing our work in 2024

As you can see, 2023 was full of different ways that we tried to make an impact. 2024 will be no different because we are starting on a journey towards steward ownership. We are also looking for new ways to contribute! Do you have an initiative that fits our core values? Have you heard of an organisation working to bridge the digital divide that fits 48percent.org’s program lines? Please let us know!