Bethany Koby is on a mission to use technology in the best way possible for young people – to help ignite their creativity and imagination so they’ll play, code and invent in ways previous generations have not been able to.
It was Bethany’s journey in motherhood that put on her the tech path, as she was staggered to discover the bulk of toys available for children are neither creative nor productive.
“I realised that education isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with the pace of technology. Technology tends to be introduced to children as a consumptive device or tool. It’s not used as a medium for parents to get creative with,” Bethany said.
“I have a background as a designer and I really wanted to see what I could do to address this problem. So my partner and I made a little kit, then we did a big workshop in the UK at an arts festival. We had hundreds of parents and kids making this little instrument and we saw how engaging and how exciting it was for them and the skills the kids were able to pick up very fast.”
“That was very validating and led us to ‘kidifying’ the experience and creating products and digital tools that can help people make technology anywhere.”
Koby, along with co-founder Daniel Hirschmann, created Technology Will Save Us; providing make-it-yourself kits and digital tools.
“When it comes to digital tech there are a lot of options when it comes to creating fast prototypes, and testing ideas around interaction. For example, there’s an app called Marvel which really helps designers to create interactive apps and experiences really fast. It’s essentially a prototyping tool.”
Bethany said the good news is there’s also a plethora of creative tools for people to prototype very quickly.
“In our case, we are interested in including the physical world into tech – there’s a real renaissance of hardware, where for the first time in history we’ve got 3D printing and micro controller. Circuit boards are less expensive than ever before and more available, which means the world of physical technology can now be prototyped and used in ways that were never possible. So it’s a really exciting time.”
Technology Will Save Us is available in 97 countries and it’s been acquired as a design fixture by the Museum of Modern Art. As for Koby, she’s been recognised as one of the UK’s Top 50 Leaders. She’s adamant that tech shouldn’t been seen as an add-on to an industry.
“Tech is a fundamental part of how we do things. If we create a relationship that’s less separate to tech we’ll deal with it in less creative ways. I want to continue to make awesome products, both in experience aesthetic and impact, while also building a good business, and hiring great people.”
“I’m all about building an incredible culture and creating a business we believe in.”