The easiest way to describe what we do is to say that we’re a design studio. A design studio that specialises in working on social challenges. People know what a design studio is. If a client is working to make a positive social impact, they might commission us to work on their project. We do our job, and we do it well. Money will change hands. Ideally this is a healthy relationship, more of a partnership than a typical client / agency relationship, where we work on the problem together and everyone is happy.
That’s not the whole story though. At Reply, we have our own social aims and mission. We’re passionate about products and services that do social good, particularly ones that use digital or technology. We know the sector really well and we want to ensure that everyone is doing the best they can, and are working in a joined up way.
We want to create products and services that make the world a better place. We want to help others working in the tech and social sectors to be more ethical and collaborative. We want to stand up for what we believe in, and put our collective skills to proper use.
And yeah, we know that we’re not going to get rich doing this. We’re a registered social enterprise. Doing good is it’s own reward, right? Although, please pay us.
Our four pillars of work
Tech For Social Good
We make services work better for the people who need them. We work directly in partnership with organisations to increase their capacity. We work in the open when possible and we contribute to and work within good practice.
Charity Digital Skills
Although tech for social good can be created by anyone, we believe that charities often have the foundational knowledge of the underlying social issue that will really make a tech solution thrive. We help charities get better at understanding and using digital technologies.
Strengthening The Social Sector
Sometimes we can get stuck thinking about short-term charity skills, but beyond that how do we help the social sector future-proof itself? Technology and new techniques come along all of the time, so how do we help charities react to this?
We believe a healthy supportive ecosystem is crucial. Tech companies, charities and funders can work together to solve huge challenges with effective tech and to support each other to explore and build best practice.
Although we know technology can have a positive impact on the world, there’s so much more we need to learn about how tech is also causing harm. We know that in many instances technology can enable negative behaviours and exacerbate negative social issues. Sometimes because of ignorance and negligence, sometimes because these things can be difficult to predict, and sometimes deliberately… because people can be awful.
We want to work with people building tech to make sure they are building fair, equitable and socially responsible products and services from the outset, avoiding creating new social issues, or contributing to ones that already exist.
Other stuff you might want to know about us
- We have all of the expected insurances you might expect.
- We have all of the policies you might expect, and they’re nice. We’ve put some thought into them.
- We’re registered to the Data Information Commission. We care about data. GDPR is cool.
- We have valid DBS certificates.
- We use the Charity Digital Code and the CAST’s Digital Design Principles to inform our practice. We also use a wide range of other design and development principles in our projects when appropriate such as Privacy by Design and Trauma-informed design. When we can we also input to new codes and principles that help people design in new ways.
- Although we’re generally based in Manchester, we work all over the UK and sometimes Worldwide.
- Our team are distributed all over the place, so remote working isn’t new to us.
- We want to practice what we preach. We work hard to make sure our tools, services and suppliers adhere to our ethical principles. And we pay them on time.