Bono's daughter Jordan Hewson launches tech firm

Jordan Hewson, daughter of U2 frontman Bono, is changing the way the world interacts with news stories writes Joyce Fegan.

Yesterday, she launched her technology company Speakable, and she says it is “on a mission to connect people to the power of their civic voice”.

Speakble’s first product, Action Button, allows readers of news stories to “participate in the outcomes of those stories — whether by donating, signing a petition or emailing a policymaker”, said Jordan.

So far, the technology firm has linked with The Guardian US, Huffington Post and Vice, allowing Action Button to feature on the stories those sites carry.

The social activist said it was a headline from four years ago that sparked the idea for Speakable in her head.

“In 2012, I read a headline I won’t forget: ‘14-year-old education advocate shot by Taliban for going to school’.

“I was enraged reading the article but as I got busy I forgot about the story and continued my day answering emails.

“Then I started to think: if I cared so much, why wasn’t I doing something about it?” she wrote on the Huffington Post yesterday.

Me Hewson said Action Button now allows people to make a real impact online because it gives them an opportunity to do something immediate with the outrage they might feel having read a story.

She says talking about world events is often not enough to change the world in which we live.

“Dozens of platforms exist so we can talk about what’s going on in the world, but what’s the next step?

“Twitter for instance, gives our voices the power to be heard — but what does that sound translate into? Often not enough: talking about news is not the same as acting on news,” she said.

She explained she first approached Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington about the idea in 2014.

Then the technology was piloted and the team learned that “people want to do more than read headlines, they want to change headlines”.

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.


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