Atlanta has become a hotbed for technology, a vibrant ecosystem benefiting from a cycle of growth, exit and reinvestment and amplified by a shining international reputation.

We’ve been reporting on this shift for years, starting with a fintech special issue I laid out many years ago showing how this industry was driving the city’s tech ascendance by creating a showpiece sector. 

But now, in a city known both for its civil rights history and its vast income inequality, many have been asking about the point of all this prosperity if it doesn’t bring along those that have historically been left behind. 

Managing Editor Trevor Williams

As capital flows, unicorns are minted and Silicon Valley giants take up gleaming Midtown offices, it has become harder to see how what’s made in Atlanta positively impacts our citizens and others around the world — besides enriching a few entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, in the post-COVID era, the question of creating social impact through business has taken on new urgency in international discourse.  

In our work, we’re often asked to follow the top-down efforts to foster change, the United Nations conferences, free-trade agreements and regulatory mandates that governments use to shape the world. 

But here in town, we’re also exposed to world-changing innovations, many of them starting small and emanating from Atlanta to the uttermost parts of the world. When done right, they generate profit that then contributes to the virtuous cycle of innovation that is helping to drive the city forward. 

With the support of our partners at Atlanta International School, which has innovation and internationalism baked into its approach to creating future-ready global leaders, it seemed only appropriate to take a deeper look at how such local innovators are tackling global challenges. 

I hope the six stories in the report follow serve as an inspiration for further exploration on how the pursuit of profit, blended with a sense of common humanity, can create scalable solutions for global impact. 

If you’d like to download the PDF version, make sure to read the transcript of the panel discussion we led during the ATL Solutions Summit on Nov. 9. The companies represented might just give you hope for the future of capitalism.

J. Trevor Williams
Managing Editor

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...