When David Shutts was treated for advanced kidney cancer, the BBC reports that “nothing hurt him more than being jobless—so he decided to do something about it.” Shutts, the former commander of one of the most advanced warships in the British Royal Navy, had discovered that his cancer treatment had virtually eliminated his options for continuing to work.
Loss of income wasn’t Shutts’ only concern. He missed the camaraderie of working life, and he felt as angry as he did frustrated. According to the BBC: “Delving into his contacts book, Shutts met up with an old naval colleague, Simon Short, now head of growth at Salesforce. Over a pint, the concept of ASTRiiD was born—an online tool that matches individuals with businesses that can use their skills for paid or unpaid work.”
Specifically, ASTRiiD is a tool that allows people to register their skills online in minutes, as seen in a video available here. Among the benefits it provides, ASTRiiD can connect people who have health issues with jobs that they can do at times when they are feeling well enough to work.
“It’s a way of rebranding yourself through this technology," Shutts said.
“I am exceptionally proud that Salesforce can support my best friend and colleague in such a powerful way,” Short said. “Together, ASTRiiD and Salesforce can change the lives of so many people. By helping people find meaningful work it gives them purpose at the same time as finding people with essential skills for businesses.”
Extending Shutts’ and Short’s concept and contributions, a team of 70 Salesforce employees helped to develop ASTRiiD. “By leveraging the power of Salesforce’s technology and 1-1-1 model, we have been able to support the creation of ASTRiiD in so many ways,” said Short. “We built and tested the platform with individuals volunteer time and we have had over 100 people fundraising, doing PR and marketing and supporting the launch.” The 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model leverages 1% of Salesforce’s product, equity and employee time to help nonprofits and educational institutions achieve their missions through Salesforce.org.
Read the full BBC article here for more on Shutts’ remarkable story, and how technology can connect people in need with opportunities.