By Lauren Woodman

One of the most satisfying things about the annual NetHope Global Summit is how our delegates are so ready to collaborate and be inspired. Neal McCarthy, from Oxfam, may have summed it up best in his tweet: “Inspired & reassured in equal measure!”

We started the day with a joint working group on The Center for the Digital Nonprofit. Frank Schott, NetHope’s Vice President of Global Programs, and I gave an overview of the 2018 objectives of The Center, and how NetHope’s programs reinforce it. We then broke off into smaller working groups, covering topics critical to our sector: enterprise architecture; information security and data protection; humanitarian disaster management; and connectivity and infrastructure.

Working groups reflect the expertise of NetHope members, and set the standard for the sector. They’ve been foundational to NetHope, and for the beginnings of The Center for the Digital Nonprofit. Working groups are comprised of members, and often include partners that share an interest in a given topic. I’m seeing significant momentum and energy coming from these working groups, expanding our commitment to collaboration beyond connectivity and demand aggregation. The current working group leaders have great energy and creativity, and I’m looking forward to seeing the solutions they come up with around information security, enterprise architecture, and the NGO Reference Model.

A highlight of my day was the opportunity to welcome five new NetHope Fellows. The NetHope Leadership Fellowship, initiated last year at the NetHope Global Summit 2016 in Atlanta, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the sector through their participation in and support of NetHope. Following in the tradition of the inaugural cohort–Ed Happ, Dipak Basu, and Pat Long–our new inductees are a remarkable group. They include:  

  • Marianne Allison. Marianne is former CIO and SVP of Corporate Citizenship, Waggener Edstrom. While at Waggener Edstrom (now WE), Marianne served as an external NetHope Board member, and provided critical guidance for NetHope outreach, communications, and marketing.  She departed WE to pursue her passion for theology and pastoral care. Currently, she is a Chaplain and Spiritual Care Advisor at William Temple House. 
  • Akhtar Badshah. Akhtar is former Senior Director, Microsoft Citizenship. While at Microsoft, Akhtar was critical in his support of NetHope. He currently works at Catalytic Innovators Group, which he founded in April, 2015, and serves as a Board Member at Global Washington, a Seattle-based nonprofit that promotes WA state’s international engagement. 
  • Mark Banbury. Mark is former CIO, Plan International. Mark was a long-term Board member, active contributor, and leadership voice inside the NetHope membership. After years of living abroad, Mark returned to Canada for family reasons and assumed the position as CIO at Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.
  • Kelvin Cantafio. Kelvin is EVP, Executive Programs, Gartner Canada. Kelvin was one of the founding Board members of NetHope and served 10 years as a Board Director, including several as Vice-Chair. Kelvin remains active with IT professionals, serving on the Board of the CIO Association of Canada.
  • Randy Pond. Randy is former Executive Vice President, Operations, Cisco. Throughout his career at Cisco, Randy was critical in his support of NetHope. Randy is now retired and currently serves as a Board member of the Cisco Foundation and contributor to other philanthropic efforts in the Bay Area.
In establishing the Fellowship, NetHope is recognizing that our future success is built upon the meaningful contributions of many others, ensuring we can build on their solid foundation for the benefit of the membership, the sector, and the communities we serve.

Our last session of the day was the Fail Fest, where delegates brave enough to ‘fess up to their failures took the mic and walked us through a project that went sideways. We heard from Nathan Barthel, from Catholic Relief Services, about the importance of context in ICT4D (hint: iPads on ice); Stephanie Fähnle from SOS Children’s Villages on how to almost waste $4 million euros; Emily Tomkys Valteri from Oxfam on unsustainable and unscalable technology decisions; and finally, from Daniela Weber, the CIO of Marie Stopes International, about when a good deal is not a good deal The winner? Daniela took the trophy, and the remaining three took home dubious consolation prizes. 

Looking forward to tonight’s Welcome Reception hosted by the Technology Solutions exhibitors, which is happening … now. 

Filed Under: Global Summits