By Erik Arnold and Fredrik Winsnes
Our tools for collaboration and communication help close the distance between our respective team locales as we work together throughout the year, but nothing tops face-to-face collaboration. This is why we so look forward to the NetHope Global Summit each year – the time we reserve to come together and reconnect with our members, friends and partners in the same time zone, under the same roof.
It’s at the Summit that you, our members, have the opportunity to collaborate with your colleagues in the nonprofit and private sectors and collectively develop action plans to integrate transformational IT into your work. This is a wonderful thing!
This year, we’ve solicited input from you and your colleagues to build a truly engaging program around the topics you care about most. Our forward-thinking planning committee, made up of a growing circle of long-term contributors and valuable additions, has been collecting your feedback and building momentum for what promises to be our best year yet; our Chairman of the Board Vincent Richardson says attendees can expect “a mix of old traditions and new perspectives…[and that]…our interactive sessions and workshops build on a long legacy of collaboration and partnership, while our compelling speakers will look to the future of technology and the nonprofit sector.”
There are a lot of excellent events already penciled in to the Agenda; here are a few in particular that we’ve bookmarked:
1. A Gender Workshop: “Exploring the Gender Gap: Why Do We Need to Focus on Women?”
Fundamentally, greater involvement of women means more successful ICTD programs, but most ICTD projects fall short on effectively serving women. What is this “gender gap” we hear about all the time, and why is it important for all ICTD practitioners to focus on it? In addition to equity and fairness, what are the tangible benefits for women, society, and ICTD projects when women are considered a different user group than men? This talk will explore these benefits, discuss actionable strategies for reaching and involving women, and provide examples of effective gender-balanced ICTD efforts that do not threaten men or jeopardize women -- which are often the outcomes of poorly-considered gender and technology programming. After discussing some of these issues, participants will get the opportunity to “workshop” their own ICTD projects under a gender lens and leave with new insights and strategies to employ.
2. A Plenary Session: “An Introduction to the SDG ICT Playbook: From Innovation to Impact”
NetHope has developed a new publication, the SDG ICT Playbook: From Innovation to Impact, in order to guide investments in technology that global actors make as they work to achieve the United Nations’ SDGs. In this session Carol Bothwell from Catholic Relief Services will present an overview of the SDG ICT Playbook and begin a dialogue with NetHope members and technology partners on ways we can continue to socialize and build upon the playbook recommendations so that the global humanitarian community can do a better job of fully leveraging ICTs in the work they are doing.
3. The Networking Dinner: “Birds of a Feather”
This Tuesday evening dinner is an opportunity for you to find others who share your passion in a casual setting. Pick from several predefined topics (such as “women and tech”) and share dinner and drinks with others who want to exchange ideas and experiences around these themes. Stay tuned for the announcement of other topics!
4. In-depth Training Sessions:
This year there will be at least three full-day training offerings on Friday: a Meraki training session with Cisco, a hands-on GIS session with Esri and the NetHope Informatics team, and a “Dynamic Leadership” workshop capping the NetHope Leadership Institute “CIO Challenge” executive training program.
These happenings represent just a few exciting pieces of the pie. View the complete agenda here to see what else is in store.