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Global Summit: Day Five

As you reflect on this Global Summit, I hope you agree that, regardless of where you are on the digital transformation journey, our desire to improve is in our DNA.

November 9, 2018

The end to a busy and inspiring week

By Lauren Woodman, CEO, NetHope

What I consider the bonus day of the NetHope Global Summit 2018 saw attendees departing from the familiarity of the Royal Dublin Society campus and dispersing for in-depth workshop and training opportunities hosted by some of our technology partners with offices in Dublin. Here are a few highlights:

The Dock (Accenture Dublin Office) hosted “Accelerating Digital Transformation with Design Thinking.” According to Jean-Louis Ecochard, Chief Innovation Officer of NetHope, and experts from Accenture Development Partnerships and Accenture human-centered design from The Dock, you can reimagine and invent your own future. To prove it, they led attendees through an interactive design-thinking workshop, using the latest methodologies, concepts, and tools available and applying them to support development programs today to deliver purpose and impact. A workbook will be available for all NetHope members as a resource.


The Microsoft Dublin Office was the location for three workshops and a technical training.

  • In “AI for Good” ten noted speakers outlined the current state of AI and how it can solve some of the world’s most challenging humanitarian, development, and conservation issues. To be successful in the NGO sector, we must influence how AI gets developed, applied, and used, and incubate programs based on problems that need to be solved (e.g., education, disease detection, hunger). Discussions focused on human-centered, ethical AI, including what can go wrong; what the humanitarian sector can do to prevent, minimize, or mitigate those risks; what questions we should be asking; who needs to be involved; and how AI can support inclusion and human rights.
  • “Blockchain: Beyond the Hype” was led by Gisli Olafsson, Humanitarian Advisor to NetHope, and Ric Shreve, Senior Advisor for Technology for Development for Mercy Corps. This training went beyond just the potential of distributed ledgers into discussions of real-life deployments and small group sessions focusing on use cases from agricultural product traceability, supply chain, and financial inclusion case studies.
  • The “GDPR: Six Months Later,” workshop, led by Sytorus CEO John Ghent and Concern Worldwide IT Systems Manager Bernard Gaughan, gave attendees the opportunity to discuss the current progress toward meeting GDPR requirements (since the May 25 launch) and plan next steps.
  • Microsoft Technical Training Offerings focused on Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Nonprofit Accelerator, and Azure Accelerators. Participants got the opportunity to learn and work with Microsoft Senior Program Director Laurie Ponti and Principal Program Manager Smith Codio.

The Pluralsight Dublin Office hosted “Developing a Digital-Mindset in Your Organization: Using the Digital Skills Framework in a Practical Application.” Speakers included Jon Curry, IT Director of Water Aid; Edward Happ, Executive Fellow at the University of Michigan; Jim Daniell, Chief Transformation Officer with NetHope; and Lindsey Kneuven, Head of Social Impact at Pluralsight, Pluralsight One. Since staff skills were identified as the top barrier for digital transformation, the session focused on the importance of risk-taking and tolerating potential failure. Using NetHope’s Center for the Digital Nonprofit’s Digital Nonprofit Skills (DNS) survey (visit here to login and take the survey) as a guide, NGOs can use those results to gauge skills and explore how building a culture of digital-first thinkers and up-skilling can help organizations deliver greater impact.

The Cisco Dublin Office hosted a technical training: “Rapid Controlled Deployment Lab with Cisco,” led by Cisco Meraki’s John Saxby, Training and Evangelism Professional, and Michael Clark and Jeffry Handal, Consulting Systems Engineers. They presented a hands-on lab detailing the entire portfolio of Cisco Meraki products, which strive to solve common IT and business challenges while keeping the mission of simplicity.

While Friday marked the conclusion of another successful NetHope Global Summit, I look forward to continued collaboration between now and the next Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 21-25, 2019. For members, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with each other through our monthly Member Meetings, Chapter Meetings, Working Groups, webinars and other resources available on NetHope Solutions Center, collective impact grant participation, and resources offered through The Center for the Digital Nonprofit. The more we engage with each other, the more we learn, innovate, and scale our impact. For partners, there are opportunities to invest time, money, products, and expertise.

Expect an email very soon with links to photos from the Summit, videos of plenaries and select break-out sessions, and a host of other resources. Next week, we will field a post-Summit survey and it’s not too late to complete the session evaluation forms.

As you reflect on this Global Summit, I hope you agree that, regardless of where you are on the digital transformation journey, our desire to improve is in our DNA. Transformation is hard. It requires a dedicated focus on people, process, and technology. Yet, as always, we are never alone. We’re all in this together.

--- lauren

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