By Lauren Woodman, NetHope CEO
It's Tuesday in Atlanta (and election day in the U.S.). Though we're sure our delegates were surreptitiously checking for election news, we also know that today's Summit provided an excellent distraction.
First, a big thank you to the International Procurement Agency for hosting our daily breakfasts here in Atlanta. We all appreciate the big mugs of coffee first thing in the morning!
We started the day with Mary Snapp, corporate vice president of Microsoft Philanthropies, who spoke about creating a cloud for global good. "We are at the dawn of what is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution -- the digital revolution," said Mary, who then went through a brief history of each preceding industrial disruption, from electricity to the personal computer.
A cloud for global good holds the promise to empower the communities that we serve. But to do so, it must be trusted, responsible and inclusive, to make sure that no one is left behind. "We shouldn't be building walls, we need to be building bridges," said Mary.
After that inspiring talk, we heard from William Hoffman, Associate Director at the World Economic Forum. Bill is focused on data-driven development at WEF, and in his keynote, he stressed the need to strengthen the use of data in a trusted and human-centered manner to achieve shared outcomes.
He then shared a Personal Data Taxonomy, which included some challenging questions: With all of the emerging technology, how well are we listening to needs of individuals and to the most vulnerable? How can we collectively measure the outcomes we want? How can we innovate to enhance empathy?
It's tough to follow those stellar speakers, but I was encouraged to find that their comments reinforced some of my convictions. Such as: Disruption is coming to our sector, and if we sit back and just watch, we may not like the outcome.
How do we navigate the coming change and become truly digital NGOs? We need to challenge ourselves to self-disrupt, or evolve, if that's your preferred construct. But most importantly, we need to be customer-focused, agile and adaptive, connected and collaborative.
I also wanted to highlight a really outstanding corporate roundtable discussion moderated by Isaac Kwamy, NetHope’s Global Programs Director, Disaster Preparedness and Response, and Amplify 4 Good’s Joey Womack. The panel discussed data security, private investment in disaster response and the challenges of data ownership, among other topics.
Last but certainly not least, NetHope members voted in our newest, and 50th member organization today, DanChurchAid. I'm thrilled to have them as part of the NetHope family, and I'm certain they will be actively engaged and that we can learn from them.
With that, I'm off to the Appirio-hosted reception in the lobby bar for a glass of wine, and to watch the election returns.