Launching Technology for Social Good at the NetHope Summit
- Posted on November 29, 2018
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
It’s no secret that I love my job. I get to work with some of the most driven and intelligent people in the industry and we do fascinating, innovative work for our clients. But recently, my career and personal passions intersected, and I had a ‘pinch myself’ experience. Like many people, I find great fulfilment in volunteering and giving back to the charities about which I’m passionate. While travel and work often limit by ability to do this, Avanade is making it easier for us to give back by creating a new business we call “Technology for Social Good.” Tech for Social Good enables our people to do work in the social sector during work hours. In addition to this cool initiative, I had the pleasure of representing Avanade’s Tech for Social Good program at the NetHope Summit last week in Ireland.
NetHope is a consortium of 56+ of the largest humanitarian non-profit organizations. Think International Federation of Red Cross, Oxfam, Plan International, PATH, Concern, Operation Smile, Team Rubicon, the list goes on. NetHope’s mission is to change the world through the power of technology and having witnessed the passion and enthusiasm of the 500+ attendees at the Summit, I truly believe they are.
So why was it so fantastic? I believe NetHope is setting the right agenda and creating the right environment for their members to connect, innovate, share experiences and exchange views on what works and what doesn’t work in their very demanding field of work. We heard stories of success and stories of despair—all of which captivated the audience and created engaging discussion around how to leverage the success, identify solutions and alleviate the despair.
It was by far the most engaged and inspiring group of individuals I have been amongst for a long time. There were many veterans who have attended NetHope Summits for the past twelve years and at times it felt more like a very large extended family gathering. There were so many hugs and back-slaps going on. And it was completely inclusive, with many people coming up and shaking hands and keen to find out who you were and what you brought to the party (so to speak).
But let me get to what we (Avanade) are bringing to the party. As well as launching Technology for Social Good, which will see Avanade working alongside Microsoft Philanthropies, Technology for Social Impact to enable digital transformation specific to the needs of the sector—Avanade was very proud to be named as a Founding Member to NetHope’s Center for the Digital Non-profit. I would describe this as a “hub,” launched by NetHope, bringing together non-profits and technology partners to focus on digital transformation holistically (process, people and technology). The Founding Members (including Microsoft, Okta, Blackbaud, Oracle NetSuite, Box and Avanade), will work together with NetHope members to dig deep around the key issues impacting the sector. That might be data, and how to use it to drive impact; artificial intelligence and its many uses for humanitarian organizations; blockchain and its potential uses for the sector (from micro-banking, to identification, to supply chains, etc.). So, you could say that it is all about “innovating for good.” Finally, there was a lot of excitement around Microsoft’s announcement that they will be working with a number of partners (including Avanade) to develop IP solutions, and “accelerators” on the Common Data Model, to address the specific challenges and demands faced by non-profits.
I’m truly honored to be a part of Avanade’s Technology for Social Good program and am excited to see how our people channel their passions by innovating with and for the social sector. This intersection of personal and professional passions is yet another reason I’m proud to work at Avanade. If you want to learn more about Technology for Social Good and our partnership with NetHope, check out our website.