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Understand the future of technology and how it can change our communities for the better. NGOs can harness the power of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Processing and Blockchain – learn how to leverage the availability of innovative technologies to change the way you work and make the world better.

Sessions & Breakouts

Click here for the full 2018 Tech Forward Session Lineup PDF

Plenary Session: “It’s Up to Us: Why the Nonprofit Sector Should Lead Technology Changes That Serve Purpose” – Tris Lumley, NPC

Monday, 10:00 to 10:30 am – General Session Room

The nonprofit sector has the vision and understanding of our communities to create real and meaningful change in the world. But sometimes, it’s hard to get the resources we need to do it. Technology can be a part of the solution, but only if its driven by purpose, not profit.

Those of us driven by purpose increasingly recognizes the huge opportunity that tech presents, but we haven’t yet embraced our opportunity to lead. We’re achieving great things but we’re far from our potential. Let’s explore the need for a new model that’s already within reach – if we build on our shared values and principles, and collaborate rather than compete, we can be the sector that leads a revolution on harnessing tech for the greater good.

Plenary Session: “Third Wave of Nonprofit Tech” – Marnie Webb, Caravan Studios

Tuesday, 9:40 to 10:10am – General Session Room

Technology is always advancing, but the nonprofit sector is historically slow to accept and take advantage of the opportunities it creates. Discuss the changing nature of technology within nonprofit organizations – using technology to be efficient is no longer enough to stay relevant as a nonprofit. Even using data effectively is old news.

Today, nonprofits are expected to “disrupt” social ills through the network effects and scale of technology. We’ll explore this trend, its opportunities, and its dangers and how machine learning, blockchain, artificial intelligence are technologies our communities need to incorporate to be on the leading edge of technology innovation.


Breakout Session: “Closing the Empathy Gap: Unlocking Resources; Time, Talent & Treasure” – Jay Hirschton, Full Circle Fund

Tuesday, 11:40am to 12:40pm – Room TBD

We need to change the conversation to shift from operating in a scarcity mindset and operating in the starvation cycle. It is time we recognize the abundance of resources that are available in each of our communities. The problem is not the lack of resources, it is that we have not cracked the code on the strategic unlocking and deployment of resources, due to a gap in empathy between the people that hold these resources and the people on the ground who need them.

As the gap between business leaders in the tech world and local nonprofit leaders continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to provide community, infrastructure and programs that help to close the empathy gap. Furthermore, once that gap is closed it is critical that there is a framework that leads to increased resources of time, talent & treasure being unlocked for the social impact community in a more purposeful manner.  Full Circle Fund will give us a deep dive into the programs launched to address this gap, in turn accelerating change by dramatically increasing the resources available to local community based organizations.


Breakout Session: “Breaking the Myth of Blockchain” – Keith Thode, AdvanceNet Labs

Tuesday, 10:25am to 11:25am – Room TBD

What does blockchain really entail, and where does it intersect with the social sector? Push past the buzzword and discuss how and when you should consider implementing it in your organization. Explore a case study of AdvanceNet Labs whose CEO is leading the charge of incorporating Blockchain into their organization and learning a lot along the way


Breakout Session: “Driving User Engagement Through Gamification” – Morgan Berman, MilkCrate

Monday, 10:45 to 11:45am – Room TBD

How are nonprofits using behavioral economics to move their members to meet their mission? In this talk we will explore ways nonprofits are using modern tools to engage their audience, track impact and share their mission. From scavenger hunts, to gamifying volunteering, your nonprofit can benefit from a field of study that is not just for the for profit world. How to nudge people to act is at the core of serving your mission, learn how others are successfully utilizing these approaches in their everyday practice to achieve measurable results.


Breakout Session: “Ask Izzy: A Case Study Empowering People Who are Homeless or At Risk in Australia” – David Spriggs, InfoXchange

Monday, 10:45 to 11:45am – Room TBD

Ask Izzy is a mobile website that connects people who are homeless or at risk with essential support services such as shelter, food, clothing and health care.  Developed by Infoxchange after winning the Google Impact Challenge, Ask Izzy was co-designed with people who have lived experience of homelessness and leaders in the homelessness sector.  With over 30 major and contributing partners, strong collaboration between the community, corporate, government and academic sectors has been key to its success.

Ask Izzy has had more than 1,000,000 searches since it was launched. Data generated from Ask Izzy is now being made available through an Open Data Platform giving a comprehensive view of service demand across the country, allowing service providers and government to better target services and program funding. Join InfoXchange CEO, David Spriggs, from a case study and deep dive into their project, challenges they faced, and what other nonprofits can learn about collaboration and partnership with the community their serving.