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Sessions & Breakouts

Click here for the full 2018 Tech Forward Session Lineup PDF

Breakout Session: “Building Capacity to Break the Starvation Cycle”

Every donor today wants to be told that 100 percent of their donation is being used directly for their desired cause—that more children are being fed, or that more diseases are being cured. Rarely are constituents interested in hearing that their dollars have been put toward an organization’s infrastructure.

Yet in reality, back office infrastructure is mission critical. This concept – coined The Overhead Myth, is a tale all too familiar in the nonprofit sector. These unrealistic donor expectations put pressure on nonprofits to operate with outdated infrastructure to fill idealistic hopes. This eventually ends with misleading reporting, thus fueling the vicious cycle. This session will explore how nonprofits can assess their ability to take technology implementation on, and build the internal capacity to support the program in the long run for mission success.


Breakout Session: “Why Nonprofit Technology Culture Change is So Hard”

Countless conference sessions have lamented the difficulties of creating meaningful cultural change around technology within nonprofits. Technology experts talk about forming committees, hosting fail-fests, and good training techniques.

What we don’t talk about are the systemic issues facing direct-service organizations that make technology integration so difficult. In this session, we’ll discuss the financial incentives, management approaches, and power structures that make this change so hard. In small affinity groups, we’ll brainstorm and discuss new approaches. Participants will leave with ideas for bringing the change we want to make in the world into our own organizations.


Breakout Session: “The Digital Dichotomy”

It’s one thing to install the apps and configure Sharepoint for a modern digital workplace. It’s another thing entirely to build a platform that is as inspiring as it is useful. In this highly interactive and engaging workshop, participants will learn how to organize and lead a discovery process that keeps mission and message at the forefront.

Learn about a digital workspace planning process that begins with a strong brand understanding and uses that vision to ensure brand alignment, identifying the right audiences, and designing for engagement. Participants will leave the session with the tools they need to design and plan a better digital workplace, whether for a small internal staff or a large dispersed network of advocates.


Breakout Session: “The Four Faces of IT Leadership”

Today leaders emerge from all roles and levels in an organization and can influence the outcome of a project, key initiative, or an overall organization profoundly. How do these leaders emerge, build relationships, motivate and engage, communicate and collaborate?

The journey about Four Faces of Strategic Leadership; its concepts can help develop leaders transcend increasingly complex organizational challenges. This talk provides food for thought to gain a mindset for effectively conducting strategic leadership. If you are an emerging leader, or you aspire to be one, you’ll learn how adapting these techniques can improve your ability to lead and influence from any position on the IT team.