Dismantling Digital Barriers Summit – The Key Takeaways

November 26, 2021

Anupriya Karmakar

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending the Future of Good’s Dismantling Digital Barriers Summit. The two-day virtual event dwelled deep into digital equity and transformation, funding for this movement, and the policies and regulations needed for digital equity.

The summit brought leaders together from both nonprofit and for-profit organizations who shared their own experiences and drove important conversations around adapting to a digital infrastructure, affordability, and the tools and resources needed to achieve this.

Out of the three panel discussions, the one that stood out for me and that’s relevant to what we as a technology company do was ‘Social impact going digital: what does it look like on the ground?’ The session was moderated by Kylie Adair, editor at Future of Good and the speakers included Surranna Sandy, CEO at Skills for Change, Roger Simard, Chief Digital Product Officer at Canadian Red Cross, Jake Stika, CEO at Next Gen Men and Lori Nikkel, CEO at Second Harvest. The conversation was around what some of these organizations had done to bring a change and transform their systems. Majority of the panelists shared that their long- term plans to digitally transform had to be expedited, especially with the onset of the pandemic.

These days our own conversations, be it amongst team members or clients, are centered around the journey of a successful digital transformation. What it means to an organization depends on where they are and where they want to be. For some it may start with migrating to the cloud, for others it could mean innovating their existing systems.  It’s not one size fits all.

Although we are a software company, we strongly believe digital transformation is not only about technology. It includes a shift in the mindset of the people and culture of an organization too. Some of these points were reiterated in this panel discussion.

My key takeaways:

1.       “Upskilling and re-skilling of staff is critical,” Surranna Sandy

2.       “Embracing failure - technology may not be perfect but there must be a start to bring change,” Lori Nikkel

3.       “Any kind of digital change should be open source so everybody can access it and collaborate with as many people as possible…data is king and getting more data is only going to help our sector with this.”,” Lori Nikkel

4.       “Digital tools and resources have to centered and critical to create effective and nurturing solutions and programs within a digital space,” Surranna Sandy

5.       “Make access to the internet a human right,” Roger Simard

6.        “Center your people and be there for them,” Jake Stika

To read the summary of the summit, click here>


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