Rethinking Digital Technologies

Brainstorming Digitalisation in the International Development Sector

agenda February 9, 2020

On Tuesday the 28th of January 2020, The Spindle organised a workshop ‘Digital Transformation Journey 2020’ as part of the The Hague NGO/IO Reception 2020: creating new futures event. With a diverse group of actors, The Spindle facilitated an exploration into digitalization in development. It was an inspiring session, resulting in a productive brainstorm on new digital tools, digital strategies, and creative ways of working together regarding digitalisation in international development.

The workshop was attended by a diverse group of professionals, resulting in interesting and interdisciplinary input and discussions. During the first part of the workshop, The Spindle presented its ambitious plans for the Digital Journey it is organizing in 2020. Here, one attendee remarked that it is really a journey in the broadest sense, it can lead you somewhere you don’t know; the outcome can be good and/or bad. This insightful introduction was followed by the attendees each sharing their take on the importance and use of digitalisation in international development. One attendee underlined the importance of being aware about what happens with the data that is online and how this data is likely to affect different types of people differently. Another attendee pointed out that it’s not so much about why these technologies are useful rather than how to handle them.

Following a brief discussion, a new question was posed to the group, namely how digitalisation can reach out in more co-creative ways. The attendees were asked to form groups and to decide on one word describing their feelings on this matter. Some words that were mentioned were impact (digitalisation has challenges as well), trust (human interaction), problem (which problems are you trying to solve?), and intuitive (human intuition).

In the last exercise of the workshop, the participants were encouraged to walk around the room to form groups and start brainstorming ideas with people they could see themselves collaborating with in the future. Some digital ideas that came out of the brainstorm were visual mapping, new audio-visual and digital strategies. Not every group came up with particular tools but instead used the moment to network and connect with people to further explore possibilities for collaborations.

The workshop was a great way to get an overview of the different needs and interests of organizations regarding digitalisation. We found that the possibilities for digital tools are endless, and maybe more notably that, while people have many different ideas they often face similar challenges. Digitalisation is undoubtedly an interesting theme that deserves to be further explored. We will keep you in the loop!

For those who are excited about this exploration, have a look at our Digital Journey that we’ll organise this year and hop on!


The Digital Journey

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The Spindle in 2020: Digital Power

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Next year’s focus: data and digitalisation in development cooperation

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