The Digital Journey

Let's accelerate the digital transformation of Dutch development organisations

agenda February 10, 2020

Digital challenges are an important topic in the development sector. Therefore, The Spindle organises a Digital Journey for Partos members looking to accelerate digital transformation within their organisations in innovative and exciting ways. The goal is to co-create digital strategies in Joint Action Groups to build an innovation upon the needs of the Dutch development organisations and discover solutions for digital challenges.

Why a Digital Journey?
We all know that digitalisation offers opportunities to create more impact through our work. Examples such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Open Data and Online Learning have the potential to offer the work we do to a wider audience of people, to accelerate processes and to connect people from all over the world. Anno 2020, the world is moving towards a new era in which digital innovations need to be integrated within broader (digital) existing ecosystems to create actual impact and stay sustainable. However, too often the development sector is developing (expensive) stand-alone digital solutions that do not reach their full potential because existing (digital) ecosystems were not taking into account during the development phase.

In a report of the UN Secretary-General’s panel on digital cooperation, it was recommended to form a broad multi-stakeholder alliance and create platforms for sharing digital solutions and services to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. The report suggests bringing together diverse voices from all groups of people, including citizens and marginalised groups.

How will we organise the Digital Journey?
The goal is to build a journey, facilitated by The Spindle, 100% upon the needs and ambitions of Dutch development organisations and to discover solutions for digital challenges. By co-creating digital strategies in so-called Joint Action Groups of multiple organisations, we aim to discover these solutions. Do we know the outcomes of this journey already? We do not. However, like with most future innovations; we know the potential is huge and only if we dive into the process we can discover some of it!

We are searching for the connected and intrapreneurial innovators from Partos members that want to hop on board! We will work with one particular person who’s representing the organisation, tapping into the organisations’ core plans and ambitions concerning digitalisation and bring on board their network, including a core group of beneficiaries that will travel along. In this journey, we call this person a LinkingPin.

What milestones will you cross as a LinkingPin during the Digital Journey?
In the first meet-up, a full day, planned on March 24, 2020, LinkingPins come together to find common digital goals and ambitions. Based on these commonalities, they’ll form Joint Action Goups. Each Action Group sets its own goal to be reached before October 2020. As a LinkingPin, you’ll cross the following milestones in the upcoming months:

  • February: A pre-interview of 1-hour (live or online) with the possible LinkingPin to brainstorm how this could best benefit the goals and ambitions of the organisation.
  • March, 24: the Kick-off Event for all the LinkingPins. Within one day, you’ll try to find digital commonalities with others in order to form a Joint Action Group!
  • April, 21: during the organised Pitch Event the Joint Action Groups get the opportunity to pitch their idea to an audience of techies, companies, universities and creatives to reach out for possible contributions.
  • June, 5: yes, you’ll join a Hackaton where you and your action group will be able to build a prototype within 24 hours.
  • September, 10: Demo Day! The Joint Action Groups will have the opportunity to pitch their “products” to the audience: directors of their organisations, beneficiaries in other countries and all others ready to test live or through livestream.
  • October, 9: the Partos Innovation Festival! We’ll come together in Pakhuis de Zwijger to Cross-Pollinate the experiences of the journey and the end results of the created prototypes towards other organisations. An Award will be honoured to the Best Joint Action Group.

Interested in travelling along?
Are you considering to become a LinkingPin or you know who could be your organisation’s LinkingPin? Feel like going on this journey? Let’s meet up!
If you are interested, and you or one of your colleagues are able to commit, let us know by sending an e-mail to our Innovation Facilitator: Margreet van der Pijl (

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