The day of the 1st #Tech4Good Fellowship immersion programme had arrived. 40 people, some of whom had become familiar faces over shared cab-rides from the airport and dinner, and some unfamiliar ones were all part of the first cohort - what would this fellowship be like? Would we have lots of workshops and information heavy sessions, or would it be a day with lots of learning, yet fun?
The day started with a gentle peek into appreciative inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry uses 'asking questions' as a way to evoke stories that highlight the other person’s strengths and sources of happiness. AI (appreciative inquiry not the other one!) believes in the 'wholeness of the human system and to “inquire” into that system’s strengths, possibilities, and successes'.
We had to pick a fellow participant and learn as much as we could about them in 20 minutes. Then, we had to introduce our partner. I realized that I am a part of a talented and diverse cohort of outstanding individuals in the non-profit sector ready to take advantage of technology.
Shemeer, the founder of #Tech4Good walked us through the problem in civil society that #Tech4Good is trying to solve, the challenges and the possibilities. We were introduced to the three pronged approach that #Tech4Good is adopting to solve this problem - #Tech4GoodHelpDesk, #Tech4GoodLabs and #Tech4Good Fellows.
The next session was done by Greytip Software, whose product GreytHR is a configurable and easy to use Payroll and HR software on the cloud. There were a lot of enquiries from participants about whether Greythr could integrate with their already existing Tally, can it replace Tally to how deep the customization can go.
Post lunch, we had an interactive session on Data Literacy. We understood that Data Literacy spawns a whole lot of things from the ability to read, analyse, work with it and also be able to argue with data. Nevetha from Thoughtworks took us through the basics of data literacy, and the parameters we need to use to grade ourselves as well as our organisation to see where we stand in terms of being 'data literate'. We did two distinct things – assess ourselves on the Data Skills Radar and also ourselves and the organization as part of the Data Maturity Framework. Participant discussions around Privacy and what is Personally Identifiable Information (PII) were an eye-opener for NGOs who routinely collect data from the field.
A wonderful way to close the day - all the teams put up entertaining skits to represent 'the IT guy' from their various experiences. The cohort exhibited a wonderful sense of humour and participation in all the skits.
As the day drew to an end, somewhere within us we all knew we'd found an extended family, and a community, which would be a source of energy for all of us. #Tech4Good team made sure that there was no information overload on the first day and there was plenty of time to interact and get to know our fellow participants.
A little bit of cake, lots of laughter, and a bus ride later, signing off and looking forward to a lovely Day.