As I look back on the nine wonderful months I have spent at TechChange, first as an Instructional Design fellow, then as a Junior Instructional Designer, and finally as a fully-fledged Instructional Designer, I am struck overwhelmingly by one word—or rather, one feeling: community. Everything that we do at TechChange is about community, whether it be building it through our monthly ICT4D-themed happy hours, supporting its presence among and between our very own staff, or helping it digitalize by migrating it onto our human-centered learning platform. There’s just something powerful about logging onto a webinar and seeing 80 other people watching it too, answering real-time polls, and asking questions that get answered live by a guest expert.
Community has been paramount in every project I’ve ever worked on at TechChange. Highlights include:
- The Open Source Business Models course that I built for UNICEF Innovation, which aims to expand the open source community in developing markets
- The Emerging Technology module that I built for N Square, which draws from a wide-ranging cohort of quantum computing and nanotechnology experts
- All the video work I’ve done for courses at TechChange, which are viewed by learner communities hundreds-strong.
This week, I collected my materials from all my past projects, cleaned up my desk, and said my goodbyes to my coworkers and clients. In doing so, I was reminded that this all-important concept of community is why we do what we do. The sense of belonging that has been built at this company will remain with me wherever I go. I look forward to staying involved with the wider TechChange community, comprised of thousands of former students and employees, that exists in over 200 countries and territories, but that has its heart right here in Washington, D.C. As the cherry blossoms grow, and as tourists pour in from all over the world to catch a glimpse of April’s peak bloom, I think of how lucky we are to have this yearly reminder that community is both global and hyperlocal, full of strangers and full of family… about new beginnings and about holding onto cherished memories.
P.S. I would be remiss if I did not include, as one of my aforementioned cherished memories, this book which the Instructional Design team created and got printed as a parting gift. Thank you, and thanks to the whole team! I’ll miss you all.