Alyssa Luisi joined the TechChange team last week as an Instructional Design contractor. To introduce her to the team and our learning community, we sat down for a short Q&A.

Q: How was your first week?

It’s been great! Even while working remotely I felt very welcomed by the team, and diving into the projects was really straightforward.  I am grateful to have had the chance to visit the office this week-it’s such a nice space and being here has really helped me get a fuller picture of how everyone collaborates.  I’m also loving my new TechChange t-shirt!

Q: Could you share a bit about your background before TechChange?

I recently graduated with my MA in Anthropology & Sociology of Development from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.  I spent the past two years living in Geneva, Switzerland, with an exchange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I did some work with a local think tank focused on policy issues in BRICS countries.  After graduating, I returned to my home state of New Jersey, where I am currently based. Prior to going back to school, I worked in the New York/New Jersey area in various roles involving program management, travel planning, and supporting internal learning and change management initiatives.  I’m also an alumna of the College of William and Mary, where I studied International Development, with a focus on analyzing community-based development models.

Q: What originally interested you about joining TechChange?

The chance to contribute to influencing the international development space by offering accessible and engaging learning opportunities on key topics was exciting to me.  The team has done a great job of building a global network with a wide variety of organizations, and I love how the courses and workshops bring together people with hugely different backgrounds and experiences around the world!  Plus, it’s easy to see that team members are supportive of one another and driven to support TechChange’s mission.

Q: How does Instructional Design fit into your interests? What interests you in your projects?

I’m looking forward to leveraging my past training experiences to design content that really  ‘sticks’ with learners. I love creating moments where participants feel like they’ve gained something that could be transformative to their work.  This role also allows me to get an in-depth view of current initiatives and frontiers in really relevant areas like digital health and agriculture! For example, using digital tools to enable access to health resources in remote or unstable areas has been an increasingly important interest for me.  

Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange?

I’m looking forward to learning from TechChange’s expertise in teaching online, especially how to optimize student interaction!

Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

Sometimes when I need a boost of energy during the day, I pump up some Bollywood music.   

After starting as a Marketing and Communications fellow in spring 2018, Danielle officially joined the TechChange team in a role split between Instructional Design and Creative. Prior to TechChange, she was a Program Associate at the Society for International Development – Washington Chapter, where she worked on event planning, graphic design, and marketing projects for the international development community.

We recently sat down with Danielle to learn more about her background and experience at TechChange. Welcome to the team!

Q: So, tell us more about yourself. How did you end up working in design and international development?

Well, that story begins where my-would-have-been medical career ends. Growing up, I always thought I’d end up in the medical field. But after completing a social innovation fellowship with Kaya Collaborative in the Philippines after my freshman year of college, I realized I could make still make a positive impact in the world without having to breakdown over biochemistry. I eagerly switched my major to International Relations and have been pursuing opportunities to work and think globally ever since.

As for graphic design, it was a random hobby I picked up in college. Designing t-shirts, social media graphics, event posters… it was through random projects like these that I taught myself Adobe Creative Suite. Over time, I’ve come to realize how important design can be for storytelling and social change, and I’ve been able to put that theory into practice here at TechChange.

Q: How did you first hear about TechChange?

I came across TechChange during my time at SID-Washington. TechChange was listed online as an Institutional Member and it sparked my interest due to its social enterprise business model, focus on education, and emphasis on user-centered design. As I was looking for opportunities after SID-Washington, TechChange immediately came to mind as a place where I could put my design, marketing, and communications skills to good use.

Q: What are some of your favorite parts of working at TechChange so far?

First and foremost, the people! Everyone at TechChange is incredibly talented and passionate about their work both in and out of the office. Finding a balance between working hard and having fun has been surprisingly easy thanks to TechChange’s supportive environment.

Apart from the people, I also love being able to work on important projects that reach a global audience. In my short amount of time at TechChange, I’ve already worked on a sexual harassment prevention training with USAID, an ICT in Education policy guide with UNESCO Bangkok, and started a project with the Ministry of Finance in El Salvador! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Q: What excites you about Instructional Design?

Many things! First of all, it encompasses several of my interests – design, psychology, technology, among others. As an Instructional Designer, I love that I can continue learning and spreading knowledge on important topics like gender, education, etc. There are also many opportunities to be creative and I like the challenge of figuring out how to best design a course in a way that is effective and engaging.

Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next year?

I’m excited to expand my creative skillset and work with clients to create high-quality and thoughtfully designed products!

Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

That I spent two years of my childhood living in the Philippines. It was definitely a life-changing experience that helped me get in touch with my Filipino heritage and even learn to speak Tagalog!

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Israel, specifically a city south of Tel Aviv called Rishon Le Zion.

What did you do before working at TechChange?

Before I worked at TechChange, I worked as an Animator/After Effects Compositor on a few different children’s cartoons. The shows were produced either in Israel, or in Europe. I worked both in a production studio environment and I spent some time traveling and working where ever I had a stable internet connection and a desk.

How did you hear about TechChange?

I heard about TechChange through a job posting on

What exactly do you do at TechChange? What does a typical day look like for you?

I coordinate the work of our amazing creative team, with the vision of the instructional design team and provide feedback and guidance for different projects. My typical day would start by talking to my team, getting their input on current projects, checking their progress and setting goals for the day. Followed by answering clients and team emails. After that I would go into either storyboarding, drafting a concept note for a project, editing video boards (for animation), animate, figuring out next steps for larger projects, hop on check-in calls with clients or any other task that requires my input. At the end of the day I would make sure that the creative team has delivered completed tasks, check in with Nick or Chris on long term deliverables and plan my next day. The job is pretty diverse and requires a lot of long term planning, as well as attention to details. The things I always try to ask myself are: Are we on schedule? Are we improving? Are the team members in the loop?”

How did you get into animation?

As a kid, I was (and still am) a geek that spent a lot of time indoors watching TV and movies – especially cartoons and Disney movies. With heroes like Bugs Bunny, Spiderman and the Genie, I was amazed by the power of animation. I couldn’t believe that there were people out there creating visual representations for stuff that I thought only existed in my head. Growing up, I went to an engineering high school, and my sense for design and animation wasn’t very encouraged. After I finished my mandatory military service, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) sent me a link to the animation department of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. I had no idea that a career in animation and design was even an option, but I told myself that if I get in, I’ll go for it. I applied and some how got through the tests. The first two years were very hard, but even after a lot of failures I couldn’t give up, because my drive to animate and draw kept growing as school was getting harder and harder. 4 years after graduating, I look back and I know that taking that chance was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Alon Alaskov creating interactive infographic

Alon Alaskov creating interactive infographic

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in creating animations for international development and social change?

The most important lesson in international development that I’ve learned is that there is a lot of room for creative thinking. Coming from a design background, I try to approach animation projects with a clean slate and do a lot of exploration. I’ve learned that this approach can applies to international development-related work as well, especially when explaining data-intensive concepts in visually compelling ways that make it easier to understand.

How do you keep up with the latest developments in animation/multimedia technology and trends?

A lot of web browsing. I have a Google News feed that keeps me updated on these issues, as well as colleagues who post interesting articles on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you love most about working at TechChange?

The people. This is by far the best team I’ve ever had the chance to work with. There’s a wonderful environment here, amazing energy, and hard working individuals.

Alon with his birthday gifts from the office: cupcakes and a sketch of himself made by his co-worker Pablo

Alon with his birthday gifts from TechChange: cupcakes and a sketch of himself made by his co-worker Pablo

 What is your favorite TechChange moment so far?

After almost two years of living in the US, I finally got to have a proper Halloween office party. In the party I had the privilege to participate in a short intellectual experiment called: “Between Two Nerds”. Thanks to Nick Martin, Pablo Leon and Charlie Weems, it turned out to be one of the best productions I ever took part in.

What do you do when you’re not at TechChange?

I enjoy spending time with my wife, watch movies, read comics/books, work on personal animation/design projects, hike, play PC games, and hangout with friends.

If you had to direct someone to the best place to eat in D.C. where would it be?

Busboys and Poets. Great food, awesome atmosphere.

Does Alon’s job sound like your dream job? Apply to our Animator/Videographer position here.


Sara recently joined us as an online instructional designer and works with clients to develop and design online courses, in addition to coordinating and broadcasting live events. Prior to TechChange, Sara taught middle and high school STEM courses at the Barrie School, where she also led an Engineering Product Design program for high school students. Sara graduated from Yale University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which sparked her passion for design thinking and human centered design.

In her spare time, Sara enjoys reading, traveling, and perfecting her guacamole recipe.

Welcome Sara!

Delanie recently joined us as an Online Instructional Designer where she will build eLearning courses for TechChange’s clients. Before moving to DC to join TechChange, Delanie lived in Uganda where she worked at the Infectious Diseases Institute as a Global Health Corps Fellow. She holds a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies, with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice, from the University of California, Berkeley.

In her free time Delanie enjoys playing the oboe in orchestras.

Welcome Delanie!