We’re excited to have one of our top viewed TechChange animated videos featured in The Guardian! Check out our “Why Is It So Hard to Try Something New in ICT4D?” video created by TechChange animator, Pablo Leon, and narrated by Laura Walker Hudson of FrontlineSMS.

TechChange animation video in The Guardian

To view the video in The Guardian’s Impact and Effectiveness Hub, click here.


We’re excited, honored, and humbled to be featured in Fast Company as one of the “best learning resources for aspiring social entrepreneurs”, with recognition for the “hybrid” online/offline learning category!

Here are some highlights from the article:

  • “Their open courses draw an international audience of participants, interested in social media and social change. They also create custom courses in partnership with organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, Red Cross, US State Department, training student leaders in Pakistan, civil society leaders in Sudan, or international aid workers.”
  • “Nick Martin, one of the founders of Techchange, saw a growing need in his field for continuing professional education. “We took dozens of online courses from all kinds of providers and found that most of them were pretty awful. So we set out to build a model that was more social, interactive, scalable, and suited to the needs of the social change community.”

See the full article on Fast Company here.Fast company logo_blog post

Meet Carolyn Florey, this week’s featured TechChange alumna who we interviewed this week in her office at the World Bank. A serial TechChange participant of over five courses to date, Carolyn started taking TechChange courses in 2011 to supplement her Master’s program at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and has since been coming back for more continuing education in her ICT4D career.

Read Carolyn’s story below:

What interested you in taking TechChange courses? As a graduate student of International Development at Johns Hopkins SAIS, I wanted to focus on tech innovation in developing countries. I had taken a course at SAIS on the Politics of Humanitarian Aid that touched a bit on the use of technology for crisis mapping and disaster relief and wanted to learn more. I enrolled in TechChange’s TC103: Tech Tools and Skills for Emergency Management and was hooked. From there, I crafted an independent study around the format and content of TechChange courses.

What did you find useful from TechChange courses that keeps you coming back? Based on my experience taking TechChange courses in Mobiles in Development, mHealth, mData, mAccess, and Digital Organizing and Open Government, I continue taking TechChange courses for professional development and networking in my industry. Here’s why:

  1. TechChange is at the pulse of ICT4D. TechChange is great at weaving together the application of technology across sectors and industries. You always need to keep up with what’s happening, especially in this field. They’re always updating the syllabi to share the latest industry information and inviting the most relevant industry experts as guest speakers. I found that TechChange always offered courses with both breadth and depth. For example, TC105: Mobiles in International Development was a good introduction for cross-sector applications of different mobile tools, while TC309 on mHealth let me narrow my focus to relevant topics for my daily work in the Global Health Bureau at USAID.

  2. Course format and flexibility. In graduate school, I was working 30 hours a week and going to school full time with a five-course workload, so I needed the flexibility that TechChange gave to supplement my curriculum at SAIS. In my independent study, TechChange courses were helpful resources when I wrote papers and organized events for the SAIS Careers in Development club. The format and content is convenient to access as live events are recorded and archived, and course materials are available even 4 months after a course ends.

  3. Learning industry lingo and key players. One valuable take away from TechChange courses is learning key terms and industry influencers to build and demonstrate expertise in ICT4D. For example, the mHealth content I was exposed to in TC105 came through in my interview for my former role at USAID, and I think ultimately helped me get the job.

What impact has TC105 had on you and your career? TechChange is part of my regular continuing education to stay up-to-date with the most relevant information on the ICT4D industry. I’ve also made some very meaningful connections through my TechChange courses. At this point in my career, TechChange has evolved for me to become a valuable networking tool. One example of this was the TechChange happy hour during the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC last December that brought together participants of the mHealth TC309 course and attendees of the Summit.

What advice would you give to students taking TC105 or any TC course?

  1. Make attending live events a priority. Look at the live event discussions as part of your continuing education. Rarely will you get an hour of access to these industry experts.

  2. Focus on what you’re most interested in. If you’re juggling work, a TechChange course, and sometimes other courses as well, all the information can get overwhelming. Make sure to review the TechChange course syllabus ahead of time and focus on the things you’re interested in, prioritizing one week’s content over another if necessary.

  3. Read through other participants’ comments and questions. Often, other participants will have experience you don’t, so they’ll have some informed questions and insightful comments.

About Carolyn Florey

Carolyn Florey is an Operations Officer at the World Bank Institute’s Innovation Labs. Prior to joining WBI, Carolyn worked as a Private Sector Partnerships Specialist at USAID, focusing on mobile technology and health partnerships. She has worked in the ICT for development space for the past few years at organizations such as Jhpiego, NetHope, the Federal Communications Commission, and Earth Institute across sectors including mHealth, mobile money, women’s access and eAgriculture. She also worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank’s Development Marketplace, a women’s health NGO in Delhi (Breakthrough), and as a Fulbright grantee in South Korea. She has an MA in International Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA from Tufts University. You can find Carolyn on Twitter @carolynflorey.

Want to change the world with socially minded and innovative ideas, but bills, student loans and lack of investment opportunities are pushing you away from entrepreneurship and towards jobs that are unfulfilling and not utilizing your education? According to Accenture, you are not alone.

A staggering 41% of college graduates within the past two years are underemployed, which means they are either in jobs that are not full-time or have nothing to do with their degree. The 2008 global financial recession changed the employment landscape, drying up credit for start-ups and diminishing confidence in large institutions. The tepid recovery makes them cautious in hiring. Yet there is a growing demand from within the large organizations for employees who help them remain competitive through new ideas and a start-up mentality. The need has increased the demand for intrapreneurs, innovators from within the company that will move it forward.

Nick Hughes is an example of a social intrapreneur in action. Hughes was a middle marketing manager for Safaricom, the largest mobile network in the East African nation of Kenya when he developed an idea that would help millions of disadvantaged people while driving the bottom line of his company. Hughes’ concept, which became M-PESA (m for mobile, “pesa” is Swahili for money) has become a wildly lucrative, socially beneficial, and intrapreneurial idea which has led Safaricom to become the banker for the poor and rural in Kenya who can not get accounts from traditional banks. As of 2013 the M-PESA service has 17 million members, providing a critical socio-economic service for Kenya’s poor and profits to Safaricom.

The idea of social intrepreneurship is becoming particularly enticing to young people who want stable careers, but care less and less about making a fortune in corporate America and more about making a difference in the world around them. Personally, intrapreneurship has been an incredibly rewarding career choice. In 2009 I lost my job, and spent a year trying to become a social entrepreneur, sleeping on couches, living unemployment check to unemployment check, and trying to launch a company that would deliver social purpose. In 2010, UNICEF picked up on one of the company’s ideas and offered me a short-term consulting opportunity to carry-out an innovative idea. Thus began my path to learning the process of becoming a strong source of new ideas and innovation for the established institution. Three years later I’ve been a part of an amazing international team, got the opportunity to travel to Rwanda, Zambia, and Brazil, and had a consistent paycheck.

Innovating from within UNICEF provided stability and opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. In 2011, from within UNICEF, I led the launch of unicef-gis, a mobile and web application for youth-led digital mapping of risks, resiliency, and vulnerability. The app was deployed successfully into countries (Brazil and Haiti) where I knew nobody and did not speak the language. Without the UNICEF network, the idea would have never come to fruition or realized the amazing social impacts.

I personally understand today’s harsh jobs reality for graduates, interns, and young professionals. The truth is that a six-figure education and degree is only enough to level the playing field, but not enough to secure you a rewarding job that allows you to be independent and pay back student loans. That’s why learning how to practice intrapreneurship in your field can become a novel employment option for those who will be entering the workplace or are already in it, looking to move up into more senior positions. These large institutions like the World Bank, United Nations, and Google are actively looking to hire these intrapreneurial individuals.

People often ask me, how do you become gainfully employed doing cool, innovative projects for a large international organization? The truth is, intrapreneurship is not something learned in the traditional classroom or from a textbook. It’s understood by trial and error, failing forward, and failing fast. These are skill sets that can be practiced and learned, and lead to rewarding and stable jobs. Interested in learning about intrapreneurship or know a student, intern or young professional that might benefit from learning about it? TechChange.org is providing a limited number of individuals the opportunity to learn about intrapreneurship from guest experts and interactive, self-paced online learning modules. Learn more:

TC108: Social Intrapreneurship – Innovation Within Institutions