This past month, the TechSoup Global Network, composed of NGOs from 50 countries, gathered in San Francisco for the biennial TechSoup Global Summit, aptly titled "Connect, Activate, Transform." With 250 participants in attendance and 39 languages represented, attendees convened to discuss challenges facing civil society across the world and collaborated to pave the way for change.
The TechSoup Global Network is a force for change that demonstrates the power of a united effort to improve lives. Last year, the TSGN reached over 1 million organizations and distributed US$1.995 billion in technology tools and philanthropic services. By joining together in one place, the Summit allowed us to celebrate successes and chart a course for the future.
The sheer expanse of what was covered in just three days is impossible to squeeze into one article, so we will leave you with three key takeaways for the summit:
1. The challenges facing civil society are evolving.
With growing challenges around the world from government pressures and restrictions on civil society to "megatrends" such as climate change, food scarcity, and human displacement, it becomes the role of civil society to expand and fill the gaps even through growing obstacles in the way. We must all play a role in increasing capacity, transparency, and security.
2. Ideas are great. Ideas into action are better.
It's easy for inspiration to strike at a convention and for ideas to stay ideas. But the TechSoup Global Network won't settle for that, so we set up an advisory council to ensure that the ideas from the summit would get put into action and carry forward. Representatives from across the network will convene throughout the year to ensure that targets are being met.
3. We are stronger together.
The TechSoup Global Network continually proves that we can achieve and do so much more when we work with others from different perspectives and backgrounds. This is true whether it be through sharing best practices, collaborating on regional initiatives, or implementing a transformative project on a global scale.
The TechSoup Global Network Summit may be over, but the spark emitted in those three days burns on as we continue to grow, innovate, and serve millions of changemakers around the world.