3 Takeaways from the 2024 Nonprofit Technology Conference

Photo of Sabrina Hersi Issa speaking at the 2024 NTC Conference.

My 3 Takeaways from NTEN: The 2024 Nonprofit Technology Conference

Game-changing. In a nutshell, that’s how I felt after experiencing this year’s NTEN Conference right here in Portland. I went into this week-long gathering as an AI poo-pooer and left with a totally new perspective on the technology, as well as bigger-than-ever, actionable ideas on inclusivity and tech for good—I can’t wait to share them with you here.

>>> If you’re unfamiliar with the NTEN Conference, it’s an annual event covering nonprofit technology best practices with a community of people committed to social change. Beyond the conference, there are lots of ways to stay connected with the group throughout the year.

Top NTEN Takeaways

AI comes with big benefits and big responsibility

I was not a proponent of AI before coming to this conference. In my mind, it was a replacement for the work I (and lots of my colleagues) love to do every day. That all changed after NTEN, where the speakers challenged those assumptions and demonstrated how AI could be a benefit, rather than a threat, to my craft.

For example, we learned about the common AI adoption framework already in use by NTEN and other nonprofit organizations working toward an equitable world. It sets the stage for how we build AI models, who we build them with, and how we make decisions around adoption and those implications for the digital and the offline world. This framework drove home the notion that we don’t have to know everything about AI right away; rather, we can build our own framework for using AI and Chatbots so that we are accountable for it. We even learned how to build our own Chatbots to improve decision-making and productivity!

Determine your own inclusivity metrics to set goals and track success

When it comes to assessing inclusivity within our organizations, it starts with a plan—which should be rooted in your own values and commitments. Based on those, you can build an inclusivity infrastructure where you set specific goals and track how well you’re meeting them. You can even explore new ways of engaging multiple audiences, so that everyone feels welcome.

For example, you might set a goal for your hiring practices, create safer spaces for collecting feedback, or boost accessibility during virtual meetings.

Leverage our solidarity towards tech for good

It’s critical that we stand together on tech practices to ensure our digital world benefits everyone. From Anasuya Sengupta’s keynote on decolonizing the internet’s resources to Sabrina Hersi Issa on applying justice frameworks to technology, and Amber Case on integrating calm technology into our practices, these speakers introduced me to many ways that we can approach using and regulating tech so that all of us are seen…and that it’s going to take all of us to accomplish.

Let’s talk tech

Curious how these tools and technologies can benefit your upcoming projects? Contact us for a time to chat, so we can explore new options available to you.