Putting People First - Lessons for Technology Selection

About six months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Michael Alberg-Seberich of Beyond Philanthropy to discuss the challenges with technology selection and adoption. We reflect on how at its centre, technology choices are about enabling everyone's highest potential and that staff alignment is an essential part to any organization's digital transformation. Of course, this applies to North American Philanthropy, German Philanthropy and beyond.

We spoke on Skype: Michael in Berlin and myself in Toronto - a knowledge share that once required a boat is now made instant by technology.

Audio available here if embed is broken.

Ensuring that all team members and stakeholders are on the same page is a key component to any successful Digital Strategy. Grantbook's practice revolves around being human-centred, embedding empathy and strong change management in all aspects of our work from technology selection to systems implementation and integration.

About Beyond Philanthropy

Beyond Philanthropy provides strategic advisory services, guiding our clients to design, develop and implement the most effective social change programmes.

Over the last years, Beyond Philanthropy has developed specialized knowledge in CSR, philanthropy and social investment and created a global network of strategic partners.

With its international reach and multidisciplinary team, Beyond Philanthropy has served clients in more than 30 countries, working on more than 80 projects with a direct impact on more than EUR 100m of social change funds.

James Law's headshot

James Law

Director, Design & Foresight

Director, Design & Foresight

James Law has worked for 10 years in the social finance and social sectors, designing, exploring, and implementing technologies to help organizations activate mission and achieve impact.

He began working in lean non-profits, employing databases and constituent relationship management tools (CRM) to help track and aggregate data for land conservation and environmental protection. Moving into social finance, he managed the development of an application to administer community bonds and equity.

Moving to Grantbook in 2015, James dove head first into helping foundations—of all types—align on digital values, explore technology options, and select the best path forward. From there, he continued to explore solutions architecture and integrations, connecting best-in-class tools to meet the ideal needs of grantmakers, grantees, and all stakeholders. 

More recently James is investing in Grantbook’s use of service design tools—from personas to service blueprints—to increase resilience and reduce the risk of technology planning and adoption via human-centred thinking. He also helps rally and co-ordinate Grantbook’s new ideas and opportunities as philanthropy and technology change.