Talk - What is a Digital Leader Anyway? At Digital Leaders NW

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I think a digital leader is someone who is inspiring, supportive to others and gives back in some way to their community. A person who is a digital leader should be a thought-leader and innovator, but also someone who doesn't loose touch with our grass roots communities. 
Willingness to try new things, be an early adopter, be flexible and have a get things done attitude. 
A digital leader, should be any leader, moving forwards into an age where digital is integrated into everything we do. 

<h3>Who is my Inspiration for being a Digital Leader</h3>
My inspirational digital leader, isn't a single person, it's an amazing global organisation. 
TechSoup was founded as CompuMentor in 1987 by Daniel Ben-Horin in San Francisco, but when it changed its name to TechSoup in 2008, that's when I discovered this amazing digital leader while I was working for a community media charity. 
As a non-for-profit, TechSoup's slogan is <strong>"Technology for Global Good"</strong> and have to date worked with 690,000 organisations across to globe. 

I first found out about TechSoup through the discounted computer software programme they have for charities in the UK called Citrix, but soon learnt they do so much more, including being a "connector across sectors" bringing together changemakers worldwide with the technology they need to improve lives; along with working on global-wide voluntary sector data projects, and supporting community orientated technology innovations. Bringing together NGOs, government agencies, social enterprises, technology activists, foundations, and 100+ technology companies (including Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Cisco, and Intuit) to "equips changemakers with transformative technology solutions and skills they need to improve lives globally and locally." What a fab fab concept! 

Among many projects TechSoup runs, there is one called NetSquared which even has a branch in Manchester. A local group that work on local issues, within the same ethos of TechSoup which "brings together social changemakers and web innovators to network, socialise and share ideas." It's a great group to be part of and some fantastic digital inclusion projects have come out of it for the area. I find that truly inspiring and it helps lead the digital way for the voluntary sector. 

Alongside the projects, there's also a fantastic website at www.techsoup.org that has lots of interesting and helpful articles, resources, webinars, case studies, forums and blogs, along with a specific portal for libraries that we recommend as a resource when we run training with library staff.

My most favourite and inspirational thing TechSoup does, is it's work around #digitalstorytelling It shares ideas, runs competitions and supports the tech side, so voluntary sector organisations can tell their amazing stories in a digital way. <strong>I found my love for #digitalstorytelling</strong> because of TechSoup all those years ago, and now DigiEnable has a similar ethos with our digital media training, and I've even <a href="http://www.lizhardwick.co.uk/digitalstorytelling_CreativeEducation">written in a book about it.</a> Digitalstorytelling doesn't just work for charities, it can work for SME's and others too.
Which one has more impact? - A blog about what you do, or a video of a client's feedback about how what you do has made such a brilliant impact on them. I know which I be more likely to engage with!

TechSoup is my inspirational digital leader today, because of the amazing work it does across the globe, supporting the voluntary sector and grass roots organisations, to grow their offer with digital. 
Check out their websites at www.techsoup.global and www.techsoup.org