Programme | Block 2

Digital tools for action

October 9 | 10.00-12.00

The digital revolution is the most disruptive trend of the past decades. A trend that offers civil society a lot of new opportunities, but raises challenges at the same time. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prompted even more to look at digital ways of working. What are the most inspiring digital products or services that contribute to an inclusive, just, collaborative and sustainable world? What can civic society organisations learn from best practices on the use of data and digital technology in sustainable and inclusive development?  In this session, we will dive into these questions and share ideas and inspiration about digital tools for civic action. For more information about the programme of block 2, see below. Note: this programme will be updated in the run-up to the Festival. 



Walk-in & meet | 9.30-10.00

What is a Festival without some network opportunities? Well, during the Festival we will have plenty, ‘bring your own coffee’ style. From 14.30 we open the virtual doors for you. Talk with other participants in the chat, drop your burning questions beforehand in the Q&A, or build on your network and make new connections in the chat carrousel, in which you will be randomly connected to other participants. 

Marleen Stikker | Interview

The internet is broken but we can fix it

In large parts of the world, the main services offered by the Internet are dominated by parties with a single objective: maximize shareholder value. In other parts of the world, governments use the Internet to monitor their populations and spread propaganda. Both paradigms are not primarily tailored to the interests that we usually put at the centre of our modern society: democracy, freedom of speech and privacy. Marleen Stikker suggests that we need to reclaim the internet as a force for the common good and advocating a new internet that strengthens the public domain. This means we need to make other choices when we chose digital tools. It also means we need to broaden our alliances. Marleen is committed to accelerating the development of  an alternative software ecosystem – and stressed the enormous importance of civil society to move forward.

Marleen Stikker is co-founder of the movement Public Spaces. She is also 
founder of De Digitale Stad (The Digital City), and has been the founder and director of Waag. Moveover, Marleen is a member of the European H2020 Commission High-level Expert Group for SRIA on innovating Cities/DGResearch and the Dutch AcTI academy for technology & innovation. 

Since a few months, The Spindle has been occupied with the preparations of the Food Hackathon. This event will take place on October 6, and the results of this hackathon will be presented to you during this block. In the build-up to this event, several actors were involved that are engaged with the food systems of the Lira and Jinja regions, Uganda. By starting with asking two local people about local problems and needs, we worked our way up to see what Partos' member organisations and their partners are currently offering in the form of digital support. This process ended by asking Digital Experts to link these different kinds of support together, in one digital tool, during the actual Food Hackathon. During this block, a short interview with Margreet van der Pijl (in the lead of this process) will clarify the steps taken during this Food Hackathon. Also, a video report will be shown to illustrate the results and lessons learned. 

This year The Spindle provided the opportunity for inspiring digital innovations all around the world, within the field of development cooperation, to be listed on both The Spindle and Partos website. A group of digital experts have selected the 30 Most Inspiring Digital Innovations (MIDIs) from 60 applications. In block 2, the 30 MIDIs will get the chance to present their innovations and answer all your questions. There will be 5 rounds in which you will have a choice between 6 MIDIs. Do you already want to make a nice selection or are you very curious about the MIDIs? Get ready and fully prepared by exploring the information below. 

An Expert Group, consisting of digital experts, has co-created a scorecard to score all 60 applications of the Most Inspiring Digital Innovations fairly. Want to know who did the scoring? Meet the Expert Group Members! During this block, you will also get the chance to see some of these Experts in the Panel: Voices from Beyond the West. 


The call for the 30 Most Inspiring Digital Innovations has resulted in 60 applications. Discover the organisations and innovations in this list and interactive map. Let yourself be inspired and come see what is happening worldwide in terms of digital innovation.


After careful deliberation, the Expert Group announced the selection of the 30 Most Inspiring Digital Innovations. We are happy to present these inspiring innovations to you. 


Part of the prize for each MIDI was the creation of a pitch video. Our video maker made 30 professional pitch videos, one for each MIDI. You can find the 30 videos on this page

Some of the Digital Experts that have scored the Most Inspiring Digital Innovations are coming together in this Panel to discuss the digital trend. They will talk about the challenges, but also the opportunities that the new digital ways of working offer and discuss what civic society organisations can learn when it comes to the use of data and digital technology in development. 

Rahel Boon-Dejene | Panel member
Rahel is a social entrepreneur who aims to empower talents by developing their skills to utilise their untapped potential as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur. She is passionate about creating a system which allows individuals to become a contributor to their destiny through education, job opportunities and entrepreneurship. She is the founder and CEO of the R&D Group as well as RBD Consultancy, and a business partner at ORTEC Sport. 

Minhaz Anwar | Panel member 

Minhaz, Chief StoryTeller at BetterStories Limited, is an active innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem builder. He has delivered several platforms and competitions like the Seedstars Dhaka and Mapping Private Sector Interest in Inclusive Business Survey for Asian Development Bank. Minhaz is the Head of Startup Ecosystem of Grameenphone in Dhaka, Global Ambassador at the International Business Innovation Association, and Founding Director of the Bangladesh Angel Network

Mark Kamau | Mark Kamau is a Human-Centred Designer with a multidisciplinary design background who has worked in Berlin,  Amsterdam, and across the African continent. He specialises in designing for African and other emerging markets. Mark is the executive director of BRCK Foundation, the non-profit side of BRCK, a technology company awarded to the 50 most innovative companies by Forbes. He uses a Human-Centred Design approach to solve complex socio-economic challenges affecting the emerging markets, particularly Africa. 



Wrap-up & network | 12.00-12.30

What is a Festival without some network opportunities? Well, during the Festival we will have plenty, ‘bring your coffee or drink’ style. After closing the session we open the virtual plaza for you. Talk with other participants in the chat, or meet new connections and build on your network at tables! Here, you can further discuss the content you've just heard, to share your own experiences or to learn from others'. Just stay logged in, and you will be automatically and randomly assigned to one of the network tables for more exchange and conversation with your peers. Please, note that for participation you are requested to turn on your device's camera and microphone.