Melbourne Development Circle’s Game Changer Online event – Solving Development Challenges in a Digital Age
Thursday 26th August, 2021 – 12noon – 1pm (AEST)

COVID-19 disrupted traditional models of delivering development forcing the sector to adapt at a rapid pace to integrate digital technologies. Our sector is not known for its risk appetite. With the high stakes of donor backed projects requiring results to ensure continued funding our tolerance for failure remains a major hurdle to innovation. Buzzwords and the promise of the silver bullet “one-size-fits-all” technology solution creates further aversion, fear and suspicion of tech for development offerings.

However, the effective integration of digital tools into programming offers development practitioners the potential to overcome barriers such as access, scale, value for money, sustainability and resourcing and contribute to more inclusive development outcomes. We aim to build the confidence and capacity of development practitioners to add technology driven solutions to their program design by equipping them with strategies to help mitigate the risks of digital development.

Join us for this masterclass cross hackathon to learn how our experts think, work, problem solve and apply creative solutions using their digital toolkit. This is your chance to pick the brains of practitioners leading the way in solving some of the world’s biggest problems through technology.

What you will take away:

  • A toolkit to help you apply innovative strategies in your own work 
  • Insight into game changing development technologies
  • A certificate of participation for recognition of professional development

Key topics our facilitators will cover:

– Education Technologies to combat learning loss
– Engineering our way to Climate Change adaptation 
– Data insights for inclusive development
– Democratised storytelling and holding governments accountable in humanitarian crises


Date: Thursday 26th August, 2021
Time: 12noon – 1pm (AEST)
Location: online via Zoom
Cost: $8 – $22 + booking fee

*As a voluntary organisation, MDC has ongoing costs, and as such we would greatly appreciate financial contributions in order to keep providing events such as this to the benefit of our community.

Facilitator Bios

Natalie Denmeade – EdTech Solutions Consultant

Renowned for her flair as an educational technology specialist, Natalie leads diverse international projects with sharp focus on end-user outcomes and return on investment for the client. Having extensive expertise in learning behaviour and dramatic performance, Natalie’s abilities in cultural alignment and gamification result in digital projects done brilliantly. Natalie has over 20 years of experience and is currently a Consultant for Inclusiv Education, a social venture of Save the Children Australia, who focus on empowering learners and educators through Education Technology in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Andy Nilsen – Director, Shift, Digital Campaign Accelerator for Youth

Andy was previously the Director of Advocacy, Communications, Campaigns and Media for Save the Children in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Andy began his career in politics as a media adviser before taking on his first international development role, leading communications for eye health organisation, The Fred Hollows Foundation. With Fred Hollows, Andy worked across 15 countries, using storytelling as a principal driver for shaping public beliefs and behaviours. He moved to Myanmar with Save the Children in 2016 and has since developed a number of award-winning campaigns, including Campaign Asia’s top prize for a campaign that reinforced breastmilk as the number one product for babies. In 2018, Andy started to develop Shift, a new youth-led campaign accelerator which aims to re-shape the way youth activists are supported within emerging democracies.

Jessie Tang – Sales and Stakeholder Manager at She’s A Crowd

Jessie has been part of She’s A Crowd since April 2020, but early this year began her role as the Sales and Stakeholder Manager. As part of her role, she supports the CEO in managing stakeholder relationships ranging from government, non-profits and other startups. Being part of the startup has enabled her to develop a diverse skill set and gain a strong understanding of the operations behind running a social enterprise. The skills she has acquired from She’s A Crowd has lent itself well to her current role at Oaktree as the Cambodia Partnerships Manager, where she manages the relationship with Oaktree’s Cambodian NGO partner, KYLA. These experiences have built on her strong academic background and skills in Global Studies as a recent graduate from Monash.


To prepare for our discussion, we will be adding links for suggested background readings below. Feel free to share any other relevant articles on our Facebook event page.