Our Approach

Tech training for social change

What we do

TechChange provides technology training for social change. We deliver online certificate courses to individuals and build customized courses and learning experiences for organizations. Read more about our story in The Economist or watch Nick’s PopTech talk.

Why we do it

Technology is advancing fast: Over 90% of the world is now covered by a cellular network, 30% of the world has access to the internet, and number of tools and have been developed to foster learning and collaboration, transform conflicts, fight diseases, monitor elections, distribute food, and more. But traditional learning methods haven’t kept pace and people around the world need training in how to effectively manage these technologies more than ever before.

How it's done

Our unique online social learning platform facilitates best practice sharing, builds professional networks, and integrates a number of dynamic features for both real-time and self-paced interaction. Read more about our model.

Who we serve

We have prepared over 3000 alumni from 100+ countries to apply technology effectively and appropriately in response to global challenges. Our participants have come from a number of prominent organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, Red Cross, US State Department, Harvard University, and more.

Our Team

Nick Martin

Nick is the Co-Founder and President of TechChange. As President, he oversees all strategy and programming for the organization. Nick is an educator, technologist, and social entrepreneur with significant international peacebuilding and development expertise. He is an adjunct faculty member at American University, George Mason University, George Washington University and the United Nations University for Peace (UPEACE), and has given a number of guest lectures and speeches on the role of technology in peacebuilding, development and humanitarian work.

President and CEO

William Chester

Will is the Chief Technology Officer at TechChange and leads the organization’s web development efforts. He is also involved in facilitating participatory trainings and adapting technology for use in challenging situations. Prior to joining TechChange, Will worked for an NGO that seeks to increase civic engagement in Western China by promoting the use of Open Spaces technology. After receiving his BA in International Relations and Chinese from Tufts University, Will also spent two years in Nanjing, China, teaching English and working with a Chinese NGO on issues of bilingual deaf education and foster care for disabled children.

Chief Technology Officer

Christopher Neu

Chris is the Chief Operating Officer at TechChange. Previously, Chris worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in the Centers of Innovation. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Chris has also worked with the Association of International Development Agencies (Ramallah), IFES during the 2006 Palestinian Elections, and the Center for the Study of Democracy. Chris holds an MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University. He enjoys wearing cargo pants and not playing a musical instrument.

Chief Operating Officer

Catherine Shen

Catherine is the Director of Design and Business Development at TechChange and leads the organization’s design of online learning products and services. Prior to TechChange, Catherine worked for an online learning startup. She has previous experience in management consulting with a focus in human capital as well as international development experience from Kenya, where she worked for a high-growth social enterprise, and Peru, where she helped design an impact measurement system for the Partners in Health (PIH) pilot microfinance program. Catherine graduated from Northwestern with dual degrees in Economics and International Studies.

Director of Design and Business Development

Alon Askarov

Alon is the Creative Director at TechChange and leads a team of talented illustrators and animators in creating educational media. With over four years of experience in leading multimedia projects in fast-paced creative studios, Alon’s experience has been focused on creating web-based animations, broadcast and print for educational purposes. He is adept at project management and fluent in a wide range of 2D animation and design software and techniques. Alon graduated with a BFA in Animation from Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem.

Creative Director

Nancy Ngo

Nancy is the Director of Marketing at TechChange. Previously, she spent over four years doing marketing, communications, and public affairs work at technology companies and organizations including Google, Time Magazine, VNG Corporation (Vietnam’s leading internet company), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Nancy completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Master’s in International Economics and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, salsa dancing, cooking, and hairstyling.

Director of Marketing

Charles Martin-Shields

Charles is the Director of TechChange’s conflict management and peacebuilding programs.  He co-managed TechChange’s Partnership for Peace training in Kisumu, Kenya and leads facilitation of TC-109: Technology for Conflict Management and Prevention and TC-110: Social Media and Technology Tools for Research.  He is currently a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow in Samoa, advising their Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on disaster response and data collection. He previously worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa, and worked in Defense consulting.  Charles is completing a Ph.D. at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and holds an M.A. from the School of International Service at American University.  

Program Director

Gerard McCarthy

Gerard manages TechChange’s Asia-Pacific projects. Based in Sydney, Australia, he facilitates courses and workshops on mobile technologies, digital organizing and conflict prevention. He also provides technical expertise on telecommunications and development programs in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to TechChange, he worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in the Centers of Innovation, served as a referendum observer in South Sudan with The Carter Center and worked as an evaluation officer for a gang-violence prevention initiative in Washington, DC. He holds Bachelors in Economics and Social Sciences (Honours I) from the University of Sydney, and studied urban development and post-conflict governance at Georgetown University.

 

Program Director

Erik Tans

Erik creates original music and sound design for TechChange’s educational digital media. Prior to TechChange, Erik ran a recording studio and audio production company in the Boston area where he created scores and sound design for interactive media and film. He also likes to pick up a guitar once in a while. Erik holds a Bachelors Degree in Sound Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music, and completed a Masters degree in International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Multimedia Director

Keavy Nahan

Keavy provides technical expertise on metrics, monitoring and evaluation and supports TechChange’s Asia-Pacific projects. Originally from Australia, Keavy has a background in international development and human rights with a focus on displacement and forced migration in East Africa. Prior to TechChange, she worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the GAVI Alliance and Australian Red Cross. She holds a Bachelors in Media and Communications and Historical Studies (Honours), an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and studied Swahili at the State University of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant

Matthew Heck

Matthew is the Program Coordinator at TechChange. With a purposefully vague title, Matthew works on a variety of projects, including some programming, video editing, course facilitation, and photoshopping his coworkers’ heads onto promotional materials. As a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, he has done little to utilize his degree in political science. Outside of the office, Matthew enjoys running, reading, and hiding Cubebot in the background of Chris’s photos.

Program Coordinator

Swetha Ramaswamy

Swetha is an instructional technology designer at TechChange and leads the design and development of online learning courses for clients. Previously, she was a fellow with Teach for America where she taught math and English as a special education teacher in Baltimore. Swetha is also a former Fulbright Scholar and explored the social and economic impact of internal migration in Nepal. She graduated from George Washington University with dual degrees in History and International Affairs. Outside of work, Swetha enjoys rock climbing and playing with her puppy, Peaches.

Instructional Technology Designer

TJ Thomander

TJ supports many of TechChange’s social media operations including live tweeting and social media research. He enjoys writing about social entrepreneurship, ICT4D, and the current social media environment. TJ graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in International Relations with an emphasis in Political and Economic Development. At BYU he ran Students for Social Entrepreneurship, an Ashoka award-winning program that places 60 students into on-campus internships with social entrepreneurs every semester.

Director of Communications

Pablo Leon

Pablo has over five years of experience in creating educational digital media. He has successfully completed over 14 animations with TechChange including content for partners such as the UN Foundation, USAID, FrontlineSMS, M-PESA, and the Better Than Cash Alliance. Pablo is fluent in Spanish and experienced in traditional painting techniques of Latin American artists. He holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Washington in Media, Arts, and Animation. He also holds deep opinions about the state of Mexican wrestling and can hold in-depth conversations about all aspects of the Superman comics.

Animator & Illustrator

Rachel Roth

Rachel provides illustration and graphic artwork for courses, video content, and promotional materials. She graduated summa cum laude from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art.  Before TechChange, Rachel worked as a freelance concept artist and illustrator on a variety of projects, and has developed content for mobile devices.

Graphic Artist

Bryan Kane

Bryan supports TechChange’s platform development where he codes, tests, and designs various functionality and features with Will and Matthew. An avid educational technology supporter, Bryan has also interned with Coursera and contributes to colorful office discussions about MOOCs. He is currently finishing his studies in computer science at George Washington University and is eager to continue his programming efforts in the edtech field.

Junior Programmer

Rebecca Zisser

Rebecca provides graphic design support for TechChange’s online courses and marketing efforts. She is currently finishing her studies at American University in DC where she is majoring in graphic design and journalism. Rebecca’s enjoys interactive media and her favorite artist is Kandinsky.

Junior Designer

Michael Holachek

Michael is a Programmer Intern and Code Ninja who helps Will with the tech side of TechChange. An avid Dvorak keyboard user and aspiring electrical engineer, Michael loves to code in Python, build web apps, and learn by discovery. He also enjoys speaking Chinese, playing ice hockey, and biking around DC. He is pursuing his degree at MIT.

Code Ninja

Advisory Board

Matthew Burke

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

George Washington University

Daryn Cambridge

Director of Knowledge and Digital Strategies

International Center for Non Violent Conflict (ICNC)

Dr. Walter Dorn

Department of Security and International Affairs, Chair Canadian Pugwash Group (1995 Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Chair

Canadian Forces College

Colette Mazzucelli

Chair, Academic Advisory Council (TechChange); Adjunct Associate Professor

Center for Global Affairs, New York University

Sean McDonald

FrontlineSMS CEO and Executive Director FrontlineSMS:Legal

FrontlineSMS

Mohit Mukherjee

Director

Center for Executive Education, UN mandated University for Peace

Robert Soden

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

World Bank

Joel Whitaker

Senior Vice President and Head of Global Research

Frontier Strategy Group

Dr. Craig Zelizer

Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution MA Program

Georgetown University Department of Government

Sean C. Carroll

Senior Director

Creative Associates International, Inc.