2014 NTEN Awards at 14LCS

This year’s inaugural Leading Change Summit brought together an amazing group of attendees: passionate people who know they aren’t alone in believing there’s another way to tackle a social issue, who see the world in a multichannel network, and who are looking to flip our cycle of adopting new technology on its head.

As part of 14LCS, we at NTEN were excited to recognize a few individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond to push the limits, redefine the way we approach social impact, and help chart a course for all of us to follow. Based on nominations that came in from the community, we had the challenging task of narrowing it down to just three winners. Here they are, the recipients of the Leading Change Award, the Campaign of the Year Award, and the Technology Impact Award.

The Leading Change Award recognizes an outstanding individual whose leadership has made a significant contribution to positively change their organization, their community, and the sector. Jim Nickerson of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) was this year’s obvious choice.

Jim is a passionate trend starter, and knows the social media scene like the back of his hand. He is a teacher and steps up to be of service in bringing his special brand of brilliance and enthusiasm. Through his superb ability to convey big ideas into a shared vision, Jim forged a cultural identity for SFGMC, and their social media efforts would not be where it is today if not for Jim leading the way.

The Campaign of the Year Award highlights a specific campaign that utilizes an integrated model for technology-supported outreach, communications, and action. We were thrilled to give this award to TeenSource.org.

In 2014, California Family Health Council (CFHC) launched its TeenSource Multi-Media Peer Educators program so that teens themselves could educate their peers in California on safe sex, relationships, and their health rights. They used online trainings in multi-channel communications, and provided substantial support to equip youth leaders with the skills and confidence they needed to talk to their peers about deeply personal sexual and reproductive health topics.

The inaugural class of diverse and passionate teens, hailing from all over California, was trained in how to produce shareable video, create social media content, write compelling blog posts, and even take their outreach offline, speaking in person in their community.

The Technology Impact Award honors either a technical solution or innovation, from a vendor or nonprofit, that demonstrates the power of technology to connect people with resources, and create a more just and equitable world. Code for America (CFA) has succeeded in accomplishing great things in communities across the nation.

As an organization, CFA focuses on utilizing technology to drive access to government services for people across the US. In 2013, CFA tackled a range of community problems through technology while keeping people and users at the center. CFA Fellows gave South Bend residents a say about what happens to properties in their neighborhood, made public records more accessible in Oakland, and provided judges in Louisville with a better insight into population management in the justice system. Brigades made city budgets easier to understand and put real-time public transit information in the hands of riders. These open source applications are helping to make government work better for everyone.

Kudos to this year’s winners, and many thanks to everyone who works to use technology for social change.