2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Changing the Changemakers: Non-Profit Innovation

#sxsw #hackchange


Pre-internet-era institutions gave us things like the Clean Air Act, Women's Suffrage, an end to slavery, and the Civil Rights Act. But times have changed and these organizations weren't built to move at the speed of the internet.

Today change is increasingly being lead by individuals, activists, and start-up groups -- not just name brand change-making organizations.

Find out how current and past staff from well-established organizations like UNICEF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and the Sierra Club are pursuing radical changes in order to thrive and survive in this new landscape. We'll hear from staff leading innovation projects, labs, and transition teams at each of these organizations for a discussion on how institutions are using tech to adapt and break through.



Erica Kochi

Co-Lead, UNICEF Innovation


Erica Kochi co-founded and co-leads UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, a group tasked with identifying, prototyping and scaling technologies and practices that improve UNICEF’s work on the ground. Erica also serves as Innovation Advisor to UNICEF’s Executive Director. Working with partners in private sector, academia, and international development, the Innovation Unit supports UNICEF’s 135+ country offices in the practical application of design and technology to strengthen international development outcomes.

UNICEF Innovation has recognized success in innovative design of international development solutions. Erica was named to the TIME 100 “World’s Most Influential People” List in 2013. Other examples of this work include the Digital Drum, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the Top 50 inventions of 2011, gold and silver International Design Excellence (IDSA) Awards, a Red Hat prize for being one of the three top open source projects, and the award-winning RapidSMS - a system that uses basic mobile phones and SMS messages to communicate with front-line workers and improve the speed and quality of data collection and health and education services.

Since 2007, UNICEF Innovation has worked with partners to develop open source technologies that have registered 13 million children in Nigeria over 20 months, and provided antenatal care to thousands of pregnant women across Rwanda. These systems are built on a set of principles, such as collaboration and learning from fast failures, that have informed successes such as the tracking of the distribution of more than 25 million insecticide treated mosquito nets and providing a direct feedback loop for more than 180,000 young Ugandans to engage with their government and change policy in real time.


Karina Brisby

EU Dir

Core Collaboration

Karina has been at the heart some of the world's biggest social justice campaigns over the last 15 years including; Make Trade Fair, Control Arms, Make Poverty History, In My Name, Tck Tck Tck and many more. In 2009, Karina co-founded the Voice Blogging Project to enable bloggers to have accredited access and opportunities to attend G20 and UN summits. Karina has also been the Director of Blog Action Day since 2011.

After riding out the first dot.com boom with Australian digital agencies, Karina became the Website Manager of Oxfam Australia and in 2004 moved to the UK to join Oxfam GB to head up their Digital Campaigning program until 2012, when she became the Director of shiftLabs, an innovation pilot program funded my Oxfam to improve the impact of campaigns practice by using innovation techniques and research. In 2013, Karina became a partner in the agency Core Collaboration, where she works advises organisations on how to set-up, plan and implement the campaigns, creative communications and innovation techniques.


Michael Grenetz

Dir of Digital Innovation

Sierra Club

Over a decade of campaign and digital expertise, Michael has founded, advised and worked at a wide variety of successful NGOs and social ventures throughout the country. Currently Director of Digital Innovation for Sierra Club where he develops and employs new digital technology, tactics and ideas to support the environmental community.


Michael Silberman

Global Dir

Mobilisation Lab

Michael Silberman is the Global Director of the Digital Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace. The "MobLab" exists to transform how campaigns are fought and won, pioneering a powerful new era of people-powered strategies that amplify campaign impact and create positive change. Silberman and his team work with Greenpeace and its allies in 42 countries to envision, test, and roll out creative new means of communicating, organizing, and fundraising online.

A senior digital campaigns strategist, Silberman specializes in online organizing and grassroots engagement. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the effective use of participatory strategies and technologies to scale campaigns. Silberman serves on the board of Web of Change, a conference he chaired for four years that convenes today's leading thinkers and campaigners at the intersection of technology and social change.

Silberman was most recently a founding Partner at EchoDitto, a digital agency that empowers leading organizations to have a greater impact through the creative use of new technologies. Silberman lead a team that designed participatory campaigns and built award-winning platforms for clients to enable individuals to make the world a better place. Clients included the UN World Food Program (WFP), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Silberman cut his teeth on digital organizing and campaigning as the National Meetup Director for Howard Dean’s presidential run in 2004, where he lead a team that regularly mobilised more than 189,000 local volunteers in over 1,200 cities worldwide. He graduated on skis with a BA from Middlebury College.

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