EcoMap ReCap: TechForward 2022

EcoMap attended TechForward to learn about the impact connecting ecosystems can have within the non-profit space

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EcoMap ReCap: TechForward 2022

TechForward & EcoMap: Aligned Missions

TechForward, an annual conference by Tech Impact brings together non-profits and technologists to advance social impact.

We first heard of Tech Impact from one of their consultants who’d been supporting a non-profit’s evaluation of various tech solutions. And once we got wind of the conference we thought it was important to attend given that like Tech Impact, we intend to use technology to make ecosystems everywhere accessible to anyone. From our work so far we know that when ecosystems are made more accessible, outcomes become more equitable and efficient.

We believe that our technology helps to raise tides that lift all boats especially when combined with the incredible work of our customers who are building and empowering ecosystems all around the world.

Powerful Speakers: Jasmine Crowe & Marnie Webb

The conference itself was incredibly inspiring and informative, kicked off by a powerful keynote message from Jasmine Crowe, CEO of Goodr, a sustainable waste management company.

Jasmine Crowe, CEO of Goodr

One of the messages that stood out to me was how she responded to a question about competition. Goodr intends to end food insecurity but as a for-profit business competes with some non-profits who share the same mission. Essentially, Jasmine thoughtfully said that one company or one non-profit won’t be able to end food insecurity. The problem is big enough to require multiple approaches. She went on to say how they, at Goodr, actually collaborate with non-profits to better serve the community and customers. This resonated with me and the work we do at EcoMap because so much of it is centered around answering the question, “who is doing what” within any ecosystem.

We define an ecosystem as any combination of organizations, resources, and people and the activity or interaction between them. It begs the question, how much more effective would our communities be if we knew who was solving what problem and how they were actually going about solving that problem. How much better could we tackle food insecurity or affordable housing if there was a repository of all of the non-profits working on these challenges and the resources they offered to do so? We’d avoid duplicative efforts and unlock clearer ways to collaborate.

After Jasmine spoke, the plenary address was given by Marnie Webb, the Chief Community Impact Officer at TechSoup.

Marnie Webb, Chief Community Impact Officer of TechSoup

The talk eloquently drove that same point home… it mentioned that communities are built on connections and that better connections provide better opportunities. The question, though, is how do networks of these communities and connections emerge, strengthen, and sustain themselves. I’d argue that in order for those connected communities to emerge, strengthen, and sustain themselves we must be able to answer the question, “who is doing what” within an ecosystem. With that information, you can make better decisions on where to invest time, energy, and resources. With answers to that question you can more easily find partners and opportunities for collaboration. And we believe that with information that helps answer the question, “who is doing what” non-profits and communities alike

The importance of making non-profit ecosystems accessible

At its core, EcoMap connects ecosystem assets.

This could be like our work with the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub where we connect Entrepreneurs to Funding; or in Columbus, Ohio where we connect Small Business Owners to Grant Opportunities; or with Venture for America where we connect College Students to Job Opportunities. And so and so forth.

Like a map, you can use an EcoMap to discover and arrive at nearly any destination or connect with any resource in an ecosystem. And this is what many non-profits focus on; connecting stakeholders to the right resources to help them solve their problem which is exactly why we were excited to attend the TechForward Conference in Denver, Colorado.

And because we already work with large non-profits like Venture for America and the Aspen Institute, we wanted to see if there would be additional opportunities for us to support other non-profits by mapping their ecosystems.

We learned that there are lots of ways we can help.

EcoMap Co-founder/COO Sherrod Davis (L) and Head of Sales John Schnelle (R)

How to engage with EcoMap

Want to understand how you can bring a platform like this to support your non-profit community? Get in touch with us through this contact form and a member of our team will follow up shortly.

Want to explore more of EcoMap’s platforms across a wide range of ecosystems? Check them out on our site.

Want to learn more about our theory of ecosystem-led development? Check out our White Paper on the topic.

Sherrod Davis

Chief Operating Officer