The Dot Project helps achieve (long-term) social impact by connecting people and technology through the connection of people and technology.
We enable organisations to increase their capacity and understanding of digital tech and discover opportunities to drive change. Digital technology has the power to enhance our lives, and we create the communities to harness its potential and support society’s challenges.
We take time to understand your purpose, your ambitions and your goals. By taking an empathetic approach, we are able to work with people of different professional backgrounds and with differing levels of technological knowledge. Your ideas should not be held back because you may not understand the terminology of the tech industry or struggle to map the way to your goal. We are here to find the best solutions to realise the opportunities digital technology can offer you, your organisation, your initiatives, and for the greater good of society.
We combine the on-the-ground experience of companies and not-for-profit organisations with the expertise of the tech sector to create, adopt and scale innovative solutions. We are with you at every stage of the journey.
We empower organisations
Assessment: We work side by side with you to assess your needs, and we start with the big picture. We discover and analyse the needs of your organisation, the talents of your people and the core of your target groups. This enables you to select a suitable technology approach, which looks to build transparency, data for analysis and impact, and maps organisational processes. Together we create a culture in which innovation thrives.
Building strong foundations: We strengthen your foundations. Your digital approach has the potential to underpin and enhance many of your day-to-day activities. We accelerate this by mapping your digital ecosystem, identifying where there is opportunity for growth and where systems are not being utilised to their full potential.
Your digital approach: We develop a digital technology approach which will fit your organisation – now and in the future. No two organisations are the same. We can facilitate the development and implementation of your digital technology approach to enable a direction that suits your culture and vision.
Exploring funding opportunities: We can support you to make investment decisions and sign-post you to technology and innovation funding opportunities. We can also support you through the application process.
We build communities through collaboration
Relationship building:We strengthen networks by deeply understanding what organisations and individuals are doing. We map ecosystems to identify opportunities for collaboration. We bring people together and build real relationships.
Network building: We build and contribute to the growth of networks we are passionate about, including the CoTech, Tech for Good and Diversity in Tech networks.
Community of experts: We have a network of associates and specialist partners whom we can wrap into projects according to specific needs. All of them take a similarly straight-talking, yet friendly approach to supporting you and your goals as we do.
Events:We curate events that bring communities together and harness momentum, creating diversity of thought and inspiring conversation.
We build confidence
Training and mentoring: We are skilled facilitators and mentors experienced in designing skills-building workshops and business-incubation coaching. We offer bespoke training, team and one-on-one coaching and mentoring in digital skills and processes; social entrepreneurship and innovation.
Supporting social entrepreneurs and corporate social responsibility initiatives: We work with start-up and early-stage social entrepreneurs to mentor and guide them through the early stages. This includes training in key areas of building a social enterprise with a specific focus on enabling innovation, creativity and taking a sustainable approach to integrating digital and technology into your initiatives. We also support corporate social responsibility initiatives and particularly champion involvement in the Tech for Good and Women in Tech initiatives.
The Dot Project is committed to the Co-operative code and we agree to the seven principles. We are adaptive and responsive, and we place great emphasis on working collaboratively, positively and empathetically to get the best results for organisations and their teams.
We work with a broad variety of clients from small firms through to intermediary organisations, national government bodies and international development groups. We are passionate about contributing to social impact initiatives as well as the bottom line, which after all pays for the social initiatives of purposeful companies. And we are always interested in the opportunity to collaborate with small charities, social enterprises and voluntary-led organisations.
The Shaw Trust
Shaw Trust Accessibility Services provide a range of services which support organisations to create and develop inclusive technology. We worked with Shaw Trust to co-create an approach to assess the market need for accessibility services within the web development market.
Based on the goals and mission of Shaw Trust we identified web development agencies, which we felt shared similar values and organisational culture to The Shaw Trust. We conducted a range of interviews to determine the need within the web development market.
Throughout this project we worked closely with The Shaw Trust to provide regular feedback and engage their inputs. Our findings have influenced the evolving strategy of The Shaw Trust, which has provided this feedback:
“They have a strong identity and ethos around connecting people with integrity and championing collaboration … They are an organisation which promotes collaboration within technology for the greater good.”
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. SCVO deliver a Senior Leadership Programme which aims to develop organisations which are fit for purpose in a digital world. To create a digitally confident third sector they work with cohorts of leaders who want to understand how to use technology more effectively within their organisation.
We worked with the SCVO Senior Leadership Programme to deliver a practical and thought-provoking session focusing on the importance of organisational culture and empathy to support a positive culture around digital.
Responsible technology selection
We empower organisations with purpose to use technology to its full potential. We do this by putting empathy at the centre of our approach, to deeply understand what an organisation seeks to achieve. We are technology-agnostic so we are able to recommend the right solution to suit organisational needs. We have a number of ongoing projects that are assessing the customer relationship management (CRM) needs of an organisation. We are able to swiftly understand the existing situation and main challenges and present information clearly and succinctly, building clear requirements for CRM providers.
The Social Enterprise and Innovation Programme
The Dot Project mentors early-stage social entrepreneurs, supporting them to develop and adapt their ideas and build sustainable business models. This programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), provides business support to social entrepreneurs in the West of England area (Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset). The programme is project managed by the University of Bath in partnership with The SETsquared Partnership..
We work with Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre to provide training on the theory of change, creating a culture for creativity and the social business canvas for social entrepreneurs.
“Their insights, action plans and training modules are consistently empathetic, creative and inspirational … As a women-led business Annie and Cat are role models and leaders in their field.” Rosie Bennett, Centre Director, Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre
Understanding privacy by design and the General Data Protection Regulation
We have provided training to over 60 organisations focusing on how organisations can take a privacy-by-design approach to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We see GDPR as a positive step towards protecting the rights of individuals, however we also recognise that organisations need support to ensure compliance to the legislation.
We have developed tools and workshop materials with a practical approach to the legislation and the concept of privacy by design. Organisations leave with clear activities and processes they can incorporate into their day-to-day work flow to strengthen their data management approaches. In particular, our work on data protection focuses on building confidence. Our participants have given us this feedback:
“Excellent, informative and well presented, worth attending!”
“The workshop has made me more confident in dealing with the overseas aspects of our data management.”
Our coaching approach
We are a women-led initiative championing the importance of developing inclusive ways of working. Our approach places emphasis on integrating coaching techniques into the way we work with organisations. We ensure that we are actively listening to our clients, to deeply understand their culture, challenges and opportunities. Into this approach we are also integrating appreciative inquiry, to develop an approach that encourages participants to think aspirationally and identify practical approaches to turn aspirations into reality.
“We’ve loved working with The Dot Project so much that we now try to involve them in every project. They bring an incredibly calm, insightful and productive work ethic that reassures from the moment you meet them. Their experience of dealing with a range of funders, governmental bodies, corporate and other organisations allows us to extend our offer beyond simple service provision and enables us to work with our partners to develop meaningful and sustainable change.” Harry at Outlandish
St John’s Foundation
Through our TechforGoodBath voluntary community we delivered a workshop with St Johns Foundation to understand the needs of mental health services in Bath and ensure that digital platforms and tools are developed around the user need.
We facilitated a user journey mapping approach to encourage participants to take an empathetic approach to designing services. This project is still evolving and has led to a TechforGoodBath event specifically showcasing the use of digital technology within a mental health context.
Tech Talent Charter
We work with the Tech Talent Charter, which brings together industries and organisations to drive diversity and address gender imbalance in technology roles. We work with Tech Talent Charter to bring together communities and build momentum to drive change regionally and nationally.
We work carefully to curate events, ensuring that we reach out to relevant stakeholders and influencers so that events bring together individuals and organisations who are well placed to collaborate and build momentum around diversity in technology. In October 2017, we ran a pilot regional event in Bath, ‘Gender Diversity – Let’s do this’, and have been subsequently commissioned by Tech Talent Charter to support regional events across the UK during 2018. Press coverage for the Oxford event in April 2018 included Information Age and IT Pro.
We are a member of CoTech, a group of cooperatives operating across the technology sector. In this network we connect the dots between cooperatives, and we have strengthened these connections through a series of projects.
We have led proposal development processes for a number of opportunities, and by doing so we have developed a deep understanding of the motivations and skills of each cooperative. We are now well placed to identify opportunities for collaborations between cooperatives.
We have recently worked on a project to develop and refine the identity of CoTech. Through this we hope to expand opportunities for CoTech members to grow and expand.
Tech for Good Bath
TechforGoodBath is a community initiative, with around members and counting, which brings together people who are interested in how technology is used within social impact projects and organisations.
These events are informal, and each event focuses on a specific topic. Past themes have included digital tech for mental health, data protection, cyber security, making your technology accessible for all, mapping skills and resources.
The aim is to foster a supportive, collaborative community, showcasing what is working well, introducing tools and techniques and providing the opportunity to share ideas.
We have a breadth of experience in the field of international development that enables us to work on projects that seek to integrate technology into international development.
Cat has worked for the United Nations and international NGOs managing healthcare programmes and integrating technology into programme delivery across Africa, predominantly in fragile or conflict environments. Annie has supported Digital Divide Data to identify new market opportunities and basic technology education programmes for FutureSense Foundation in Cambodia.
We recently attended the ICT4D conference in Zambia where we encouraged participative discussion on where there is room for improvement in ICT4D. We are currently seeking feedback on our session, and we intend to take proactive steps to responding to some of the main challenges raised. More information is available in this article.
Strategy and culture
Global eHealth Foundation
Cat carried out a series of consultations for the Global eHealth Foundation to determine the gaps and opportunities in the ehealth sector. This influenced the development of a global strategy, in collaboration with Accenture. As part of this consultation Cat interviewed key stakeholders in international development organisations, including USAID, The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organisation.
Disability Snowsport UK
Disability Snowsport UK provides much-needed access to sport for individuals with disabilities and changes perceptions and attitudes towards disability. We have worked with Disability Snowsport UK to develop a progressive strategy to support the charity to increase its impact. We developed this strategy through a series of workshops, ensuring that all staff could fully participate in them and contribute to the future of the organisation. We designed and facilitated this series of workshops that covered:
- developing a theory of change
- defining core values
- setting goals and priorities.
With the organisational strategy now in place we will focus on aligning the digital strategy of the organisation to the overall vision and mission of the organisation.
Business development and fundraising support
We work with a number of clients to provide discreet business development and fundraising support. We focus on building strong relationships with our clients to understand their culture, aspirations and motivations. This enables us to identify meaningful partnerships and support suitable funding opportunities.