Disrupt & Innovate

Engaging a #NewGeneration of Work

31st July 2018 by Kathrin Wieland

Youth of today under the age of 30 comprise more than half the world’s population at present. Born and raised in a digitalised and globalised era, their approach to activism is vastly different to that of their predecessors, and this is why we feel that the time is ripe for civil society organisations (CSOs) to adapt the ways in which they operate to meet the needs and preferences of these digital natives.  

Far from being a threat to jobs in the development and humanitarian aid sector, we believe that digital tools can enhance the way work is done, such as helping organisations gather necessary information, measure progress, or align their goals with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

At TolaData, the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) software we build makes it easier for projects to be managed and tracked across their entire lifecycle. Through our platform, project managers can remotely monitor activities in real-time, so that less time is spent collecting data but on analysing and learning from it to improve the projects that matter.   

We envision the following ways in which we can support this new generation of work. 

  • The next generation of collaboration 

As working in multinational teams spread out all over the world increasingly becomes the norm, we’d like seamless communication across different time zones to become a reality. The next generation will work together in the cloud or with tools like TolaData, with full transparency in staying up to date on what others have done to ensure that everyone is aligned on the same tasks. Not only will that keep the team productive by preventing double work, team members will also have the freedom to work whenever and wherever they want, which fits in with the results-oriented flexibility that post-Millennials desire. 

  • The next generation of progress 

We’d like to enable teams to learn faster and better from data, in order to determine which approaches are a success or a failure, and again in the spirit of collaboration, be able to share that knowledge with others.  

  • The next generation of help 

Through technology, we’re able to reach marginalised communities in harsh and remote places. New digital tools will  be able to function offline just as well as it does online, thereby enabling work to take place in tough environments where help is most needed.  

Can we see the next generation fulfill the SDGs and realise a world without hunger and extreme poverty? Certainly! And we’re committed to bringing the latest technology to the sector to maximise the impact that organisations achieve. To recognise this goal, however, we’ll have to work together. 

Together with some of my brilliant colleagues from TolaData, we look forward to being at Global Perspectives 2018 to meet and connect with other like-minded practitioners from the sector to discuss our ideas and experiences in shaping the trajectory of this new generation. There’s so much we can do and we can barely wait for it to happen. See you there! 

Kathrin Wieland



After her career in strategy consulting and marketing management, Kathrin took over as CEO of Save the Children Germany and grew the organisation's income by 10 times within 8 years. She has extensive knowledge and networks in the sector and serves as an advisor and board member to a number of non-profits.