The User Journey of a Refugee: How we introduced an Agile Mindset to the Non-Profit Sector

Session Category :  Talk 
March 21, 2019
14:45  -  15:30

Between 2015 and 2016, over 130,000 asylum seekers requested asylum in Austria – taking the country of 8.7 million people completely by surprise. As politicians were reluctant to act, civil society jumped in and founded hundreds of grassroots initiatives and projects intended to alleviate the integration process into Austrian society. However, seeing as there was no central coordination, high language barriers and little marketing budget, there was a missing link between the thousands of interested refugees and the surplus of offers by civil society. This is where „I am Refugee“ stepped in – our non-political, online platform that holistically depicts the user journey of a refugee on his path to integration in Austrian society.

In this talk, I will tell you about how we went from domain name to wireframes to a registered society and an up-and-running website within just 4 months. How we gained and integrated our users’ feedback to grow our product portfolio from a multilingual website to social media channels, an Android App and now even Google courses and workshops. I will show you how a strong vision, transparency, team work, iterations and pull principle are the best mechanisms for managing and leading an intercultural team of volunteers with different motives for over 18 months. You will hear about our main impediments ranging from governmental funding to trolling due to disapproval from the far-right.

Most importantly, this talk should not only show you how Agile methods are great for starting a successful initiative in a low-to zero-budget sector, but how the Agile mindset behind a product and its focus on empowerment can be the most valuable addition to an entire sector.

#Agile mindset #intercultural team #strong vision #lean start-up #non-profit organization #leadership #empowerment #refugees