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Making the world a better place, one (numbered) step at a time

F9c6e55b61b4170dc0c3bc5db2520f6c?s=47 sculshaw
September 12, 2017

Making the world a better place, one (numbered) step at a time

Presentation from Write The docs Prague 2017: Created in 2016, Tech Writers Without Borders aims to connect technical communicators with nonprofits seeking help with their documentation and training materials.

Using examples from our work with iNERDE, a social enterprise seeking to empower West African youth with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, I describe the many ways in which technical communicators can make a real difference to the operational effectiveness of nonprofits and the lives of those they serve.

If you, too, are interested in volunteering your skills for social impact, this session will hopefully inspire you to action, or, at the very least encourage you to view the value of your craft in a new light.



September 12, 2017


  1. Making the world a better place, one (numbered) step at

    a time Stuart Culshaw Tech Writers Without Borders @ouebguy @twwb_org
  2. Can a tech writer really change the world? @ouebguy Image:

    ijmaki / Pixabay
  3. How to change the world, one (numbered) step at a

    time Stuart Culshaw Tech Writers Without Borders @ouebguy @twwb_org
  4. STEP 1 Get in touch with your inner hero @ouebguy

  5. We write the docs… @ouebguy Image: waldryano / Pixabay

  6. … And so much more @ouebguy Image: waldryano / Pixabay

  7. It’s not what you do that counts… @ouebguy It’s the

    impact you make Image: alan9187 / pixabay
  8. We are superheroes - @ouebguy Image: ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay

  9. Can a tech writer really change the world? @ouebguy superhero

  10. STEP 2 Seek out the change makers @ouebguy

  11. Change makers are everywhere

  12. www.actume.org @ouebguy

  13. www.chede.org

  14. www.apagi.fr

  15. iNERDE.org @ouebguy

  16. Change makers face many challenges •  Lack of resources • 

    Temporary or part-time staff •  Rapid turnover of volunteers •  Multi-cultural/multilingual environments •  Regulated environments @ouebguy
  17. Change makers need our support Document internal processes Train staff

    & volunteers Explain how to use their products and services @ouebguy Help!
  18. Let’s put our skills to work for the change makers!

    superpowers -  Can we help these organizations to train their volunteers to be more effective? -  Can we help them better document their internal processes? -  Can we help them to better explain their products and services? -  Can we help them market themselves better? @ouebguy Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
  19. STEP 3 Work together & design for scale @ouebguy

  20. Together, let’s change the world! @ouebguy Help!

  21. @ouebguy

  22. Our first project: Improving teacher training materials for iNERDE’s STEM

    summer camp program: Ntomo Innovation Academy. @ouebguy
  23. Our “virtual” volunteer team Stuart Culshaw Content Strategist IBM Grenoble,

    France Johanne Lavallée Rédactrice technique Ver-Mac Quebec, Canada Milena Alexandrova Freelance Technical Communications Specialist Paris, France Toni Ressaire Technical Communications Consultant Italy @ouebguy
  24. Challenges Partial/poor quality source documents Limited time Limited access to

    SMEs Limited Internet access @ouebguy Image: Free-Photos / Pixabay
  25. Image: Pexels / Pixabay What we accomplished @ouebguy

  26. @ouebguy Photo courtesy of iNERDE Our Impact

  27. @ouebguy

  28. @ouebguy Photo courtesy of iNERDE

  29. @ouebguy The future…

  30. @ouebguy Project “CodeNERDE” •  Team Mali: Silver medalists in the

    "Engineering Design" category at First Global international robotics competition (Washington DC, July 2017). Photo courtesy of iNERDE
  31. sparkventures.org @ouebguy

  32. solenciel.fr @ouebguy

  33. Our vision: An ecosystem for social good Volunteers Academia Professional

    communities Recruiters Industry
 experts Training providers Vendors Non-profits •  Sponsorship •  Free/discounted licenses •  Spread the word •  Take on a community project •  Spread the word •  Share best practices •  Project teams •  Core team •  Coursework •  Research projects •  Internships •  Free/discounted training •  Volunteer recruitment / Job bank •  Build awareness •  Qualify projects @ouebguy
  34. Get involved! Join our LinkedIn group Volunteer for a project

    Propose a project Spread the word Join our core team @ouebguy twwb.org
  35. None
  36. Can tech writers really change the world? @ouebguy Yes we

  37. Thank you ! Stuart Culshaw Tech Writers Without Borders Email:

    stuart.culshaw@techwriterswithoutborders.org Web: twwb.org @ouebguy @twwb_org