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Aspen Digital

Intentional & Equitable Programming Design

The Evolution of the Digital Equity Accelerator

A photo of two Malaysians in head coverings smile and look at each other while they look at a laptop computer. One holds a phone.
February 23, 2024

Leana Mayzlina

Senior Project Manager

How we refined & improved our programMING (and you can too!)

In 2022, Aspen Digital launched the first cohort of the Digital Equity Accelerator, an initiative investing in local not-for-profit organizations that were accelerating digital inclusion in their communities around the world. In its inaugural year, the initiative supported 7 organizations in India, Morocco, and the US in scaling their digital inclusion programs, working on disability inclusion, immigration, and social and economic justice. In 2023, having one year of programming under their belts, we set out an ambitious plan to expand the Accelerator’s reach to 10 organizations in Mexico, South Africa, and Malaysia, while also incorporating critical learnings and feedback from the pilot year. 

As Aspen Digital geared up in early 2023 to launch the second iteration of the Accelerator, I joined the team to build out and refine our programming, ensuring that we were delivering an intentionally designed educational curriculum. The goal was to both raise the bar for ourselves and account not just for our programmatic goals but also for participant needs and equitable processes. With a background in nonprofit program management, international development, and capacity building, I rolled up my sleeves, eager to embrace this new challenge and take the Accelerator to a new level. 

After a year of designing, implementing, iterating, and refining, I’m thrilled to share some of our successes. During Aspen Digital’s two year leadership of the program, we built a robust and powerful initiative, and learned many lessons about how to best serve our participants. And while these wins and learnings come specifically from the Accelerator, many of them can be applied to any initiative aimed at building responsive, equitable, and quality content that both engages participants and helps them grow.

Dive in

Read on to learn more about what we did and what we learned.
Programming & Engagement for Learners

Programming & Engagement for Learners

How to design programming that empowers participants to learn and succeed, and allows them to show up as their whole human selves, with all of their unique experiences, perspectives, and questions.

Expectation Setting & Clear Communications

Expectation Setting & Clear Communications

Even the most thoughtful, provocative, responsive plan might as well not exist if you don’t clearly communicate and set expectations for it.

Programming and Engagement for Faculty

Programming and Engagement for Faculty

The focus of programming design is often exclusively on the learners, but faculty are also participants who deserve a positive experience.