Technology For Good

My First 30 Days as a Development Associate at Thorn

By August 8, 2016 No Comments

As soon as I started at Thorn, I was thrilled to be at a hub where technology and social good intersect. From my first day, I was immersed in the world of Thorn’s programmatic work and multi-layered partnerships. I was encouraged to ask questions (I had about a thousand) and to keep asking them, and even to give feedback beyond my immediate scope of work. It was apparent that Thorn’s approach was different than that of the average non-profit. At Thorn, innovation and new ideas are encouraged and, in fact, drive our work fighting child sexual exploitation. I am excited to be part of a team that is both dynamic and forward-thinking — constantly engaging in conversations and forging new relationships in order to create the best and most effective tools on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children.

As Development Associate, I have spent the last month perfecting how to communicate the importance of our mission to potential partners and donors. Behind the success of our tools and programs, it is clear that what makes Thorn unique is a deep understanding of the power of partnerships and how they can be leveraged to create multi-faceted, technical solutions. Thorn understands that to truly solve a problem on the scale of child trafficking, it requires a high level of collaboration and communication between different stakeholders working to combat the issue. Tools like Spotlight are evidence of this, leveraging the talent and resources of partners from different industries — NGOs, law enforcement and technology companies — to solve complex sex trafficking cases one piece at a time.

Beyond these contributions (without which our work would be impossible), Thorn staff and partners all share something in common: profound empathy, a desire to do good, and the optimism that their work can bring about real change. The scope of our organization makes it possible to build a network of individuals passionate about fighting child sexual exploitation and it is this spirit that keeps us motivated to keep working towards solutions, even when presented with new and unforeseen challenges.

As individuals and organizations, we all have the potential to change the world for the better. At Thorn we do this every day, inspiring technologists and partners alike to lend their support to approach an issue that often times seems scary and undefeatable. I am excited to represent Thorn at the Crimes Against Children Conference in Texas this week, and share more about our essential work. I feel lucky to be a part of a team that has the resources, connections, and knowledge to identify innovative solutions to complex problems and the willingness to take risks even in the face of failure. As I continue my work at Thorn, I intend to make my own contribution towards the fight against child sexual exploitation. To quote my favorite poet, Rumi: “You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in a drop.” Let’s connect, collaborate and innovate. We can make waves.