Helping a global NGO create a digital-first engagement culture. 


The Story

WITNESS trains and supports people around the world using video in their fight for human rights and justice. Founded by Peter Gabriel when the core challenge was to equip human rights activists with video cameras, WITNESS needed to update its model to reflect a rapidly changed landscape where phones with video cameras are now ubiquitous.

Online, WITNESS was struggling and unfocused. It had a poorly executed website and too many dispersed satellite sites dedicated to specific program needs. Pockets of innovation in certain programs flourished but were inconsistently supported and opportunities to leverage certain digital assets greatly exceeded staff capacity to execute.

Our organizational and team change process engaged their most forward thinking staff, advisors, and growing global network of partners to re-imagine WITNESS for an even more networked world. The result was a radical new focus on training and empowering non-staff to lead WITNESS programs on the ground and a re-tooling effort to support this local leadership. 

The process brought new clarity and enabled the organization to make bold decisions about what to focus on and what to leave behind. Today WITNESS continues to thrive, training and supporting 10X more activists than it previously did, earning Webby and other major human rights innovation awards and helping win even more human rights victories. 

Our Impact

  • Created new senior management role for digital and led hiring process
  • Shifted internal culture towards digital-first and engagement driven
  • Digital leadership became core hiring criteria across all program areas
  • Training and outreach metrics to key audiences increased dramatically
  • Integrated storytelling website led to greatly reduced digital asset management costs