Designing a Website for a Network of Social Entrepreneurs
The Aspen Global Leadership Network is thousands of innovative experts around the world who lead ambitious social enterprise projects to address a wide range of global challenges. With an aging, internal-facing “Online Directory” that served mostly to make contact information available to Fellows, Constructive was asked help rethink their digital strategy to more deeply engage AGLN fellows around the world, increase collaboration, and ultimately accelerate impact.
A partner portal lacking community.
More an online white pages than online community, the AGLN “Online Directory” was a closed partner portal. Limited functionality limited its value to AGLN Fellows—and as a result, its impact as well. Since the directory was a private-access website, The Aspen Institute was also missing a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of some of its most innovative initiatives around the world. We pitched transforming the website into a more collaborative social enterprise community that would publicly elevate and localize the work of nearly 2,000 AGLN Fellows on important issues around the world.
How can we help AGLN Fellows better leverage the nework?
Creating an online hub of social innovation activity meant re-imagining the Online Directory as a product that would support and amplify the efforts of AGLN Fellows. From content strategy to architecture and feature set, we designed a blueprint for an ambitious experience befitting the Fellows it supports. The renamed “Fellow Exchange” organizes people and projects by issue area, geography, and class; increases opportunities for peers to connect; provides a platform to share knowledge and announce opportunities, and offers robust faceted search to make it easier for Fellows to find exactly what they need.
How can we help the public better understand the network?
The only public online presence for the AGLN—arguably one of the Aspen Institute’s most ambitious initiatives—was a single text page buried in its enormous website. So, as part of our strategy to showcase the network’s impact, the Fellow Exchange leads by quickly contextualizing what the AGLN is all about. Multiple points of entry encourage audiences to explore their work, and as a result, learn about the complex social and economic challenges AGLN Fellows are tackling through their ambitious projects
The Fellow Exchange transforms The Aspen Institute’s previously private network into a hub of social innovation activity—increasing awareness and opportunities for collaboration while sharing the AGLN’s impact with the world.
How do busy Fellows access the Exchange?
With a busy network of Fellows around the world whose expectations can be as high as their accomplishments, the quality of the Fellow Exchange’s mobile experience would say as much about the AGLN brand as it did the website. We not only made sure that exploring content is a pleasure on any device, we also made sure the Exchange has the speed and usability needed for Fellows to easily take full advantage of its robust tools wherever they are around the world.
The Fellow Exchange shares how AGLN Fellows are mobilizing their energy, skills, and resources to address challenges around the world while providing a vibrant community for them to collaborate with one another to achieve their goals.
How can we strengthen the bond between Fellows and the Institute?
As valuable telling the AGLN’s story and amplifying the impact of its work was, the Aspen Institute had one equally important goal that was essential to its operations: reduce Aspen’s administrative overhead by making it easier for Fellows to keep Aspen up-to-date and automate delivering targeted AGLN news to Fellows based on their interests and schedule. We customized a Drupal CMS and integrated it with Aspen’s Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge CRM, enabling Fellows to directly update their CRM data through the Exchange website and manage their communication preferences for AGLN updates.
Our Client's Experience
“We needed a website that would better engage our constituency and convey the dynamism of their social projects. Constructive expanded our thinking, helping us find new ways to engage our members and reach new audiences. They are true partners, asking the right questions, actively listening to our needs, and applying strategic, creative, and technical expertise.”