Disrupters like Uber and AirBnb have transformed how we call taxis and book holidays. But what if non-profits and the social sector could harness these same skills? The Fitzroy Academy is doing just that.

Meet Will.

Will made his first dollar selling stolen lemons at age 6. His father taught him to code a year later.

Now, all grown up, he founded a digital agency purpose-built for the social impact sector and an NGO that uses his coding skills to lift Cambodian farmers out of poverty.

Will has been teaching people in the for-purpose sector digital and startup skills for over a decade, from small weekend hackthons to writing courses for big universities.

At the Telstra Foundation, we’re passionate about the impact non-profits and social enterprises can make – especially when they harness the transformative power of digital to get things done.

That’s why we joined forces to bring Fitzroy Academy to life. Here’s a sneak peek.

Australia’s first digital toolbox for the social sector, Fitzroy Academy is built specifically to help non-profits and social enterprises develop cutting-edge digital skills. It’s all about scale – making industry knowledge accessible to everyone in the organisation.

This is for everybody, as Will told me this week: There’s a ‘trickle-down teaching’ problem in workplaces. Massive fees often mean organisations only train their best and brightest, hoping those leaders will inspire the rest of the team. It’s not particularly equitable.

“Instead, we’ve netted experts who are too busy working to teach – because they seriously know their stuff – and turned a small amount of their time into ultra-useful, easily accessible lessons.”

Disrupters like Uber and AirBnb have transformed how we call taxis and book holidays. But what if non-profits could harness these same skills?

Fitzroy Academy combines knowledge from the digital sphere – user experience and design thinking – with soft and entrepreneurial skills like agile project management, crowdfunding and lean methodology.

Will is passionate about the cause: “There’s plenty of support for corporate and business start-ups and high-flying talent – it’s the non-profits who really need a hand. Fitzroy Academy brings together those elite geek skills with the people who are really making a difference.”

Jump on and say hi to Will at fitzroyacademy.com.

Fitzroy Academy is all about doing. To mark the launch of this Australian-first platform, all social sector organisations are invited to get in and have a go with a free 14 day trial. Dive in at fitzroyacademy.com.