Case study: Techfugees

Charity | Content | Strategy | Training

Techfugees is a non-profit organisation, coordinating the international tech community’s response to the ongoing global refugee crisis which has left 68.5 million people displaced.

Founded by Mike Butcher of TechCrunch and headed up by CEO Joséphine Goube what started as a Facebook group blossomed into a 18,000-strong coalition of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs running conferences and hackathons all over the world.

The Techfugees ethos puts refugees at the heart of creating answers to the problems they face. The focus is on refugee talent, showing these people not as helpless victims but empowered agents of change.

The challenge

With limited resources, the team have chapters in 27 countries to coordinate, as well as project submissions from all corners of the tech world, and their own flagship initiatives to oversee on top of that.

Such a mammoth task makes it hard to get a consistent message across. Meanwhile, so much work goes into maintaining this huge, decentralised community that they risk simply preaching to the choir instead of focusing their communications on engaging new audiences.

What we did

Sookio’s involvement with Techfugees started in 2016 when we attended their inaugural Cambridge Conference. This impressive event led to us pitching in with strategic support.

First, we standardised the way content was submitted to the website. Brainstorming what criteria would qualify a project for Techfugees support, we created templates which made these standards clear, cutting down on unsuitable submissions.

Defining a set of templates also meant anyone could express their ideas accurately, while still coming across like part of a coherent global effort, even with no prior writing experience.

That gave the core team time to get their own message out there, and we were more than happy to help. Fortnightly phone calls with Joséphine let us catch up with her adventures and write them as a series of blog posts highlighting her incredible work.

Meanwhile, it was important to us to make sure everyone was communicating to the same standard; our chance came at the 2018 Techfugees Global Summit in Paris.

Here, we were invited to run an afternoon workshop on best practice in writing for the web. Based on the training we provide to the University of Cambridge, we shared our knowledge on everything from tone of voice and content creation, to distribution and long-term strategy.

The outcome

Regular high-quality content helps keep the global Techfugees community informed. It also gives them a steady stream of articles for social media which they can use to engage with potential partners and sponsors, as well as refugees themselves.

Training, meanwhile, helps the team understand how to tell a good story that connects with a broad audience.

Our input has helped Techfugees evolve from a disparate network of isolated voices to an organisation speaking in unison. This helps reinforce their credibility as they engage with policy-makers and leading voices in the world of tech to reframe the narrative around this, one of the biggest challenges facing our age.



  • 36 chapters coordinated across 27 countries
  • 40+ delegates trained in web copy
  • 35,000 words written and counting

Related projects

  • Cambridge Trust: strategy, video and training
  • East Anglia Childrens Hospice: blogging and video
  • Government Digital Services: training

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