DCLead Track: ICT4D
Ba: Political Science, University of Costa Rica
Worked as: Project coordinator, consultant for international organizations, researcher and lecturer at the University of Costa Rica

I have chosen DCLead because: I have chosen DCLead because it is a lifetime opportunity for building bridges of collaboration, exchange ideas, and knowledge between leaders from all over the world interested in using digital communication to transform societies.
DCLead provides us the analytical and practical skills to rethink digital communication’s role in offering solutions to global challenges and prepares us to lead discussions about how policies and innovation in technology could promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups and development among all sectors. I aim to use the knowledge I will acquire in the program to lead initiatives that put technology and digital communication at the service of endeavors that empower vulnerable populations and honor human rights.

Adriana FernándezCosta Rica

DCLead Track: POLINN
Ba: Organizational Communication, De La Salle University Manila
Worked as: Digital Media Consultant, Communications Officer for International Organizations

I have chosen DCLead because: As societies and countries continue to grapple with the complexities of living in a highly digitalized world, we need to have practitioners who are critical, ethical, and analytical of the technologies, algorithms, and platforms that are now ubiquitous in modern society. DCLead is a unique program that allows me to elevate my understanding of communication in the academic and practical sense as we explore how digital technology can promote democratic governance – a tool for common good through policy and innovation.

The DCLead program also brings together a diverse set of students from all over the world, adding a global and nuanced view of digital communication as we learn it in the classroom. To me, this program fits exactly what I hope to get from an MA program – it’s international, forward-thinking, incredibly stimulating, and aligns with my values as a practitioner in this field.

Lyka Dilag CabatayPhilippines

DCLead Track: POLINN
BSc: Cognitive Neuroscience and Sociology
Worked as: Program Manager at Stanford; Policy Consultant at the Ministry of Education Argentina

I have chosen DCLead because: I wish to further my research on the intersection between intentional, top-down policy and unpredictable, bottom-up societal behaviour to create robust and efficient digital communication policies in an ever-changing society. DCLead’s interdisciplinary and international approach provides an intellectual and cultural environment in which the future of digital communication can be shaped, with interconnectivity and globalization at the forefront of our studies.

Jessi ZierSouth Africa

DCLead Track: ICT4D
BSc: International Relations
Worked as: Digital Marketer, Content Creator

I have chosen DCLead because: The development of research skills, combined with a focus on ethics, responsibility, and sustainability, were the top factors that led me to apply for DCLead. I find it essential for me to comprehend the ever-changing world of Digital Communication and how to make an impact with it as my tool. To become a more impactful leader, I wanted to attend a program that provides diverse and broad views on current challenges and allows me to build my professional knowledge as a communications expert.

Noora Emilia SaarelainenFinland

DCLead Track: TECMAN
BSc: Software Engineering
Worked as: Software Engineer / Tech Lead

I have chosen DCLead because: With rapidly evolving technologies, it is our duty to ensure diversity and accessibility in the digital (and real) world. I’m interested in working on and with technologies that benefit users without exploiting them and creating content that has an impact rather than just reach. I think DCLead is a unique program that creates space to look at the implications of an increasingly digital world and how we interact with different media and each other.

Arham ShabbirPakistan

DCLead Track: POLINN
BSc: Mass Communication
Worked as: Financial journalist; project coordinator

I have chosen DCLead because: Coming from a country where effective digital policy making is rare, if not non-existent, I often wondered how individuals can harness technological advancements to bring about substantial change. DCLead has enabled me to address these questions through its critical examination of the current digital landscape. I am further interested in exploring digital divides in developing countries, specifically pertaining to women and minority groups, and the socioeconomic factors that exacerbate them.

Romessa NadeemPakistan

DCLead Track: POLINN
Ba: Mass Communication, University of Dar es Salaam
Worked as: E-commerce Officer at Precision Air Services Plc., Founder of Hapo Zamani za Kale project

I have chosen DCLead because: DC Lead is a right fit to my background in Mass Communication from where my interests in digital communication initially stemmed. I believe that effective communication has the power to drive socioeconomic changes and bring development in our societies. Thus, DC Lead will empower me to become a digital communication expert and deepen my understating of ways in which policies, innovation, research, ethical and sustainable digital practices among other issues can be used to effectively address digital divides, implication of digitalization at a global perspective, national and community level in order to bring change in my society. In between working experiences in ecommerce, digital marketing and founding a project that involves adopting oral literature into the digital systems, I directly observed digital challenges, technology level and savviness among Tanzanian citizens. With the interdisciplinary approach of DC Lead while learning from professionals and peers, I expect to draw relevant lessons and help shape the digital structures in my country which is currently undergoing digitalization process itself.

Annastazia Nyakahoza GuraTanzania

DCLead Track: POLINN
Ba: Media Management
Worked as: Competition Policy Officer at Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce

I have chosen DCLead because: When asking what else to the digital transformation, DCLead builds human resources to explore critical aspects of that. I have chosen DCLead because I think this program makes an ideal next step for my academic pursuit and even more for my future aspiration in learning and development sector which has been largely transformed and disrupted by technology. As both a life coach and a lifelong learner, I am looking to build my DCLead learning experience as a foundation to further develop critical and neutral perspectives on those impacts on our lives and the lives of our future.

Sokcheng ThaiCambodia

DCLead Track:
BSc: Technology (Computer Science)
MSc: Post graduate diploma (Liberal Studies)
Worked as: Young Professional at NITI Aayog (Government of India), Software Engineer at Wipro Ltd, Co-founder at VittaVaran (a digital literacy and financial inclusion initiative)

I have chosen DCLead because: Multidisciplinary education is something that deeply excites me. Further to my educational background as an engineer and a liberal studies graduate, the DC Lead program gives me the perfect opportunity to delve deeper into the domain of digital communications, while gaining a more nuanced understanding of its social and cultural contexts. I hope to further my knowledge in the domain and work across cutting edge technologies to deliver sustainable and ethical digital solutions.

Ruchika HirnaIndia

DCLead Track: ICT4D
BSc: Development Communication, University of the Philippines
MSc: Sustainability, United Nations University
Worked as: Communications Specialist for the Department of Health – Philippines and Communications Officer at the Mekong Institute

I have chosen DCLead because: As a communications professional living in a hyper-digitized world, I aspire to be a credible, reverberating voice that advocates for the fair and ethical use of digital media in an era where fake news and trolls are prevalent. Especially in the context of the ongoing pandemic and political warfare, I want to help counter fearmongers and proliferators of hate and lies with truth and reason. I want to take the lead and take control of the digitalization narrative so we can all re-channel it towards societal progress instead of its downfall. I firmly believe that technology is only as mighty as the power we vest in it, and I am making a conscious decision to help harness it for the better through the DCLead program.

Paoloregel B. SamontePhilippines