September is Autodesk’s annual Global Month of Impact (GMOI). It’s a time when Autodeskers everywhere are invited to support positive outcomes for our customers and the world–from the comfort of their home or office–by volunteering virtually with Autodesk Technology Impact customers. This year, 2,055 Autodesk employees from around the world worked together through 12 virtual volunteering events to support Engineers Without Borders and the Nature Conservancy.
This year marked the first GMOI since our company-wide impact strategy was developed and implemented, codifying our commitment to work in partnership with our customers, across industries, and the broader communities we serve to accelerate progress toward a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.
Autodesk partnered with two global nonprofit organizations for this year’s campaign to provide employees with an opportunity to support our customers to accelerate positive impact.
Identifying community needs
Engineers Without Borders (EWB) brings communities and volunteer engineers together to advance local infrastructure solutions. Crucial to its success is the accurate identification of community needs and potential partners in rural communities.
To provide EWB’s teams with the information they need to make these assessments, Autodesk employees researched local nonprofits and identified critical infrastructure needs for roads, parks, water, sanitation, and energy. This virtual volunteering effort enables EWB to focus on its most urgent tasks, like connecting community-led organizations to bridge infrastructure solutions.
“We now have lists of organizations by region that work in the food insecurity and water and sanitation (WASH) arena. This has saved our team the equivalent of 40 hours that we can use instead to study the data and make connections for collaboration. This equates to approximately $5,000 worth of funds that can be used elsewhere. Autodesk volunteers’ support furthers our mission and impact in communities that need our technical assistance most,” shared Natalie Celmo, PE, Program Engineer, Engineers Without Borders.
Curating resources for conservation leaders
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world, helping to conserve vital lands and waters in 72 countries. It partners with 400+ scientists who often rely on open datasets, reusable code, and public web resources to conduct their work.
To help develop a single repository of these tools, Autodesk employees identified, sourced, tagged, and cataloged online resources that will directly support the work of science and conservation leaders around the globe. Autodesk volunteers were able to catalog 2,000+ data points and metadata for TNC that will accelerate their development of an AI-powered search tool.
“The engagement and contributions of the Autodesk team during the Global Month of Impact really shows how impactful data can be and how we all can contribute to the conservation science happening at TNC. We started with the expectation that a few hundred data points on public resources would give us a good starting point to build a custom search for our 400+ scientists. However, the collaboration with Autodesk volunteers has blown that expectation out of the water–we were able to catalog 2,000+ data points and metadata that will accelerate how we approach the AI behind our custom search solution,” said Niraj Swami, Sr. Director Conservation Tech Strategy & Enablement, The Nature Conservancy.
Connecting to the issues alongside colleagues
Our Global Month of Impact events provided an opportunity for employees to help support our customers to use technology to accelerate positive impact–while also getting a taste of what it’s like to volunteer their time and talent on a team with colleagues across different offices and departments.
Renee Francis, Senior Manager of Executive Communications, Finance, says that her virtual volunteer activity, researching food deserts for Engineers without Borders, was both sobering and inspiring. “I was startled to learn how many people lack access to nutritious food,” she says. At the same time, “It was so refreshing to problem solve with new faces outside of the work I usually do. It inspired me to look beyond my reality and continue building meaningful connections with others through volunteering.”
If you’re interested in learning more about employee impact at Autodesk, please visit our employee impact page.