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Submitted by bcelnik on Mon, 10/31/2011 - 10:54
Guest blog from Lori Lobenstine, from the Design Studio for Social Intervention
At the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), one thing we've learned over time is that coming up with new ideas is more than a matter of being asked. Even when people are asked to "think outside the box," we tend to have a hard time getting away from the things that limit our thinking. In the nonprofit sector, those things include: "Is this fundable?" "Do we have the staff to do this?" and "Does this sound too crazy?" among others. Youth are not immune to the challenges of innovation either. Sometimes in youth programs we feel that "youth know what youth want", and if we just get out of their way, they'll come up with the perfect idea. While youth are just as likely as adults to come up with a good idea, they also have the same challenges and needs for tools to help them think creatively.
We were excited by the possibility of co-leading an Innovation Lab with the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) that was focused on developing leadership, especially when we talked with Claire Reinelt, LLC’s Evaluation Director, and found out that we could really think at a large scale. The very question that Claire posed, "How do we support and catalyze 1000s of leaders with a passion and a vision for whole child development in vulnerable communities?" meant that neither we nor our participants could think in traditional ways about leadership development. It was time to imagine entirely new possibilities for LD!
Submitted by Zoe Madden-Wood on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 19:06
On the Future of Philanthropy...
- The Stanford Social Innovation Review has an article talking about the changing face of philanthropy. The new generation of philanthropist are young, skilled and tech-savvy individuals. They desire to share their fortune in the same focused manner they have acquired it, by using their knowledge and skills to work on their passions. As larger foundations have been scaling back their contributions, these smaller mid-sized foundations have been increasing both their donation size and number of donations. With online giving associations such as Kiva popping up, perhaps the next wave will include donor-matching organizations that will match foundations with nonprofits as easily as Flixster makes movie recommendations.
- Information is becoming more and more key in the modern era. Foundations are finding they can further their goals of philanthropy through information distribution, but with the sunset of traditional media sources such as newspapers, that task is somewhat complicated. The CT Mirror and the New Haven Independent are part of a new trend and a new experiment. Both are funded by organizations instead of being profit based and both have hired social media strategists to increase their engagement online.
Submitted by Zoe Madden-Wood on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 15:29
- The Packard Foundation talks again on their "glass filing cabinet" transparency and what they have learned from it. One important lesson is that creating useful transparency encouraging people to comment and collaborate on provided data involves properly sorting and preparing the data so it can be presented in an easily accessible format. Simply viewing unsorted information can be like drinking from a fire hose.
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:51
Are nonprofit leaders producing innovation and break through change?
In the past twenty years, have we made impressive progress on even one significant social problem (hunger, poverty, environmental degradation…take your pick)? Beth Kanter, a leading nonprofit blogger suggests we haven’t, “There has been an explosion in size of the nonprofit sector over the last twenty years, huge increases in donations and number of organizations, and yet the needle hasn’t moved on any serious social issue. Growing individual institutions ever larger has failed to address complex social problems that outpace the capacity of any individual organization or institution to solve them.” Whether we agree with the extent of the problem, it would be hard to disagree that we have a problem calling desperately for innovation. Among the proponents of strategies that promise innovation there is one common thread, it’s the work of many! Investing in individuals will not seed innovation and breakthrough change. read more »
Submitted by EArkell on Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:54
- A report, Network Evaluation: Cultivating Healthy Networks for Social Change, released by Centre for Social Innovation and Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, examines the theory and practice of network evaluation. The think tank’s goal was to develop a series of tools and strategies for evaluation that were unique to networks, as opposed to being adequate for other types of evaluation efforts. The publication includes background information and a framework for network evaluation.
- LinkedIn recently launched InMaps, a project that visually demonstrates all of the connections within a business network. It helps users see connections, bridges, and influencers (all with different visual designations) so that they can see the depth of their network and can understand how to utilize it.
- On her blog, Beth Kanter shares a photo that was tweeted by the National Wildlife Federation that shows a network mapped out with sticky notes. Kanter discusses reasons why visualizing networks is essential: “mapping can be really valuable for understanding relationship networks by visualizing and seeing patterns and connections… Networks are more than random gatherings of people and organizations online. Social networks have specific structures and patterns to them.”
Submitted by EArkell on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 21:58
- Valdis Krebs, the Founder and Chief Scientist at orgnet.com, shares his thoughts on “thriveability” and on social network analysis (SNA). SNA – the "mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, URLs, and other connected information/knowledge entities” – either supports or constrains cultural, organizational, and individual change. It is the structures that maximize emergence, learning, agility, and adaptability that prompt positive change by properly preparing people for the unknown, Krebs says, while “highly homophilious networks” will only hinder us. Leadership, also, and emerging ideas about different types of leadership, are prevalent and encouraged in networks.
- Weaving, “an intentional practice of helping people connect to information, opportunity, each other and, most importantly, their own personal power," is propelled by institutional “helping” spaces. In a powerful blog post, Bill Traynor of Lawrence CommunityWorks Inc., explains the importance of creating these spaces and methods by which to do so.
Submitted by EArkell on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 00:15
On Race and Unity… read more »
- Using the “No Wedding No Womb” program as an example, Mikhail Lyubansky makes the argument that racial injustices need to be addressed at a systematic or structural level rather than at an individual level. NWNW is a program that encourages black women not to have children out of wedlock. It does not promote abstinence necessarily, but instead relies on statistics to show that children are much more likely to succeed when they have “physical, financial, and emotional protection,” which they are more likely to have if their parents are married than if they are not (or than if they are being raised by a single parent). Lyubansky argues that the message of the program is positive, but it addresses the wrong issues. Rather than focusing our efforts on helping black women to make the best of the current (unfair) situation, we should be focusing on changing the system to resolve current inequalities.
- In South Dakota, 2010 has been dubbed by many as the “year of unity.” The purpose of the year of unity is to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions American Indians have brought to the state and, ultimately, to get their land returned to them. In a blog post on Race-Talk, Tim Giago writes about the necessity of bringing unity to South Dakota and also recaps some of the major gains in the past 20 years regarding ending racial injustices.
Submitted by Natalia Castaneda on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 10:15
On Diversity and Shared Experiences…
- For the most part, the approach we take to diversity and inclusion work has not changed much over the past 30+ years. It is not that those in the field do not care about the work they are doing – on the contrary, they are extremely passionate – but the field has not progressed because people are not having new conversations. In his blog, Joe Gerstandt suggests ways that this field can evolve. To name a few, he believes that there needs to be more of a focus on social media, less talk about intensions, more focus on “honest, courageous, and authentic” workplaces, and a new way of leadership.
News Brief: Social Network Analysis, Network Governance, Informal Networks, Innovation, Diversity, Collaboration, Network MapSubmitted by asalvesen on Fri, 10/15/2010 - 12:04
● “Ethics in Social Network Analysis”
Author: Eva Schiffer
Date: October 13, 2010
Source: Net-Map blog
Social Network Analysis: Traditional surveys ensure that the respondents remain anonymous, as each respondent is simply meant to be representative of a particular demographic. However, in using network tools to facilitate change, the identity of each individual becomes key. This brings up an ethical issue involving social network analysis – should the respondents have it made very clear to them exactly how their answers will be analyzed? The answer, for Eva Schiffer, is “yes.” And not only is it the ethical thing to do, to provide full disclosure of the analysis methods, it is actually “one of the strengths of network mapping”; it allows interviewees to “reflect on the complete picture and see if that’s what they actually wanted to say.”
Submitted by asalvesen on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 15:18
Author: Inder Sidhu Date: June 4, 2010 Source: Forbes.com Innovation: An effective innovation strategy requires both a commitment to sustaining innovation and a commitment to disruptive innovation, according to Cisco’s Inder Sidhu in the Forbes article “The Two-Pronged Approach To Innovation Your Company Needs.” Avoiding a tradeoff between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation is a challenge that all companies face. Fortune 500 companies, very mindful of their accountability to customers and shareholders, tend to invest fewer resources in disruptive innovation. Start-ups, on the other hand, focus most of their resources on disruptive innovation. The key to successful innovation is to consciously pursue both types, as the amplification of the combination is significant.
Author: Inder Sidhu
Date: June 4, 2010
Innovation: An effective innovation strategy requires both a commitment to sustaining innovation and a commitment to disruptive innovation, according to Cisco’s Inder Sidhu in the Forbes article “The Two-Pronged Approach To Innovation Your Company Needs.” Avoiding a tradeoff between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation is a challenge that all companies face. Fortune 500 companies, very mindful of their accountability to customers and shareholders, tend to invest fewer resources in disruptive innovation. Start-ups, on the other hand, focus most of their resources on disruptive innovation. The key to successful innovation is to consciously pursue both types, as the amplification of the combination is significant.