Archive for the 'Community' Category

We are 7 Billion – what’s next?

Written on October 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Earlier this year I wrote about ‘awareness raising campaigns‘. Although the 7 Billionth Person mark is not an awareness raising campaign per se, it has many of the same characteristics.  It has been interesting to watch the progression of public attention.  It started a few weeks back when the United Nation Population Fund (UNFP) released its 2011 State of the World’s Population report predicting 7 billion people by 31 October.  Next came a run of ‘fun’ stories such as National Geographic’s “World’s Most Typical person” and online  interactive activities including the BBC’s “What’s your Number?”  Then on “the day” itself …


Reflecting on being a ‘changemaker’

Written on July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

At the end of June I had the good fortune to be among a team of facilitators from different countries helping with the Ashoka Changemakers Week in France.  I facilitated sessions on scaling up, attended the plenaries and a workshop on social impact, and had numerous conversations with people doing exciting work from around the world.  Here are some of my reflections:

  1. Oh those pesky labels:  I wrote on this prior to the conference  (Impact without Boundaries) and I continue to find differing  views on what makes a NGO leader, a social entrepreneur or otherwise being a ‘social changemaker’,  a

Increasing International Dialogue and Engagement

Written on June 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

What does it take to have more effective international dialogue? Incorporate diverse and marginalized voices?  Communication to be effective needs to be two way [See “Words that Communicate“].  Even in one language and homogeneous cultures we are not always successful in having dialogue in which everyone listens and makes an effort to understand, as much as they talk.  In different languages and cultures dialogue becomes an even harder challenge.  With all of our increase in technology and tools  there is sometimes an assumption that we are getting better at communicating, but the existence of tools does not necessarily bring an


Build it and they may come….

Written on February 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Although the movie Field of Dreams made the line “Build it and they will come..” famous, in reality we all know it’s a bit more complicated than that.  When we’re building a community, it’s more like build it and then work out ways for people to: 1) Know about it; 2) Join and then 3) Participate.  A number of good posts recently have addressed this topic including :  The Real Active Value of Community Management by Debra Askanase and Confusing Crowds with Communities by Ian Thorpe.

When Amy Sample Ward and I set about “building” a community of practice for …


Thanksgiving and EpicThanks

Written on November 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the U.S.  With Christmas Day and New Years it is one of only three days when almost all commercial and governmental operations are closed.  I especially like Thanksgiving because it is secular and everyone celebrates it.  Thanksgiving has a history  and all kinds of discussion about its origins, but it is similar to the harvest festivalsfound in many cultures.  We have a human need to give thanks for what we have been given.  In the modern U.S. version of Thanksgiving we focus on eating (with turkey as the centerpiece), parades, and (U.S. style) football games, but