This week three of the different networks I am part of held symposium/workshops/conferences and a common theme was noticeable in my Twitter stream – the importance of identifying good ideas (wherever they may come from), and making connections. Some of the comments included:

  •  Can your #BigIdeas promote new and exciting partnerships? Judith Rodin @RockefellerFdn President at  SOCAP14
  • Amanda Makulec @abmakulec: Love quality improvement work: emphasis on how solutions already exist, you just have to find them & connect people to diffuse #ISymposium

This raised for me the question of “What virtual tools are we providing to help make these connections?” Good ideas and potential partners can come from anywhere in the world and despite our increasingly ‘connected world’ making connections that help forward a particular goal or project can still be a challenge, so where are we turning to share (and find) useful and accessible information and potential partners?

Some of my ‘go to’ sites that I often recommend include:

  1. Idealist – One of the original connecting portals (history) Idealist has continually updated its network and approach and continues to serve as an important connecting resource.
  2. CIVICUS – A global network of civil society organizations.
  3. Zunia (formerly Development Gateway) – a wide range of resources and actors in international development
  4. Start Some Good – although some may see this as ‘just a crowdfunding site’ the global and topical breadth of different projects here lends itself to a treasure trove of good ideas and creative actors
  5. A new entry, the DIYToolkit (Development Impact & You) is highlighting a variety of organizations and efforts using innovative tools, or existing tools in creative ways
  6. WhyDev – A site for global development practitioners with some innovative approaches to networking and community building including a peer coaching program

What are your ‘go to’ websites that you use when looking for ideas or potential partners? Which ones do you find you continually recommend to others?