Blog Profile / Philanthropy 2173

Filed Under:Industries / NGOs & Nonprofits
Posts on Regator:349
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:May 26, 2011

Blog Post Archive

A memorial to free speech

This stopped me in my tracks this morning. Apropos my comments about park benches on the Internet, let us hope we don't yet need to memorialize free speech. (Valencia Street, San Francisco, August 17, 2015.)In case you can't read the plaque, here's a closeup of the text: And another view.

Park benches on the internet

Park benches are really important. They are places where you can grab a seat by yourself and read without anyone else knowing what you're reading. Or sit with a friend and chat and not be overheard. Or step out at midday with a work colleague to complain about your boss or plan your startup, without being listened to. Show More Summary

When what was new becomes old

Alliance Magazine published my article, From the Edge to the Middle, a few months ago and has now made it available for free to everyone.Enjoy.

(what if) we are not alone

(photo:'s headlines are bursting with announcements of Yuri Milner's $100 million gift in search of alien life. Professor Hawking (pictured above) accompanied Mr. Milner when he made the announcement. Show More Summary


(photo credit: ISP)[This is not an "anti-data, anti-measurement" screed. This is a "understand the data" plea.]What do you do when the data sources you are looking at indicate that there are more black men in prison than there are alive?...Show More Summary

Ethical, Safe, and Effective use of Digital Data in Civil Society

A great set of speeches from the Media Impact Funders Conference - Van Jones, Brewster Kahle, Erin McKean, Craig Newmark. And me.All the speeches are here.

Minimum viable data collection

I worked for the federal government for 11 months in 1989. Along with at least 21,499,999 other people information that can be used to identify me (and as me) was stolen from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. I held up the letter...Show More Summary

Random thought on #data governance and social good

Given the nature of digital #data (generative, remixable, scalable, storable, copyable, etc) it's hard to see how the current nonprofit corporate governance structures provide much assurance that these assets will be used for good. Nonprofit...Show More Summary

What do the data really show? Where should we draw the lines?

My colleague Rob Reich and I have been writing about the social economy for several years now.My Blueprint series - heading into its 7th year - changed its name to focus on the social economy in its 2nd year (2011). The basic point of...Show More Summary

The Future of (Nonprofit) Work

(Photo: U-M Library Digital Collections. Political Posters, Labadie Collection, University of Michigan. Accessed: July 09, 2015.) I'm thinking a lot about what it will mean to work (at nonprofits, for social good, in social movements,...Show More Summary

State of Civil Society 2015

Civicus has released its annual State of Civil Society Report for 2015 - the full download is here. I'm proud to have contributed an essay on digital civil society - the first such analysis I believe. Here's a teaser:"Digital data and...Show More Summary

The data value index

It seems that the average joe is beginning to understand that his digital data has value. What nerds have long known (if you're not the customer, you're the product) about our interactions with "free" digital services is becoming common knowledge. Show More Summary

Philanthropy policy reform

I think philanthropy needs to spend more time on digital policy issues. Regular readers of this blog have heard that from me for years. But digital policy is still - despite my years of trying - not on the agenda of philanthropy policy actors. Show More Summary

Where is the democracy in all this democratizing technology?

There's always a lot of talk about new technologies and democracy. But is expanded access alone enough to be democratizing? Doesn't democracy also require that that access have some connection to systems of power? That those with access...Show More Summary

A few thoughts (and reading suggestions) on data and civil society

I had the chance to participate in Worldview Stanford's class on Data - it was an amazing cross disciplinary look at how digital data are changing the landscapes for learning, work, and society. Here are two fabulous charts from the sessions - thanks to Nancy Murphy and Stephanie Crowley for sharing. Show More Summary

Data volunteering

The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth has a new series on data volunteering - check out their first post here.Over at the Digital Civil Society Lab we're getting ready to host a small gathering of these "data volunteers" on Monday. Show More Summary

Responsible data practices

(Book Cover Photo For 100 years foundations and nonprofits have developed practices to use time and money for good.For 50 years, investors have been developing ways to use investment capital...Show More Summary

Technology, democracy, civil society

Loved this quote from Nathan Schneider in an article on the "slow technology" movement:"There is a habit in tech culture of saying that the latest app is “democratizing” whatever it happens to do. This is lovely, but best not to confuse it with actual democracy. Show More Summary

Blueprint 2016

Yes. It is time for me to start thinking about Blueprint 2016. To get it to you live in December I start thinking, mulling, complaining about, and drafting by June. I just made my annual notebook to start compiling my papers, thoughts, and ephemera that I don't store online. Show More Summary

Digital Sabbatical = brain growth

Thanks to everyone who has asked about my digital sabbatical. It was fantastic. The best way I can describe it? Remember the part in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when his heart grows three sizes? Without the addictive stimulation and distractions of digital life it feels like my brain grew three sizes.And I returned to an empty inbox. Show More Summary

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