• Mainly about engagement and collaboration using social media and events, with some asides on living in London. More about David Wilcox and also how the blog started.
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All sound points with which I agree; but there's an important feature of most community and vol orgs which is not taken into account - the fact that everyone's so damned busy all the time, they get work-programmed away from creative and reflective thinking. There used to be a golden rule in the vol sector (I havent heard it repeated for many years): 'Don't just do something, stand there.' There are a lot of wonderful people in the sector who are structurally discouraged from 'just standing there' - ie just pondering something in conversation and trying something out. Maybe this is just my quirky way of trying to articulate what Dan is getting at, but I'd sooner see it appreciated as a 'creative ideas issue' than a techology one.

Good point Kevin, although I think it applies to most of life these days, rather than just the voluntary sector.

I think there's definitely mileage in encouraging more social entrepreneurship. Not all of us in business are just in it for the money - I think a lot of businesses are started to try to change the world.

If charities could help entrepreneurs become aware of the problems that need solving, or help match passionate individuals to (embryonic) startups looking for staff then we'd hopefully get a lot of successful socially-aware businesses to promote a better way of working for all of us.

I think I need to find some better terms than "socially-aware" too :-)

Maybe we need to encourage people working in charities/NGOs to get along to business networking events, and vice-versa.

Assuming there are charity/NGO networking gatherings - that's something I don't know much about, but your blog is making a good start at educating me.

Kevin, Adrian - thanks
I think innovation often comes from cross-overs between disciplines, sectors - so how do we help that happen?

Hi David - long time no hear!

A fantastic post that a) reminds of what was wrong with the sector when I worked within it and b) has reinforced my faith in the social power of the web.

In terms of helping the cross-over between biz, NGOs, CEOS, communicators etc - I think long-term the process is inevitable (just look at current disintermediation) but in the short term, continue setting up and promoting on/offline networks/groups a la OpenRSA, spot savvy CEOs, PR people (*ahem*) etc and let them know of the opportunities for both parties.

I've had a couple of instances recently when the aims of informal NGOs/ civil society groups have overlapped with corporate objectives of clients..... nothing came of initial explorations but surely it's a matter of time?

You may be interested in an Australian state government sponsored study on the future of volunteering that looks at the community services sector. This sector is a segment of the larger "charity" sector.

The outcome is to better understand volunteering and how it may be nurtured for better results and more volunteers in the future. The study has wider applications for the charity and NGO sectors, especially in relation to narrative capture and use.

The study is using narrative with the sensemaking software from Cognitive Edge.

The study had an update last Friday, with Dave Snowden, and is still looking for people to tell their stories about volunteering - see my blog post for further details: http://bradhinton.wordpress.com/2007/12/10/on-narrative-sensemaking-and-volunteering/

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