Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Foundations and poverty

Philanthropy has taken a bit of heat lately for not doing enough about poverty. First came the Google report that only a small percentage of philanthropic giving goes to poverty alleviation, either domestically or internationally.

Then comes a rejuvenated public discussion (I'd call it a debate but I don't think its happening broadly enough yet) about tax breaks for charitable giving and whether or not they should be aligned in some way with broad public priorities or more generous for poverty and human welfare than for, say, education or the arts.

And I am just ending 3 days in Santa Monica spent at the Professional Leaders Project ThinkTank3, where a select slice of American Jewry is discussing and modeling and creating leadership opportunities for young adults (20 somethings). In this context the discussion of philanthropy and community priorities came up over and over again.

Coincidentally, a few large American foundations (Annie E Casey, EOS) also chose today to launch a new Spotlight on poverty that will attempt to bring the issue to the forefront of the 2008 Presidential campaign. This is a somewhat similar goal to the Strong American Schools campaign funded by the Gates and Broad Foundations to bring education to greater prominence in the discussion.

Check out the Spotlight on Poverty website for a one-stop resource with links to community data, local and national poverty fighting efforts, political viewpoints and platforms as expressed by candidates of both major political parties. Perhaps this effort will join forces with 10Questions, CurrentTV, ThinkMTV, MySpace, and the YouTube debates and actually demand political action.

You can submit information on local efforts, access databases and resources, and follow the discussion as it progresses through the campaign. I hope to get some video footage to post over at the Giving Channel - and look forward to seeing the conversation and discussion provoke engaged, effective action.

Social enterprise on tv, web, next door

What are two of the hottest ideas of 2007?

How about social enterprise and online videos? In the civil sector, 2007 might go down as the year social entrepreneurs went mainstream. As for every sector, 2007 is the year YouTube went from 0 to 100 million users and $1.65 billion and made everyone a video star.

Now these two big ideas have come together. No less a respected force than PBS has launched a (very worthwhile) new series on social enterprise. Its part of the regular programming of NOW. It was, almost predictably, launched with a YouTube video. PBS has also built out a very useful and engaging web site, a blog called Better World and a contest to nominate a social enterpreneur (entries accepted until June 8).

PBS is not the only source of online video about social entrepreneurs. SocialEdge, a project of the Skoll Foundation, which has played a crucial role in bringing attention and resources to social enterprise, also has blogs, videos, and podcasts. And because old and new can happily coexist, my local NPR station (radio equivalent of PBS) is brought to me by "listeners like me and SocialEdge, an online community for social entrepreneurs." covers social enterprise from a variety of viewpoints, including that of The Institute of OneWorldHealth, the relationship between social enterprise and democracy, and from the perspectives of individual social entrepreneurs.

Even the venerable Harvard Business School is presenting its work on social enterprise by streaming video. The University of Michigan has a video archive on social enterprise. The Social Enterprise Reporter has a video and radio archive.

A search for "social enterprise" on YouTube brings up 75 videos. A Google video search finds another 29. These are definitely two trends that fit each other. Video helps spread the ideas of social enterprise, makes it personal, engaging, and - as in the case of organizations such as Witness - can also be a tool for the enterprise itself.

Next thing you know, there will be a social enterprise video game. Whats that? There is already? Of course there is, its called Village. - curating ideas

I've posted before on the value of putting conference videos online. Today, The New York Times picked up the story on the new TED site under the headline "Giving away information, but increasing revenue."

Bruno Guissani at LunchoverIP went even deeper on the topic, looking at several conferences that have made uploaded video a critical part of their membership, learning, and community building strategies. Guissani's post includes links to great resources including TED, Pop!Tech, LIFT and D:AllThingsDigital, which launches today. He ends his post with this observation:

"This burgeoning of conference podcasting worldwide suggests a few thoughts:

  • One: great ideas and knowledge are now shared freely as never before, available for people to use and share: I've heard of teachers using talks as part of their syllabus; corporate managers burning them on CDs and giving them to their staff or using them during team retreats; etc.
  • Two: all of those conferences seem to be doing it for the same reason: TED believes "in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world"; Pop!Tech's Zolli (quote above) talks about "harnessing the power of visionary ideas" to "build a better world"; LIFT's goal is to "connect people (...) and propel their conversations into the broader world to improve life and work".
  • Three: the multiplication of conference videos may open a niche for a meta-curator role, picking the best of the best."

Which is where comes in - it is a curated broadcaster of idea-centric videos.

Organized by channels (politics, art, philanthropy, etc); linked to thoughtful documents and blogs, connected to "Think Tanks," and edited to be searchable by text, immediately embeddable in any site, swappable with other distribution channels (YouTube, etc.), and emailable. Fora has content partnerships with major content and conference producers such as the World Affairs Council, Commonwealth Club and Global Philanthropy Forum. It also partners with think tanks and independent bookstores. Other potential partnerships include NGOs, foundations, foundation affinity groups, nonprofit associations, libraries, speaker networks, and on and on. Check out and see for yourself.