Monday, January 08, 2007

Standards of transparency

Esther Dyson, longtime tech industry insider, is now writing for the Huffington Post. Her introductory column here is a model of what disclosure means in the digital age. She reveals her direct investments, her board roles, her friendships, and her intention to keep this information up-to-date. She also points out that her opinion is shaped by and matters because of who she knows - her relationships both qualify her and disqualify her. Given the number of comments on her post, the world will be watching and she'll be 'found out' if she fails to note something.

Philanthropists and nonprofits - staff and board members - should read Dyson's column and consider how they meet (or fail to do so) these standards of transparency. And if they don't meet them, how might they? And when they don't meet them, who will be watching?

My disclosure: Esther Dyson and I have both served on the Advisory Board to CompuMentor. I am now on the Board of CompuMentor. I am a daily reader of HuffPo.

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