Monday, February 14, 2011

Following up on Ten for the Next Ten

I had a great time on Wednesday leading a webinar hosted by Guidestar on my Ten Predictions for the Next Ten Years post. Thanks to the ~1700 people who tuned in!

The twitter #tenforten discussion was fabulous, I've seen some blog posts riffing off the discussion, and the slides and audio are online here.

The question and answer section of the discussion was not long enough. So here are some parts of the discussion we didn't get to on Wednesday. There's more Q & A on the GuideStar Trust blog - you can log into that part of the conversation here.

Prediction #2: Gaming Pedagogy will become a frame for social change

What will NPOs need to do in the face of a gaming culture to engage donors that they may not be doing presently?


Gaming pedagogy is all about rapid feedback, fun content, "leveling up." People who are playing games are thoroughly absorbed - focused and energized to solve the problem/challenge presented by the game. Nonprofits need to be visible where the gamers are (in games), use gaming tactics like rapid feedback and fun challenges to engage donors - not just to get their money but to generate ideas, provide services, expand the community. Check out Jane McGonigal's Reality Is Broken for great examples. Also see the incredible work of GamesForChange,* GamesForHealth, and SeriousGames.

Prediction of a possible backlash to market solutions as source of social change


I didn't understand the reference to backlash to market solutions/micro-finance. Can you clarify?


This comes from observations about microfinance and for-profit colleges in the United States. Both cases include several egregious examples of market providers emphasizing their financial return over their social missions. You can read about the microfinance issues here and here and about the for profit colleges here and here. While we've seen a steady increase in support for market based solutions to social goods, there has always been an important argument that market solutions won't hold all the answers. (Many argue an inherent tautology - as many social challenges are a result of market failures they say it is a fallacy to rely on market solutions. I think the reality is more nuanced - our social ills - from poverty to hunger and so on are a result of failures on all fronts - governments, markets, individuals and the social sector.) As market solutions pass the point of "marginal" and become mainstream their shortcomings will become more visible, their critics louder, and scandals within their ranks more often used to attempt to discredit the entire sector.

I've got some more Q & A over on the Guidestar Trust blog - thanks for joining me last week and check out the rest of the conversation here.

Please ask any other questions in the comments below or on the GuideStar Trust blog and thanks again for joining in the discussion -

*I'm on the Board of GamesForChange

1 comment:

Colleen said...

My key area of nonprofit interest is museums and cultural centers- and a big part of the missions of these institutions is to educate and inspire audiences and networks. That said, I was immediately captivated by your prediction #2 (Gaming pedagogy will become a frame for social change). Education (and advocacy) is the mission of many nonprofits-- but prediction #2 doesn't seem too far off for museums. I think you're right and I'm looking forward to seeing an increase in games for change.