Thursday, December 27, 2012

Philanthropy Buzzword 2012.10 X

Here's the full list of Philanthropy Buzzwords for 2012 as reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

(Headline from The New York Times, November 30, 2012)

X is a great buzzword.

In its algebraic context it means "unknown" as in 3X + 59 = 1217.

In its arithmetic context it means "multiply" as in 2 X 2 = 4.

In a geographic or literary context, X always marks the spot where the treasure can be found.

(Photo from Rob Myers)

In David Brooks' world, X means a consumption tax.

In its philanthropic context, X has come to mean "cool," "community-oriented," and "open." Think of: 
  • The X Prize (Revolution through competition)
  • TEDx (Independently organized, global and local)
  • EdX (The future, free, online)
X can also mean eXchange - as in Impact Investing Exchange Asia (IIx) or NeXii
Here is the full list of 2012 buzzwords:
10) X
9) MOOCs
8) Hackathon
7) Fiscal Cliff
6) Resilience
5) Social Welfare Organization
4) Sensemaking
3) Data Scientist
2) Flash Mob Philanthropy
1) Data

I have to say that X might be my favorite buzzword, right up there with last year's #10 - #.
Geoffrey Nunberg, linguist, told NPR that "Big Data" should have been the word of the year, not YOLO (You Only Live Once). I'm glad we started there.

Have a a wonderful new year and I'll see you all in 2013.

Remember - the Blueprint 2013: Philanthropy and the Social Economy will be available for a FREE download on January 7th at

Buzzword Bonus: And just for fun - how about we revisit "Disrupt" as an uber-buzzword of the year!? 2012 brought us an abundance of resilient buzzword possibilities. (Hat tip to @JuliaThornton for reminding me.)

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