- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Given the enormous complexity and scale of today’s social problems it may seem tough to pull out the crystal ball and begin looking to the future for answers. With shifts in public policy, unstable funding environments, and a new wave of social entrepreneurs working both locally and globally to address pressing problems, we know that business as usual is not an option. We also know it will take all sectors working together and thinking boldly to help envision a future that we would all hope to inherit.
Perhaps this is what Independent Sector had in mind when they set out to challenge the notion of “business as usual,” and engage individuals across the spectrum in a dialogue to address problems that we have been wrestling with as a sector for a long time. Whether it be the role of technology in social change, the power of cross sector partnerships, or the importance of building greater diversity that brings new and otherwise absent voices to the table -- all of these things play a role in reimagining the sector.
FutureLab, an Online Challenge for the Nonprofit Community to Chart a Vibrant 2020 is a national conversation to generate, develop, and share ideas to dramatically increase the impact of nonprofits and foundations over the next 10 years. The following question was asked, “What can we do right now, as a nonprofit community to create a better more vibrant 2020?” And while this is a bold question, the conversation and the sector will only be reimagined if people come together and participate.
The goals of Envisioning Our Future include:
- Identifying and developing high-impact ideas and insights that have the potential to transform the charitable community in the next 10 years.
- Generating and sharing publicly those insights and strategies so that organizations can contribute to and draw on collective wisdom to inform their own decision-making.
- Building networks and strengthening relationships by breaking down existing barriers and facilitating new connections around common goals.
So, take your hallway conversations or the big ideas generated around the water cooler and join the challenge. Offer your ideas, but more importantly, benefit from the sector’s collective thinking. In early 2010, the best ideas and insights will be summarized and published by Independent Sector so that leaders can draw from this thinking to inform their work and build a better 2020.
The idea of reinventing the nonprofit sector at a time when so many individual nonprofits are simply grasping to stay afloat is ambitious, and yet at no time in our history have we had so much information or so many tools at our disposal. We commend Diana Aviv and the team at Independent Sector for starting this important conversation in such a public way, and look forward to watching as the ideas are generated and discussed in November at Independent Sector's annual conference.
If you have already offered ideas as part of the FutureLab, let us know by sharing a link to your idea in comments below. If you have a big idea but aren’t sure what to do with it – share those as well, and lets help populate the FutureLab and keep this discussion going.