- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Yesterday, the Case Foundation had the pleasure of co-hosting the Civic Innovators Forum, a day-long event with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), the Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) and Splashlife, exploring the role of citizen-centered participation in cultivating civic engagement in communities and developing solutions to society’s pressing problems.
The discussions served as an engaging precursor to the 65th Annual National Conference on Citizenship. The day opened with a series of panels on citizen-centered solutions – the first moderated by Peter Levine, Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University and featured a conversation on how new models of engaging citizens at the local level can translate into better engagement and infrastructure for public engagement on a national level. The morning’s second panel featured a very lively debate and discussion about crowdsourced solutions, including prizes, challenges and open grantmaking programs, moderated by our own Michael Smith. You can imagine that with corporations continuing to jump into the open grantmaking foray, and much discussion of whether there is contest fatigue, both the panelists and audience shared what were clearly very passionately held views about the benefits and pitfalls of these types of programs.
The discussion then turned to the theme of corporate citizenship and how it can help drive civic engagement with a keynote from Stan Litow, President of IBM's Foundation. He shared insights into how IBM, which is well-known for its CSR programs and pro-bono efforts, has engaged its own employees in service. He expressed a sentiment that I always love to hear from corporate leaders - that there is a need for corporations to apply the same standard of excellence to their citizenship and philanthropic efforts as they do to their business initiatives.
The afternoon featured a discussion on the ways the public, private and philanthropic sectors can create more effective partnerships to help drive the service movement and catalyze civic action. As part of the afternoon sessions, our CEO, Jean Case, led an engaging panel with representatives from the past three administrations who walked us through successes and lessons learned from the creation of the Commission on National & Community Service (which evolved into the Corporation for National & Community Service) under President George H.W. Bush in 1990 to the first (and only) White House Conference on Philanthropy under President Bill Clinton, and the effects of 9/11 on the national service efforts under President George W. Bush. In the session, one of my own favorite quotes (said by Bush 41), was referenced: "...any definition of a successful life must include serving others."
With the theme of this year's NCoC focused on "BIG Citizenship: Citizens as Catalysts & Innovators," we decided to take a moment to ask some of today's great speakers to share their thoughts on what it will take to spark a BIG Citizenship revolution. Here are their thoughts:
So, now it's your turn to tell us - what do YOU think it will take to start a BIG Citizenship revolution?