May 23, 2004

Jon Husband and Charles Maclean

Have heard via email from Jon Husband of Wirearchy and Charles Bernard Maclean, PhD, Founder & Chief Committed Listener of PhilanthropyNow that they are coming to the Chicago Open Space Giving event. Will be an interesting and diverse group of thinkers and doers.

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May 06, 2004

Notio to Attend Giving Conf


I have registered for the Open Space Giving Confernce. I'm planning to stay at the Palmer House, and very elegant hotel that is (apparently) just across the street. Here is what I wrote as a personal intro:

I am an inventor, entrepreneur, consultant and catalyst. I'm looking for new opportunities to apply my talents to capital-W Work that has deeper meaning for myself and the world. In addition to serving as board president of a co-operative with 300 employees and $52 million in sales, I have started several businesses and seem to have an innate ability to help others achieve their goals. My wife and I have developed a presentation and group game for young adults called "Earn From The Heart(tm)" that's currently in beta.

A very interesting man. Should have ideas, and practical expereinces, to share with anyone thinking about starting a social venture with a double bottomline - profit and social benefit.

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April 27, 2004

Drake Zimmerman

I have had two long conversations by phone with Drake Zimmerman who has signed up for the Open Space Giving Conference in Chicago in July. Drake's firm, in Normal, Illinois, manages nearly $100 million of his client's money. With an MA in languages, along with a long list of financial, legal, and estate planning credentials, Drake sees his role as that of a "translator," who connects people's money with their meaning. Drake prefers to work with clients whose values he shares, and that includes a commitment to giving. We can all give, Drake believes, in ways big or small. By planning our finances in light of our ideals, we can a bigger difference more effectively, while meeting our many other obligations.

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April 14, 2004

Lenore Ealy of Donor Trust

Heard from Active Citizen, Lenore Ealy. She hopes to attend at least part of the Open Space Giving Conference. She would be very helpful as a bridge between and among conversations. Formerly with Heritage Foundation, she has a great network among conservative thinkers, foundations, and givers. I will reach out to the names she has given me.

Interestingly enough, as someone who works in financial services, most of my professional contacts are conservative, mainstream, or politically agnostic. I do have a rooting interest in progressive causes, but it is critical that we as a country treat each other's views with civility and an open mind. The pundits, talk radio, the tv talk shows, even the politicians, set a terrible example of people talking past one another. Have you ever seen one pundit change the other's mind? Say, "Good point, Jill, now I understand. All these years I have been so wrong. What a fool I have been!" Maybe we can do better, just by listening and conversing. Like human beings.

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April 08, 2004

John Engle of Beyond Borders

Heard from John Engle cofounder of Beyond Borders. He has been promoting discussion based education and servant leadership in Haiti since 1991. He and his colleagues focus on promoting the use of Open Space and Reflection Circles, also known as Touchstones. John is moving back to the US and is raising funds for the work in Haiti. He is also working as a consultant helping groups "to do good better."

He hopes to join us in Chicago and invites us to join his network April 30 and May 1 in Washington, D.C. for "The Do-Gooders Exchange: How can we do good better?" The meeting will use Open Space. Here's a link to the invitation.

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April 07, 2004

Marty Kearns

Talked with Marty Kearns founder of Green Media Toolshed. He has fascinating thoughts on entrepreneurial philanthropy and may have a case study he can share. He will attend the Chicago event. One of the best minds you could hope to meet in social venture philanthropy in support of progressive causes.

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Convening the Conversation

Topics of interest to me for Chicago: What is the proper relationship between strategic philanthropy and public policy? How can, or should, funders move America’s policy agenda? How can grassroots nonprofits raise and deploy more impactful gifts through “wisdom and community centered philanthropy”? How can small nonprofits (without a budget) engage the qualified advisors in that work on their behalf? Also, for those many citizens who are just about broke, what can we bring to effort? Such as passion, poetry, and prophecy, as well as our time? And how can we, whatever our fiances, best contribute to a more open and vibrant civil society, online and off?

An "Open Space for Giving" - How would you frame the issues?

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Convening the Conversation

For the Giving Conference, Tracy Gary proposes the following topics for discussion: How the new economy, and diverse economies, leverage new spirits of giving, sharing and caring (caritas). We will share vehicles that we are engaged in and pursue those that we want to know more about, i.e., venture and adventure philanthropy, socially responsible investing, economic development, planned giving for change making, new models of money and sharing, such as bartering and open source, and old models to reinvigorate such as coaching and mentoring. But mostly we explore how to be name what we each need to be even more impactful in the path we have taken to make change and then help each other become more resourceful and effective. She will be (Hurrah!) with us in Chicago.

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RE: Gerry Gleason

Heard from Gerry, a technologist who is one of our conveners for the Chicago meeting. He proposes the following dialogues:

What can citizens creating and protecting the commons learn from the open source software movement? How can we go beyond digital freedoms and create an ethical global commons to share knowledge, stories, art and theater? What legal and organizational structures will promote the common good by principle and design? How can inexpensive, or free, technology amplify our effectiveness as nonprofit leaders, teachers, designers and citizens? What technologies can effectively connect citizens across the globe and empower grassroots networks of citizens to recover power of their own lives? How can we make it self-sustaining with a mix of for-profit social ventures and non-profit citizen's gatherings in a new spirit of stewardship of public and private capital?

I hope he will reach out to his fellow free-spirits in the tech community. Both their culture of open source and open society, and also their technical skills are much needed, if we are to organize ourselves face to face and on the net. With Gerry on the team, the end of the conference will be its beginning, as the conversations of democracy ripple through the net, in a self-amplifying circuit. Those who are not techies will find that their ideas, expressed face to face at the conference, will begin to resonate all over the world, not through the managed media, but through a medium that is fundamentally peer to peer.

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RE: Lisa Tracy

Talked on Friday at length with Lisa Tracy about community centered philanthropy for social change. Lisa is one of the few to combine a gift for the liberal art of the open question with technical financial planning skills. Lisa hopes to attend our conference. She may also reach out to the Chicago progressive community. I hope she will; if we, as conveners, can rally small clusters of friends, we can introduce those friends to one another, online and off, and so organize ourselves to better effect.

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RE: Laura Trippi

Heard from Laura Trippi. She may attend part of our gathering, July 9 and 10. Met Laura at Alex Golub's Digital Genres Conference. Her presentation on "Netwar," based on a Rand study of the battlefield of the future, was the high point of the meeting for me. Gifthub is partly a response to what I learned from her: That strategic advantage belongs not to hierarchical command and control models - even in the military -- but to "many pieces (in David Weinberger's phrase) loosely joined." Gifthub hopes to connect small autonomous units (citizen groups, nonprofits, thoughtful funders) with resources most often tapped, hitherto, by the plain grey forces of stasis. What works for war, works even better for a peaceful and open civil society.

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