Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde

18.08.2017 Racism, white supremacy, and civil society

This letter, titled White People Show Us, from Angela Glover Blackwell and Michael McAfee of PolicyLink makes central what many would prefer to push aside. Racism is a problem created by white people. People of color suffer, but white people are the ones who created it, benefit from it, perpetuate it, and, I believe, also suffer from it. None of us are free when some are not. It's not enough to say this, we need to act to change it, persistently and continuously.

Civil society - associational spaces where we voluntarily come together to do things for others - is home to some of the most powerful forces for equity and anti-racism work. Historically, it is here, in civil society, that political power is built, change is crafted, protest and alternatives are envisioned, and pressure on dominant governing systems - which in the U.S. have always been tools for advancing white interests - builds until those systems change. It is long, arduous, daily work and power never cedes without pressure.

Systems change is particularly hard when the same rules that protect the rights of people to focus on building an equitable society and fighting racism protect the rights of people doing the opposite. Free speech and assembly - two universal human rights (and Constitutionally protected rights in the U.S.) - apply to groups with a range of views. This is by design. As is often noted, freedom of speech only means something if it protects the "speech you hate," not just the things that are easy to say. The right to peaceable assembly applies to groups on both sides of an issue. And a right to due process to determine what is protected and what is not sits alongside these rights, to make sure that lines can be drawn and limits set. Violence and the intent to harm are not protected. Not all speech is protected, and when it is, it's protected from government interference, not private counter speech, or action by non-government actors to determine that certain speech is not to be supported. The right to association is for peaceable assembly - it is not a right to gather to cause harm.

Civil society depends on these rights. It is strengthened by the intentional divisiveness that these rights encompass. In majority run democracies there are, and always will be, many minorities. It is the right of these minority opinions to be expressed - safely and peaceable - that buttress and support and legitimize the actions of the majority-run systems. When any powerful actor (elected, appointed, or market-driven) limits the right of minorities to organize and speak, we fast track out of democracy.

One of the biggest challenges today is that the Internet is an underlying space for civil society but we haven't figured out how to enforce our nation-bound, values-shaped analog norms and rules in this global, hybrid commercial/public space. Internet intermediaries (at many levels) host our discourse, our efforts at organizing, and our protests. They are not democratically elected governments, not signatories to human rights declarations, not publicly accountable as agents of the people.

They may not have chosen this role, but they have it - they intermediate free speech and assembly for people around the globe. In order to exist, civil society's fight for these fundamental rights now takes place on two fronts, facing both governments and Internet intermediaries. While this recognition will be new to some, there are people and associations that have been working on these issues for years, have developed procedures and policies for dealing with these issues, and can help the rest of think this through.

It's painful and ugly to want those with whom we passionately disagree to have the same rights as we do. Passionate disagreement is one thing. Violence and intent to harm are different, and due process is required for determining when this is the case. The intention to exclude, harm, dominate, reject, subjugate, or abridge the rights of others matters. When speech or assembly prepares for, expects, and provokes violence, violence often happens, and lots of people pay attention.

That momentary attention is important, but this is not the only way that racism subverts our society, nor is it the most frequent or possibly even the most damaging. Systems and rules built on racist assumptions and designed to perpetuate inequity are all around us, all the time, doing damage and needing to be undone.  Groups that gather armed and shielded, those that violently beat or murder people with whom they disagree, and actions taken to limit other people's rights to vote - these are all racist acts of violence. The first three are not acts of civil speech or assembly. The last one is not legal.

These are not easy issues. They are not limited to - or even fully exemplified by - horrific, public, violent acts of terror and physical harm. Civil society is home to many groups that know this best; thoughtful, informed experts who've worked to protect civil rights and liberties and those that work to fight racism and other hateful acts in digital spaces. It's time we recognized how much civil society writ large needs these groups, their work, and these rights.

17.08.2017 Hope for Change Buried in the Heap


The economic growth and low cost of electronics, spurred on by rapid technological advancement, has created a major problem with e-waste in developing nations. Nairobi, East Africa’s tech hub, is drowning in a sea of the world’s, and its own, e-waste. Meanwhile, Kenya’s burgeoning economy is creating a steady stream of new waste to battle.

Safaricom’s M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer and payment service started in Kenya in 2007, has had remarkable economic and societal effects on Kenyan households. Daily consumption and a marked migration of women from farming to business occupations are just a couple examples of the effects of financial inclusion. But increased mobile phone penetration and a blossoming middle class is exacerbating Kenya’s waste management crisis.

The informal market of scavengers and buyers of electronic scrap is an unfortunate reality in Kenyan slums, where residents pick through the huge trash mountains nearby.

“Conservative estimates assess the volumes churned out in Kenya as electronic waste is 20,000 tonnes annually,” said Charles Sunkuli, Principal Secretary for Environment.

For the poor living in these slums, bad waste management and weak laws make dump sites akin to goldmines. Getting to the most valuable components and materials is dangerous work. Scavengers break down parts and burn the rest, exposing themselves to toxic fumes and harmful materials like lead or mercury.

Two companies, WEEE Centre and Ecopost, are serving as wave breakers against this swelling environmental and public health threat.

WEEE Centre

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Centre (WEEE Centre) in Nairobi is the only registered e-waste recycler in Kenya and provides free recycling services to individuals and local organizations.

In 2016, WEEE Centre processed 200 tonnes of e-waste — nearly half the weight of the International Space Station. And yet, the WEEE Centre can only process about 1 percent of Kenya’s total yearly e-waste production.

“The proliferation of e-waste in the country is a crisis,” said Boniface Mbithi, general manager of the center. “The biggest obstacle to better management in Kenya is the lack of regulation.”

The WEEE Centre began as a department of Computers For Schools Kenya, an organization that distributes refurbished computers to impoverished schools, homes for street children, community centers and other public institutions. The organization used its once humble processing plant to safely breakdown end-of-life electronic equipment for repurposing. But as Nairobi grew into the tech hub it is today, it’s heaps of e-waste also grew. In 2012, the WEEE Centre was registered as a separate entity and continues to take on Kenya’s epidemic of mishandled e-waste.

With roots in a tech-based education initiative, the WEEE Centre seeks to be more than a processing plant. Since gaining independence, the WEEE Centre has continued to train and educate employees, individuals and enterprises on the public health risks of improper e-waste disposal.

Materials that are too hazardous are shipped to other countries. The WEEE Centre sells recycled plastic to vendors in Kenya and overseas.


The WEEE Centre provides e-waste plastic to Ecopost, a company that repurposes plastic waste into eco-friendly signpost and fencing for businesses and agriculture. Former banker Lorna Rutto founded the Nairobi-based plastic recycler to decrease deforestation and provide jobs for local waste pickers.

"I am actually turning the trash into cash while creating job opportunities, especially for the youth and women who are generally marginalized,” Rutto said. “Nothing makes me happier."

Rutto grew up in in the Kenyan slum of Kaptembwa. The demoralizing effects of extreme poverty and health risks from living beside mountains of refuse influenced her passion for social and environmental good.

Soon after finishing college with a degree in commerce, Rotto began her career in banking. Having lived through poverty, she wanted a safe bet but didn’t feel fulfilled working on financial structures and systems.

"Something felt wrong; I was working on systems and structures and not with people and science, which had been my other passion at school,” she said. “I wasn’t comfortable about it."

A couple years later, she quit the banking world to tackle Kenya’s waste crisis.

Since 2010, EcoPost has recycled over 3,300 tonnes of plastics. To save you the math, that’s 40 times heavier than The International Space Station. Over the next 10 years, the company believes it can recycle 23,030 tonnes. Ecopost currently employs a little over 40 workers but intends on scaling up to meet that goal.

“[I want] to transform Africa’s waste in wealth,” Rutto said.

Despite waste management problems, Kenya continues to welcome the digital era. With companies like Google shepherding tech innovation through tech hub partnerships, Kenya is solidifying its place as the nexus of Africa’s tech world. That’s a good thing. It can increase government accountability, boost financial inclusion, and improve literacy rates. But a poisoned environment is devastating to communities and a nation is nothing without its people.

17.08.2017 iDE Ghana is tackling unemployment and environmental health with toilets

A mark of a truly impactful organization is the ability to influence multiple aspects of a community’s well-being with one action. iDE Ghana is aiming to do just that, with an unlikely tool: toilets!
The nonprofit works in the rural regions of northern Ghana to help improve financial access, nutrition, gender equality, resilience to climate change and sanitation. 
Kiva recently partnered with iDE Ghana to implement the SAMA SAMA toilet project, which  aims to distribute 61,560 toilets to 3 of the most marginalized regions of northern Ghana by 2020.
One way the program will increase scalable, affordable sanitation products in the area, such as pour-flush toilets, is by training local entrepreneurs to manufacture, design and sell these products themselves. The hope is that in doing so iDE Ghana will increase formal employment opportunities, foster entrepreneurship and have a positive impact on the communities’ health and environment.
 When toilets aren’t available, communities often use a pit in the ground, resulting in human waste mixing with the environment and contaminating local water sources. This can cause waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and lead to cases of malnutrition. 
Only 9.6% of households in rural Ghana have improved toilet facilities, according to the 2014 Domestic Household Survey in Ghana, whereas 34.4% of households have no facilities whatsoever. These demographics represent the significant need for more hygienic technology and infrastructure that iDE works to fulfill. 
So far, iDE Ghana has successfully recruited over 100 clients and provided loans to 68 borrowers for pour-flush toilets since the project’s inception in 2016. Similar to Kiva’s mission, iDE Ghana finds that providing loans to buy these products has a much greater effect on adoption of the new technology compared to simply donating the products.  
In addition, iDE Ghana uses a user-tested strategy to encourage adoption of the sanitation systems that incorporates the cultural and environmental context of northern Ghana. Measurement, evaluation and learning teams make this strategy possible by continuously collecting data and maintaining a long-term relationship with the community in order to deeply understand its needs.

17.08.2017 Hyena man

The pros and cons of safari tourism in Ethiopia

17.08.2017 Hyena Man leads to Entrepreneurial Business and a new kind of Tourism


One night, as my family and I were visiting the city of Harar, one of Ethiopia’s most popular UNESCO sites, we traveled to see one of the ancient city’s most popular tourist stops: a small home where a family fed wild hyenas.

Yusuf Mume Saleh, known as the Hyena Man, began feeding wild hyenas 30 years ago when he noticed a hyena hovering around as he fed his dog. When he offered some of the meat scraps to the hyena, his kindness soon became a source of income.

Thirty years later, tourists watch in amazement as Yusuf’s son, Abbas, puts on a nightly show of feeding a pack of hyenas. Although only a small group of tourists are able to watch Abbas’ show, it is one of a growing number of entrepreneurial businesses that mix tourism and East Africa’s amazing wildlife.

Safari Tourism: Ethical and Unethical Practices 

Safari tourism has helped build the economies of many African countries. However, there are many critics of safari tourist destinations, as many of them fail to ethically maintain their sites. Some safari operators and facilities allow visitors to maintain an incredibly close distance and even physically interact with the wild animals, and have mass bred these animals in highly stressful environments.

More than a dozen wildlife reserves across Ethiopia use projects within the reserves help preserve the wildlife community as well as the neighboring communities through optimizing tourism revenue to support local communities. The Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia and the African Wildlife Foundation have been working closely with local communities to seize the opportunity to generate income by improving tourist accommodations and experiences that are already provided by current guesthouses. 

One of the biggest projects that wildlife conservationist are trying to accomplish in Ethiopia is expanding the country’s conservation tourism through decreasing communities reliance on natural resources. The Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia is home to the Gelada Baboon and the Ethiopian wolf, found in no other country. Local communities still rely on natural resources like unsustainable cattle and crop farming for their livelihood which is shrinking the homes of the Gelada Baboon and Ethiopian wolf. The Bale Mountain Lodge has been working to reduce the problem by providing alternative sources of livelihood to local communities and working to engage local people in the conservation efforts.

The Hyena Man: My Own Experience 

As soon as my family drove up the the driveway of Yusef's home and after a few minutes of negotiating the fee to see the wild hyenas, Yusef took a seat in the middle of his front yard with a chair and several buckets of raw meat. Yusef began to shout the names of the hyenas and whistle into the darkness. My family and other tourists were skeptical if he could really call on the hyenas, but after a few minutes of whistling and shouting, we saw several bright green eyes reflecting in the darkness behind Yusef.

Everyone was terrified but also so curious of how Yusef was able to call on the hyenas. One by one, the hyenas came closer to Yusef as he fed them thick slices of meat from a stick he was holding in his hand. The hyenas payed no attention to any of the tourists that were watching them—all they concentrated on was Yusef and the meat they were consuming.

Feeding wild hyenas and ultimately creating a closer relationship with hyenas has not only helped Yusuf and his family keep their cattle alive from hyena attacks, but also significantly reduced the amount of hyena attacks throughout the city of Harar. Yusuf’s son, Abbas, has now taken over the family business of feeding hyenas and monetized on the family business, making their home one of the most popular tourist destinations in Harar.

Having the opportunity to see wild hyenas in the front yard of a local Harari man's home and even being able to feed a hyena myself was one of the most spectacular moments in my life. It was remarkable to see the close and trusting relationship between a man and beasts. From a hobby of simply feeding random hyenas, Yusuf and now his son have been able to support his family and create a family business, while also becoming one the most well known men in Ethiopia.

17.08.2017 Nigeria - A Market for Fish Smoking Technology

Opportunity beckons an article on the fish processing space, Victor Ekwealor reporting Techpoint:
image via
On one hot sunny afternoon, I visited the Asegere Fish Market in the Makoko Area of Lagos State. There, different shapes, sizes and variants of the proteinous aquatic delicacies summoned my alter ego; a gluttonous chef. Asides the prospect of a delicious seafood Edikaikong soup, one unsavoury scene caught and held my attention.

In a corner of the market, 30-year old Asake* is trying to regulate the fire under her fish laden kiln by taking out excess pieces of wood and the stove is belching out clouds of smoke in defiance to this action...[more]

16.08.2017 Artificial Intelligence and the Developing World

Ben Goertzel founder of Aidyia Holdings writes:
...One question that is not asked often enough is: What are the implications of AI, robotics and other advanced technologies for the developing world? Will they serve more strongly to exacerbate global wealth and income inequality, or to remedy it? How might these technologies help the world’s neediest? And what unique contributions might the skills, insights and values of people in the developing world make to the growth of these technologies and their impact on humanity as a whole?
More here

16.08.2017 #Blockstream Satellite: Broadcasting #Bitcoin from Space

Blockstream, the leader in blockchain and financial cryptography, today announced the availability of Blockstream Satellite, a new service that broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from a group of communication satellites in space to almost everyone on the planet. Blockstream Satellite enables further participation in Bitcoin, including the billions of people in the world without internet access and people in places where bandwidth prices make participating cost prohibitive. With today's announcement, Blockstream Satellite is available across two thirds of the Earth's landmass, and additional coverage areas will soon come online to reach almost every person on the planet by the end of the year...[more]
via Bitcoin Magazine

15.08.2017 A Different Story from the Middle East: Entrepreneurs Building an Arab Tech Economy

Christopher M. Schroeder writing in Tech Review:
Middle Eastern startups are overcoming cultural and other barriers to tap into a growing local taste for technology, from Bitcoin wallets to digital publishing.
More here

15.08.2017 10 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

We are beyond the point where we can deny the immense influence of Instagram. Though people originally believed that Instagram was mostly for individual accounts, we’ve come to learn the marketing opportunities it holds for businesses and companies. Using the platform for your business can boost growth, awareness, engagement, and interaction with your target audience,…

The post 10 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers appeared first on Return On Now.

11.08.2017 High Tech Start-up Finds Use for Dangerous Waste


There’s going to be a storm of electric vehicle batteries that will reach the end of their life in a few years, and we’re positioning ourselves to be ready for it.

Amrit Chandan, Co-Founder & CEO at Aceleron

Dr. Amrit Chandan of Aceleron, a British startup looking to transform end of life batteries, has won the Hawley award for his project called NuCycle. NuCycle helps to solve the problem of energy storage in developing countries through recycling perceived “end of life” lithium ion batteries found in electric cars.

Hybrid and total electric cars are all the rage. The number of electric vehicles on the road worldwide reached 2 million in 2016. Due to improvements to engine performance, vehicle design, and boasts of reduced CO2 emissions, electric cars have become attractive to eco-weary folk and car aficionados alike. But electric car batteries present a problem to environmental safety due to slow innovation and increased demand. Once a battery reaches about 80 percent of its initial capacity it is no longer suitable for average vehicle performance requirements. However, recycling procedures and legislation aren’t yet up to snuff for combating end-of-life batteries. Only 50 percent of EV battery components are required to be recycled and closed loop recycling of batteries is not required.

Chandan seeks to use these batteries as a means of providing reliable power to schools and hospitals in the developing world. With the continued success of Tesla and automobile companies like Volvo planning to abandon internal combustion engines, the NuCycle project has the potential to provide power to millions still in the dark.

Read more on the topic of electric car battery waste at The GuardianScientific American, and Financial Times.

09.08.2017 How to Write For A B2B Audience in 2017

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

Writing is writing, right? And compelling copy always converts, no matter the audience, right? No, not really. There’s a massive difference between writing for B2C and B2B audiences – because the audiences themselves are quite different. Here are just a few ways how: B2B audiences are less varied – in terms of preferences, demographics, desires,…

The post How to Write For A B2B Audience in 2017 appeared first on Return On Now.

09.08.2017 Winners of Scaling Impact Fund Announced


Back in May this year, we wrote to you directly from Bangalore, India where we not only convened some of our Ashoka Fellows and strategic partners for a ‘Globalizer’ Summit, but we also launched the first of its kind ‘Scaling Impact Fund’ - a €250,000 award dedicated to providing investment to Fellows working to scale their impact for transformative change in the apparel industry

With women comprising over 80% of apparel workers worldwide, gender justice is also critical to achieving this goal. The Gender Justice Award, as part of the Scaling Impact Fund, reflects this as an area of strategic focus when scaling impact for systemic change.

“We want to reward innovators that are challenging harmful gender norms, said Kavita N Ramdas, Strategy Advisor at MADRE & former CEO, Global Fund for Women, and one of our expert judges, “and ultimately to transform gender relations by engaging both women and men as agents of change and strengthening women’s voice and leadership.”

Today, after months of strategy development and refinement, we are thrilled to announce those Fellows whose impact focused scaling strategies impressed and inspired our panel of expert judges.  

The winners are:

Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of CanopyStyle - for the Impact Award of €100,000  

Nicole’s strategy is to transform the environmental impact of clothing on forests by working with brands and producers to eliminate controversial and endangered forest fibre sources through shifting sourcing policies, and kick-starting commercial scale production of circular economy alternatives. Watch Nicole speaking about her work and CanopyStyle

Rebecca van Bergen, Founder and Executive Director, Nest - for the Gender Justice Award of €30,000  

Rebecca’s strategy focuses on building a new model and process around ethical compliance for artisans and home workers in the informal economy, the vast majority of whom are women. Nest is creating an industry-wide set of standards that map to affordable remediation solutions.

Benjamin Cokelet, Founder and Executive Director, PODER - for the Peer Award of €25,000  

Ben’s strategy for scaling impact is to launch MMTAP, a platform to improve conditions for maquiladora workers, starting with garment manufacturers, catalysing a race to the top by reducing information asymmetries and eliminating plausible deniability of multinational companies brand executives. Watch Benjamin speaking about his work with PODER.

Hazer Gul, Founder and Executive Director, Islampur Cottage Industry Association (ICIA) - for the Peer Award of €25,000

Hazer’s strategy is to create a social, cultural, political and economic space for the artisans of cottage industries in Islampur, Pakistan. The role of ICIA is the benevolent ‘middleman’ - empowering weavers with the information, skills and capital they need to better negotiate with the existing middle men, in order to retain more economic value.


Thank you to all our wonderful Globalizer Fellows, and to our judges Kavita Ramdas, Philanthropy Changemaker and Feminist Activist; Doug Cahn, Principal, The Cahn Group; Aditi Wanchoo, Senior Manager - Development Partnerships Social & Environmental Affairs, APAC at Adidas Group; Rizwan Tayabali, CEO at Make A Difference; Nadine Freeman, Co-Director Ashoka Globalizer

04.08.2017 Ramblers Way is Sustainable Clothing Made in the USA

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — My father’s mother, Grandma Hazel, was a modest, practical woman. Truth be told, as an adolescent I found her to be obnoxious, opinionated and stuck in her ways. (Twenty-five years later, and I’m pretty certain after a glass of wine or two, my inner circle may describe me with these same three words.) Her home was simply decorated, her fashion sense non-existent; she couldn’t care less about trends or technology. Every Christmas, she’d politely ask what I would like to receive. Eagerly, I crafted a detailed list of apparel and accessories: Adidas sneakers, tube tops and fringe vests from Urban Outfitters. Every Christmas, she routinely bought me boring, useful items like school supplies and savings bonds. She was polite for the sake of politeness; there was zero intention of indulging me in my “extravagant” requests.

“We owned two dresses,” she constantly reminded me. “One for church and one for school. Each dress had its own hook. We wore these dresses until the hem rose above the knee and then passed them to the next sister.” Every time she told this story, I rolled my eyes. Every time I rolled my eyes, she’d say,

“Someday you’ll understand the value of quality versus quantity.” Dramatic eye rolling proceeded again.

My grandmother passed away 15 years ago, but almost every time I consider purchasing a new dress or pair of shoes—or mostly anything—I hear her telling me this story. And I pause: Do I need this dress? Will it pill and fray in one season? Am I living my values with the purchase of this dress?

Ramblers Way, a new clothing line, pauses, too.  When Tom Chappell, co-founder of Tom’s of Maine, decided to launch an apparel company, he proposed to form a values-driven company that my grandmother would have appreciated. Ramblers Way, a three-generation family company, pauses to consider quality, natural and human resources in every aspect of the supply chain, production and marketing. In fact, this is how they define themselves as a sustainable, apparel company. In an interview with Nick Armentrout, the Supply Chain Leader, I was reminded that there is hope for the infamously “dirty” fashion industry—but only if our personal orientation to clothing shifts. Ramblers Way should help with that shift.

“Traditionally, clothes were expensive, hand-made items that were treasured,” explains Armentrout. “The modern textile and apparel industries are large polluters and generators of post-consumer waste, in large part due to the push to create fast, cheap and disposable clothing. Discussions about sustainable textiles shed light on the hidden costs of cheap clothing—like the often harmful impact on people in the developing world. It is vital that clothing companies adopt emerging green textile technologies, and help develop solutions to their environmental impacts. Likewise, consumers need to demand greater accountability from brands and manufacturer.”

A 180 degree turn away from fast-fashion, Ramblers Way produces all of their clothing in America, with a close pulse on every stakeholder in the process. From how the sheep are cared for the wool that goes into their sweaters, to the use of sustainably grown, Californian Pima cotton, Ramblers Way rigorously pursues the higher road. They work with their suppliers to reduce environmental impact. For example, some of their partners use primary and secondary waste treatment facilities to return the water to natural bodies of water in accordance with all local and national (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) water treatment regulations.

Oh, and did I mention they are committed to transparency? Anyone in the apparel business will tell you this is an incredibly rare value choice. Not only do they have firsthand relationships with the ranches and factories across their supply chain, they are open about their journey. For example, Armentrout acknowledged that organic cotton is a more sustainable choice than Pima cotton. Organic cotton production uses less energy and water, helps sequester CO2 in the soil, and produces 94% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally grown cotton. Ramblers Way isn’t there yet, but they are working on it. They hope to build a 100% US supply chain for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified, organic cotton. As a targeted conscious consumer, their transparency about “not being there yet and there are better choices” means just as much to me as does the organic cotton. This proves the integrity of the brand, the humanity of the journey.

The big, hairy audacious goal of Ramblers Way is be the leading sustainable apparel brand, always improving their practices, always learning to make beautiful, timeless clothing.

“The more we can do to advance responsible, accountable practices through our journey, the better,” says Armentrout.

If my grandma Hazel were still alive and still asking for my Christmas lists, I think she may have considered a dress from Ramblers Way a practical gift. And maybe, fifteen years later, I’d pause to ask myself if I even needed it in the first place.

Read the story of the Ramblers Way supply chain. Pause first and then decide if you need to buy a new dress. Get social with them.



Friday, August 4, 2017 - 6:00pm

04.08.2017 Aligning your tech with your mission (graphic)

Yesterday I wrote about aligning your organization's tech with your mission and values. This has to do with making sure that your organizational approaches to privacy, consent, sharing, data use, etc. carry through from your board through to your software licenses.

Here's the "back of the napkin" from a conversation about this with some funders and nonprofits.

And here's yesterday's post. Here's a related post on digital literacy.

The tools and policies on are designed to help.

02.08.2017 Aligning organizational technology with mission

The liminal space where two or more culturescollide is often painfully obvious to those who are not part of the mainstream group and an invisible, unfelt line for those on the side with power. The edges where the two meet, or the quickness with which the dominant group’s demands, norms and laws slice into others is painfully familiar to those on the sharp side of the razor. Some of those holding the safety edge knowingly wield it for harm, some of them actively  seek to dull its sharp edge or hand it over altogether, and some fool themselves into thinking that, because it’s not pointing at them it is no longer sharp.

In other words, those who experience hate, marginalization, and discrimination on a daily basis know it when they see it. It’s not surprising that groups like this are well aware of new forms of old exclusions, know how to look beyond a shiny wrapper to see what’s really in the box, and are well attuned to – and have adapted to – the pervasive ways that digital tools replicate the same power dynamics of the analog world. 

Mainstream nonprofits struggling to understand how and why they must investigate the technology on which they depend for its “values fit” would do well to turn to such groups for guidance. Aboriginal archivists who’ve built customized, affordable, controllable digital systems that align with their communities “access controls” and information management systems know how to align software, hardware, and purpose. Political activists who live on the knife’s edge between mass organizing, community cohesion, and digital surveillance know how to pick, choose, use, and abandon off the shelf software to maximize their impact and mitigate the risks.  Journalists trying to hold both governments and corporations accountable, even as their own livelihoods are being undermined by their digital policies and practices, find ways to network expertise, protect sources, share insights, and get their work paid for (sort of). We heard from several of these groups at Digital Impact: Brisbane, and learned that (some) are finding (some) ways to pay for it, mixing volunteer time, donated space and software and community donations. But none of those are structural or sustainable.

 All of us who use off-the-shelf digital tools operating in these liminal space where our values and cultures intersect with and are persistently shaped by the value choices embedded in our software and hardware. Think of it this way - nothing that comes out of a tech company hasn't been designed within an inch of its life. Usually to persuade you to do something. Your software is shaping you

This is as true for organizations as it is for us as people. Our nonprofits, foundations and associations extend from the board room to the software licenses we run on. Aligning the organizational mission with its tech stack and alleviating these internal values conflicts is in our own best interest.

02.08.2017 Nestle Partners with Ashoka for the 2018 Creating Shared Value Prize

Video of buy0c9g9MNo

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