1728
A Fourth of Young Foundation Employees Think Their Group’s Work Is Irrelevant - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
One in four entry-level and midlevel foundation employees think their organization’s work is not "relevant to what’s happening in the world today," according to a survey released Wednesday. Forty percent think their organization is in touch with the needs of the people and places it supports, and 24 percent say those communities have a voice in the decisions the foundation makes.
philanthropy 
6 days ago
RoboValley | Quality mark for AI and robotics
The Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) and Deloitte are developing a FRR certified quality mark for AI and Robotics. This quality mark will ensure that best practices are met for the responsible design and development of the technology.
responsible_innovation 
9 days ago
Horizon 2020 endangered by low success rate, says EUA - University World News
the cost of unsuccessful bids is €1.4 billion (US$1.46 billion), compared to the €5.5 billion allocated to the first 100 calls, and as European universities are mostly funded by public budgets it is the taxpayer who is paying the bill.
unfunded  philanthropy 
11 days ago
A reservoir not an ocean - visualizing and operationalizing collective collections - Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog
When I think of the Google Books initiative now, three things stick with me. The first is simply what an audacious idea it was – to digitize all the books. The second is that without it, the book literature is less accessible than the web literature, which seems a pity. Google Books has allowed fine-grained discovery over the topics, people, places and so on which otherwise would largely be hidden between the covers.

The third is more subtle, but marks an interesting shift in how we think about library collections and books in general.  Before the initiative, we thought of the books in library collections as a vast expanse. We could not see the edges. They were like an ocean. Afterwards, the aggregate library collection appeared more bounded, more finite. More like a reservoir which could be measured and managed.
books  archives 
17 days ago
Tips from a Foundation Insider: How to Avoid Common Mistakes and Make Your Best Case in Writing Proposals to Foundations - The ALLIANCE
Program officers usually cannot bend the guidelines and impassioned pleas to do so will not be a good use of your time or theirs.
philanthropy 
23 days ago
The Failures of Foreign Aid (and some potential solutions) Part 2 - the Giving What We Can Blog
"As an example of effective foreign aid, Singer points us to the United Nations Millenium Villages Project. This was a project to provide simple interventions to put extremely poor people on paths to sustainable growth that would continue even after the Millenium Villages Project stopped." * funny: other accounts say MVP was a huge failure.
development  aid  IYI 
24 days ago
25 Years of WIRED Predictions: Why the Future Never Arrives | WIRED
25 Years of WIRED Predictions: Why the Future Never Arrives | WIRED
future  predictions 
26 days ago
Guest Post: Think Sci-Hub is Just Downloading PDFs? Think Again - The Scholarly Kitchen
What is being asserted by the authors here is that Sci-Hub is launching password-cracking attacks *itself* and then using the credentials as a revenue source. Additionally they imply that someone from Sci-Hub planted (plants?) malware. Perhaps there is good evidence for these claims, but it isn’t in this article.
copyright  sci-hub 
4 weeks ago
Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not. - The New York Times
Here is the blueprint. First, valorize work as the ticket out of poverty, and debase caregiving as not work. Look at a single mother without a formal job, and say she is not working; spot one working part time and demand she work more. Transform love into laziness.
poverty 
5 weeks ago
Epic
In praise of technocratic top-down grantmaking.
philanthropy 
6 weeks ago
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas | Are the Elite Hijacking Social Change?
“Business elites are taking over the work of changing the world,” Giridharadas observes. “Many believe they are changing the world when they may instead—or also—be protecting a system that is at the root of the problems they wish to solve.”

Giridharadas uncovers the internal contradictions of those who work for social change from positions of privilege and wealth. He also delves into the shortcomings of strategy consultants who bring McKinsey-style analysis to social issues; the limitations of venture capitalists who fund social solutions; and the problems with thought leaders who give well-paid speeches preaching win-win opportunities for business and society.
phil 
7 weeks ago
The Thriving World, the Wilting World, and You – Anand Giridharadas – Medium
Our deliberations about what to do about this extreme winning and losing are sponsored by the extreme winners. This community was formed by stalwarts of American capitalism; today we sit in spaces named after Pepsi (as in the beverage) and Koch (as in the brothers); our discussion of Martin Luther King and Omelas is sponsored by folks like Accenture, David Rubenstein and someone named Pom; we are deeply enmeshed and invested in the establishment and systems we are supposed to question. And yet we are a community of leaders that claims to seek justice. These identities are tricky to reconcile.
philanthropy 
8 weeks ago
Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age | The New Yorker
Anand Giridharadas is a journalist who, in 2011, was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. The institute is financed by, among other groups, the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Gates Foundation. The fellowship, according to its Web site, aims to “develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders” by engaging them “in a thought-provoking journey of personal exploration.”

Giridharadas at first found the fellowship to be a pretty sweet deal; it offered free trips to the Rockies and led to invitations from the sorts of people who own Western-themed mansions and fly private jets. After a while, though, he started to feel that something was rotten in the state of Colorado. In 2015, when he was asked to deliver a speech to his fellow-fellows, he used it to condemn what he called “the Aspen Consensus.”

“The Aspen Consensus, in a nutshell, is this,” he said. “The winners of our age must be challenged to do more good. But never, ever tell them to do less harm.” The speech made the Times; people began asking for copies of it; and Giridharadas decided to expand on it. The result is “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” “I hadn’t planned to write a book on this topic, but the topic chose me,” he writes.
philanthropy 
8 weeks ago
Look at Me! - Columbia Journalism Review
As a rule of thumb (and with some notable exceptions), the profit margins you could achieve selling a good or service were directly correlated to the total idiocy and/or moral bankruptcy of the demand you drummed up for it.
media  criticism 
8 weeks ago
How to add site to IPFS and IPNS – Coinmonks – Medium
IPFS allows to place p2p content inside web applications and simple web pages. Also you can hosting whole static site in peer to peer(p2p) IPFS network. So other people, who owns IPFS nodes can share your site and be a peer of your content and distribute HTML, CSS, JS and Images from their nodes. After that — if you node stops, the site will live, while someone with an IPFS node will keep a site on his node.
decentralization 
10 weeks ago
The Price of Privacy: What’s Wrong with the New Shadow Giving System | HistPhil
How much dark philanthropic money are we talking about? It’s hard to say, exactly, given the laxity of disclosure rules and donors who keep finding new ways to operate with less transparency.

Yet the biggest story here is the stunning rise of donor-advised funds. DAFs must reveal where their grants go, but they don’t have to say which of their clients provided those gifts and few DAFs reveal such information voluntarily. Just 10 years ago, DAFs moved a total of around $7 billion in grants. In 2016, they moved more than twice that amount. Of the top 10 grantmakers in the U.S. today, more than half are DAFs—all moving money in ways that don’t reveal their donors. Earlier this year, even close observers of the DAF world were surprised to learn that a DAF managed by Goldman Sachs had quietly become among the largest such entities in the U.S., thanks to big infusions of wealth by billionaires that include Steve Ballmer and Laurene Powell Jobs. All this represents a dramatic shift from an earlier era of philanthropy in which top donors created private foundations that operated with relative transparency.
philanthropy 
10 weeks ago
Noam Chomsky on Fascism, Showmanship and Democrats' Hypocrisy in the Trump Era
Some ideas are not even rejected; they are unthinkable. Like the idea that US aggression is aggression; it can only be “a mistake,” “a tragic error,” “a strategic blunder.”
consensus  politics  nuclear 
june 2018
BBC - Future - How an abandoned lab could show us the future
The Amani Hill Research Station in Tanzania was once one of East Africa’s leading laboratories – now it is a shadow of its past glory. Rachel Nuwer visited to find out what happened, and discovered lessons about the fragility of scientific progress that the whole world should consider.
responsible_innovation  development 
may 2018
Design Thinking Is a Boondoggle - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Do you know what design thinking is? 

Your answer to that question will depend largely on where you sit. Design thinking is often centrally associated with the fabled design and consulting firm IDEO, most famous for crafting Apple’s first mouse and the look of the Palm V personal digital assistant. But in recent years, it is Stanford University’s design school (or "d.school" — their asinine punctuation, not mine) that has become most associated with design thinking. IDEO will charge you $399 for a self-paced, video-based design-thinking course, "Insights for Innovation." Stanford will charge you $12,600 for a four-day "Design Thinking Bootcamp" called, likewise, "From Insights to Innovation." Clearly, there’s money to be made from design thinking.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Confusion is a common reaction to a "movement" that’s little more than floating balloons of jargon. If design thinking (for short, let’s call it the DTs) merely involved bilking some deluded would-be entrepreneurs, well — no harm no foul. The problem is that faddists and cult-followers are pushing the DTs as a reform for all of higher education. In th
design_thinking  consulting 
may 2018
GrantCraft Roles at Work
Grantmakers manage a lot of expectations about their work. We've talked with hundreds of grantmakers about what their foundations and grantees expect of them to get their work done - and what they expect of themselves.  Our card deck, a tool we've named Roles@work, collects the 29 roles grantmakers mentioned most often.
philanthropy 
may 2018
swisspeace: About us
swisspeace is a practice-oriented peace research institute. It analyses violent conflicts and develops strategies for their peaceful transformation. swisspeace aims to contribute to the improvement of conflict prevention and conflict transformation by producing innovative research, shaping discourses on international peace policy, developing and applying new peacebuilding tools and methodologies, supporting and advising other peace actors, as well as by providing and facilitating spaces for analysis, discussion, critical reflection and learning.
archives 
may 2018
EFF and Coalition Partners Push Tech Companies To Be More Transparent and Accountable About Censoring User Content | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Groups Release Specific Guidelines Addressing Shoddy, Opaque Private Censorship

(as opposed to high qualify, transparent censorship")
removals  exclusions  takedowns  archives  censorship 
may 2018
After 5 years and $3M, here's everything we've learned from building Ghost
There are seemingly no good nonprofit funding options for journalism/tech
One big surprise in the last 5 years has been discovering that there are really no good funding options for journalism/tech. We've bootstrapped from day 1 and always planned to be totally self-sufficient. But initially we did think that there might be grant funding or support that we might be able to benefit from. It turns out: No. Absolutely none.

I thought between the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation and the Ford Foundation and the Google News Initiatives — there might be a path to getting a lil' help. However, they all seem to be limited to helping only projects in their own countries (mostly the US) and selecting who is awarded grants appears to be often more about who you know, than what you do.

I'm still curious about this. Are we missing something?
philanthropy  tech 
may 2018
A Grant Maker’s View: Money Doesn’t Make Us More Powerful — or Smarter - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Among our bad habits, we:

Trash talk other foundations and bad-mouth nonprofits.
Give advice without understanding context and don’t seek advice from nonprofits.
Don’t trust nonprofits to spend the money where they see it’s most needed.
Fail to make clear what we do or don’t fund and rarely fund for more than one year at a time.
Operate on longer decision cycles than it takes to conceive and give birth to a baby.
Ask for extensive individualized information and evaluation for small amounts of money.
Allow personal interests to drive foundation strategies and set grant priorities without getting feedback from nonprofits and the people they serve.
Punish nonprofits for accumulating too much money in their reserves.
Act like we are superior to nonprofits.
Exclude nonprofits from foundation gatherings because we don’t want them to pitch us.
Everyone in foundations does these things, and most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing them. So why do we act this way when we’re aiming for the same change as the nonprofits we support? One of the biggest reasons is money, and particularly the perceived ownership of money.
philanthropy 
may 2018
Fidelity’s donor-advised fund is shaking up charitable giving.
Fidelity makes money by encouraging people to donate money to Fidelity Charitable. And the data suggest that DAFs are not aiming to mimic established foundations, either in longevity or cost structure. DAFs, in fact, generally give that money away pretty quickly: 38 percent of the original dollars donated are gone within a year, and 74 percent is doled out within five years.
philanthropy 
may 2018
Global Philanthropy Environment Index: Global Philanthropy Indices: Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
The 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index is the world’s largest and most comprehensive effort to document the state of global philanthropy and the factors that enhance or inhibit its success. The index was previously the product of the renowned Hudson Institute, under the title The Index of Philanthropic Freedom.
philanthropy 
may 2018
::.Václav Havel.::
this world of truth, however uncomfortable to live in, offers at the same time definite advantages: finding himself outside the universe of real power and traditional practical politics, that is, outside the matrix of utility, tactics, success, compromise, and the inevitable manipulations of half truths and deceptions, the dissident can be himself and can even make fun of himself without danger of becoming ridiculous to everyone.
peace  havel  politics  propaganda 
april 2018
Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires | Aeon Ideas
to what extent the culture of metrics – with its costs in employee time, morale and initiative, and its promotion of short-termism – has itself contributed to economic stagnation?
metrics 
april 2018
The Key to Everything | by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books
The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies.
complexity  books 
april 2018
An Apology for the Internet — From the People Who Built It
Even those who designed our digital world are aghast at what they created. A breakdown of what went wrong — from the architects who built it.
remorse 
april 2018
Alliance for Financial Inclusion - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Purpose: to support The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) scale their activities and create a sustainable, member-owned institution which supports smart financial inclusion policy solutions
Amount: $28,325,947
financial_inclusion 
april 2018
To Bartolomeo Romano | Georgetown University Library
Occupy yourself in beholding and bewailing your own imperfections rather than contemplating the imperfections of others.
advice 
april 2018
Private Philanthropy for Development - en - OECD
7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRIVATE PHILANTHROPY AND DEVELOPMENT

The total volume of philanthropic funding for development was USD 24 billion in 2013-2015. 
Globally, philanthropy is the 3rd provider of health funding in developing countries.
Health, by far, is the sector that benefits the most from philanthropy. 
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone accounts for half of all philanthropic giving to developing countries. 
Most philanthrophic funds come from the United States. 
Africa is the region that benefits most from philanthropy.
Foundations working for development ’’play it safe”: 86% of foundations’ grants are for no longer than five years.
philanthropy  development 
april 2018
Private philanthropy funding for development modest compared to public aid, but its potential impact is high, says OECD - OECD
Though philanthropic flows are relatively modest compared to official development assistance (ODA), their contribution is substantial in certain sectors, according to a new OECD report. For the first time, Private Philanthropy for Development uses global, comparable data to analyse how private foundations are supporting development.


The report is based on a survey conducted by the OECD, in collaboration with the Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and applies OECD-DAC statistical reporting standards. The data is thus fully comparable to ODA flows.
philanthropy  development 
april 2018
Liminal Leadership – Kosmos Journal
I was sent an entry for a contest to win a prize of several million dollars awarded to the person that provided the winning project for developing social collaboration. The irony was too much. Competing for ideas on collaboration is a perfect illustration of why so much change-making today is riddled with toxic fumes of the last century’s hero-envy. The rush-for-the-gold and step-over-the-next-guy approach is the thinking that got us into this mess. Surely, it won’t get us out. This sort of contest will divide people who could be working together. They will need to keep secrets about their work, lest their ideas be stolen; they will claim credit instead of giving it. The hunger for the keynote gig, the best seller, the viral meme about how to save the world is better suited for Wall Street than for change-makers. Watch out. The future lies in the capacity to understand and respond to interdependency. When you see collaboration with a promise of fame or awards, you are seeing lingering ideologies of capitalism.
philanthropy  competitions  prizes  challenges  networks 
april 2018
OECD Centre on Philanthropy - Data and analysis on global philanthropy for development
The OECD Centre on Philanthropy will contribute to the global demand for more and better data and analysis on global philanthropy for development. It will seek to bring together relevant efforts from existing research centres and projects, expand the OECD database, and provide research and analysis on global trends and impact of philanthropy for development in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
philanthropy  development 
april 2018
Stewardship in the "Age of Algorithms" | Lynch | First Monday
This paper explores pragmatic approaches that might be employed to document the behavior of large, complex socio-technical systems (often today shorthanded as “algorithms”) that centrally involve some mixture of personalization, opaque rules, and machine learning components. Thinking rooted in traditional archival methodology — focusing on the preservation of physical and digital objects, and perhaps the accompanying preservation of their environments to permit subsequent interpretation or performance of the objects — has been a total failure for many reasons, and we must address this problem. The approaches presented here are clearly imperfect, unproven, labor-intensive, and sensitive to the often hidden factors that the target systems use for decision-making (including personalization of results, where relevant); but they are a place to begin, and their limitations are at least outlined. Numerous research questions must be explored before we can fully understand the strengths and limitations of what is proposed here. But it represents a way forward. This is essentially the first paper I am aware of which tries to effectively make progress on the stewardship challenges facing our society in the so-called “Age of Algorithms;” the paper concludes with some discussion of the failure to address these challenges t
archives  AI 
april 2018
'The Oligarchs Valley' by Yasha Levine and the parallels in India
What made the saga intriguing was the insistence of the World Bank and its interference to ensure that Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) got selected as the consultant to the project. Thousands of pages made available as a result of RTI (Right to Information) queries filed by activists, it emerged that despite PwC failing to make the cut in the technical and financial rounds, the World Bank insisted on changes to the evaluation criteria, that the marks were given by one particular member of the evaluation committee be excluded from the final evaluation so as to favour PwC, and so on.

What most people were unwilling to put on record was that PwC had on its payrolls the son of a powerful person in the government of India and who had long-standing ties to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Corruption 
april 2018
Bernard Lietaer
Biography | Currency Solutions for a Wiser World
money  economics 
march 2018
About - P2P Foundation
The P2P Foundation was conceived to help people, organizations and governments transition towards commons-based approaches to society through co-creating an open knowledge commons and a resilient, sustainable human network.

Between the paradigms of the network and the organization, the P2P Foundation exists as an ‘organized network’ which can facilitate the creation of networks, yet without directing them. Our primary aim is to be an incubator and catalyst for the emerging ecosystem, focusing on the ‘missing pieces’, and the interconnectedness that can lead to a wider movement.
p2p  commons 
march 2018
Requiem for a dream…of an online impact investing platform
As the impact investing community processes the shuttering of ImpactUS, it’s time to acknowledge a painful reality: when it comes to building the definitive impact investment platform, we’ve dug too many graves.
platforms  markets  exchanges 
march 2018
Global Solvers Co-Lab: 489 UN-limited
the Global Solvers Co-Lab: 489 UN-limited will take place from 22 – 27 September 2018 in Aubervilliers, France.
c&a 
march 2018
Why Diversity Programs Fail
It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better. Firms have long relied on diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing managers’ thoughts and actions.
DEI 
march 2018
The What Went Wrong? Foundation : Peter DiCampo
Examples of failed development projects, mostly foundations in sub-Saharan Africa.
failure  development 
march 2018
Feedbin (1,000+)
What Went Wrong? is a citizen journalism project started in sub-Saharan Africa to document all the unsustainable aid projects started by Westerners who fail to follow through after their PR blitz. Journalist Peter DeCampo spoke with BRIGHT magazine about the project, where Africans can text reports on local fiascoes and boondoggles:
failure 
march 2018
Design Freedom
Stafford Beer's Massey Lectures.
stafford_beer  complexity  systems  futures 
march 2018
Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain – review | Books | The Guardian
Silicon Valley’s success in prompting us to talk of “the gig economy” instead suggests that exploited men and women are the equivalent of rock stars, nipping into a club for a surprise session one night and heading off to Glastonbury the next. Far from being beaten down by lives of grinding insecurity, workers are freewheeling bohemians liberated from the routines that tied down their boring parents.
work 
march 2018
Design Thinking Study: Parts Without A Whole? | This is Design Thinking!
In October 2015 we published our report “Parts Without a Whole? – The Current State of Design Thinking Practice in Organizations”, which inspired us to develop this website. The exploratory study looked at the many forms of design thinking adoption in organizations. You can download it below.
design_thinking  futures 
march 2018
Making Knowledge Available | Public Seminar
A few weeks ago, shortly after reading that Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher, had made over €1 billion in profit in 2017, I received notice of a new journal issue on decolonization and media.* “Decolonization” denotes the dismantling of imperialism, the overturning of systems of domination, and the founding of new political orders. Recalling Achille Mbembe’s exhortation that we seek to decolonize our knowledge production practices and institutions, I looked forward to exploring this new collection of liberated learning online – amidst that borderless ethereal terrain where information just wants to be free. (…Not really.)

Instead, I encountered a gate whose keeper sought to extract a hefty toll: $42 to rent a single article for the day, or $153 to borrow it for the month. The keeper of that particular gate, mega-publisher Taylor & Francis, like the keepers of many other epistemic gates, has found toll-collecting to be quite a profitable business. Some of the largest academic publishers have, in recent years, achieved profit margins of nearly 40%, higher than those of Apple and Google.
open_access 
march 2018
Stafford Beer Collection | Liverpool John Moores University
The Stafford Beer Collection consists of the personal library of Professor Stafford Beer, the founder of Management Cybernetics, who was appointed Honorary Professor of Organisational Transformation at LJMU in 1989.
PersonalArchiving  Stafford_Beer  complexity 
march 2018
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