The Problem With Putting a Price on the End of the World - The New York Times
the wealth of the median American household has fallen 30 percent since 2007, according to the most recent Federal Reserve data,
economics  climate 
10 days ago
New Tax Could Hit Many Nonprofits Paying $1 Million-Plus Employees - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
A Chronicle analysis identified 226 nonprofits that paid one or more employees compensation in excess of $1 million a year, potentially exposing those charities to a new 21 percent levy under the 2017 tax law. (*maybe lower the ceiling to the salary of the president of the U.S. - $400K).
11 days ago
About – Situation Lab
The Situation Lab designs immersive and generative situations for the public good, for clients, and for kicks. Started in 2013 by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson, the Lab’s work lives where narrative, space, and play come together to shape the real world.
11 days ago
Accelerator Selection Tool – Conveners.org
The Accelerator Selection Tool is a public resource designed to help social entrepreneurs and impact accelerators more easily navigate the rapidly expanding ecosystem of support organizations. Developed in collaboration with more than 10 organizations—and distributed by a network of partners who provide the tool as a free resource to their community—the Accelerator Selection Tool provides the most comprehensive listing of impact-focused accelerators, incubators, business plan competitions, and fellowship programs in the world. Scroll below to access the tool.
philanthropy  accelerators 
13 days ago
Mark Zuckerberg Does Not Speak for the Internet | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Let’s start with his first idea: a “standardized approach” to “harmful content” online, whereby third-party bodies – let’s call them speech police—decide what content is OK and what is not, and companies are required to “build systems” to shut down as much of the latter category as possible. Facebook is already inviting government regulators to help it do so on its own platform—and apparently thinks everyone else should do the same.

There are at least four fundamental problems with this idea.
censorship  FoE 
16 days ago
Facebook labels declaration of independence as 'hate speech' | World news | The Guardian
These errors in censorship might appear trivial, but as an ever-increasing amount of internet usage takes place within a tiny number of social media sites, it is likely these kinds of challenging works or honest reflections of history will reach fewer people.
censorship  FoE 
16 days ago
Future-fit philanthropy: why philanthropic organisations will need foresight to leave lasting legacies of change - Alliance magazine
we, at the School of International Futures (SOIF) and the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), believe that the philanthropic sector needs a much stronger ‘foresight mindset’ to equip itself to harness the upsides of future change and mitigate the risks.
philanthropy  futures 
16 days ago
Tips for a Post-Mueller Media from Nine Russiagate Skeptics | FAIR
Because of the way the modern news landscape is divided, we’re really susceptible to groupthink and orthodoxies. Everyone settles on narratives, and it becomes forbidden to explore any alternative themes being pursued on the “other” media. With Russiagate, it was called “shilling for Trump” to wonder about whether any part of it was untrue. That makes it very hard for young reporters, especially, to challenge this.

When Keith Olbermann pounded his fist on his table, screaming, “SCUM! RUSSIAN SCUM!!!” I couldn’t help but thinking, that’s the only nationality he could insert there and get away with it. He couldn’t scream “Mexican scum” or “Chinese scum” or “Indian scum.” Russian bigotry is, I think, the only acceptable bigotry among the liberal media.
16 days ago
A Public Record at Risk: The Dire State of News Archiving in the Digital Age - Columbia Journalism Review
Between March 2018 and January 2019, we conducted interviews with 48 individuals from 30 news organizations and preservation initiatives.

What we found was that the majority of news outlets had not given any thought to even basic strategies for preserving their digital content, and not one was properly saving a holistic record of what it produces. Of the 21 news organizations in our study, 19 were not taking any protective steps at all to archive their web output.
archives  journalism  news 
18 days ago
Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy | The National Academies Press
During the 2016 presidential election, America's election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for voting, and recommends steps that the federal government, state and local governments, election administrators, and vendors of voting technology should take to improve the security of election infrastructure. In doing so, the report provides a vision of voting that is more secure, accessible, reliable, and verifiable.
democracy  voting 
18 days ago
What If We Paid for Outcomes? | Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid
Imagine if you could bring private sector resources and skills to social projects. Impact Bonds (IBs) are an innovative Results-Based Financing (RBF) mechanism that tie financial returns and payments to specific results incentivizing investors and service providers.
philanthropy  impact_investing 
19 days ago
Google's Brand New AI Ethics Council Is Already Falling Apart - Bloomberg
Google recently appointed an external ethics council to deal with tricky issues in artificial intelligence. The group is meant to help the company appease critics while still pursuing lucrative cloud computing deals.

In less than a week, the council is already falling apart, a development that may jeopardize Google’s chance of winning more military cloud-computing contracts.
ai  ethics 
20 days ago
Memoirs of a Used Car Salesman’s Daughter
At the bottom of each story or scandal there was always the same truth: somebody knew. Somebody always knew. The plant manager knew about the leak; the engineers knew the airbags didn’t work correctly; the accountants knew the numbers didn’t add up; the bankers knew the mortgages would never be repaid. Dozens of executives at Volkswagen, for example, knew that the software in their vehicles had been programmed to make it seem as if their diesel vehicles met emissions standards when, in fact, they didn’t.
25 days ago
A New Generation of Philanthropy in China - Barron's
The six or seven core members in each of the two chapters of Chan’s Next Generational Organization (NGO, for short) contribute to a collective pot that they allocate as a group, traveling twice a year for field visits to grassroots nonprofits in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. “The point is really to make mistakes early together and also have a forum in which we can actually do this together,” Chan says.

Lawrence Chan, 65, says his daughter’s NGO chapters will redefine philanthropy, as his generation—including Hong Kong’s wealthiest man and philanthropist, Li Ka-shing—is “starting to fade away.”
25 days ago
An Archive of Atrocities | by Mark Mazower | The New York Review of Books
So Guergerian went to Jerusalem and photographed as much of the archive as he could. He also photographed the Naim-Andonian materials, which were at that time still available in Paris.

And just as well for us. The files of the Turkish military tribunals remain closed, the Armenian Patriarchate archives are no longer open, and the Naim documents have gone missing. The Guergerian photographic archive, which surfaced only recently, having remained in family hands, thus provides a remarkable and invaluable historical source. It has now been digitized and made available on the library website of Clark University, where Akçam is a professor, and it provides the basis for his study of the Aleppo killings.
archives  humanrights 
27 days ago
The Prediction Project
Through this web site, an online collection of resources called PredictionX, a freshman seminar at Harvard, a new GenEd Course coming to Harvard in 2020, and someday a book, Professor Alyssa Goodman, colleagues, and students are talking together about how motivations and techniques for divining the future have changed–-and not changed--over human history.   A key motivation behind the Prediction Project is to inspire a deeper global conversation about how today, unlike in the past, quantitative simulation allows us to quantify how “certain” we can be about various aspects of  the future--including climate change.
futures  predictions 
27 days ago
2017 prediction: Big data meets thick data – Development Impact and You
The tools that INGOs have traditionally used to make sense of the changing world are under strain. Donor reporting and legibility requirements increasingly call for quantitative indicators to demonstrate impact, which are ill-suited to the messy reality of many development challenges. And 2016 has shown that tools like polls, focus groups and surveys struggle to capture the sentiment and unarticulated needs of a population.

Initially hailed as a potential panacea to overcome existing limitations, big data implementation has proven to be challenging, if not, at times, harmful. Without proper handling and contextualisation, big data risks becoming deep fried data.


Paradoxically, then, the era of big data needs even more qualitative, granular knowledge of local contexts. A new approach is emerging, combining a growing interest in design thinking with the sector’s long-standing tradition of ethnography: the integration of “thin” big data with thick data. Development innovation labs are beginning to question what donors and governments see as “acceptable” evidence and are looking to bridge the quantitative vs qualitative divide.
philanthropy  development  evaluation 
28 days ago
What Is the World to Do About Gene-Editing? | by Stephen Buranyi | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The trouble is, these statements suggest scientific consensus is clustered around accepting the inevitable: that widespread germline editing will happen, and relatively soon. This obscures how divided scientists and the wider public are on the issue
29 days ago
Killing for Credibility: A Look Back at the 1999 NATO Air War on Serbia
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO’s 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged as much against Serbian civilians—hundreds of whom perished—as it was against Slobodan Milošević’s forces, and it was a campaign of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton’s own admission was fought for the sake of NATO’s credibility.
humanrights  Balkans 
29 days ago
New Philanthropy Framework Aims to Spur More Meaningful, Effective Social Change | Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
New York, NY – March 12, 2019 – In a climate where the intentions, assets and practice of philanthropy continue to transform at a rapid pace, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) today published The Philanthropy Framework, a tool for analysis and planning to guide emerging and established philanthropies to better align resources for maximum impact.
4 weeks ago
The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center | The New Yorker
"...it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam."
4 weeks ago
European Philanthropy Manifesto | Association of German Foundations
The “European Philanthropy Manifesto” is a call to policy makers in Europe to work towards a Single Market for Philanthropy which includes a better recognition of philanthropy in EU legislation as well as at national level; supports cross-border philanthropy across the EU; and decreases today’s barriers for philanthropy in order to leverage the impact of donors’ and foundations’ spending of private resources for public good. ** "A single /market/?"
4 weeks ago
Why Entrepreneurs Are Better Judges of New Ideas than Expert Investors
Why Entrepreneurs Are Better Judges of New Ideas than Expert Investors
prizes  challenges  competitions 
5 weeks ago
You Were Called Out or Called In—Now What? - Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly
I’m really sorry that my use of the term “wheelchair-bound” in our last newsletter caused unnecessary pain to our disabled members, who naturally see their chairs as a source of freedom in their lives. I honestly hadn’t done a lot of reading on disability rights, I’ve been privileged that I haven’t needed to, so I didn’t realize that term was problematic.

I’ve been learning a lot now on disability rights and language use, and I want to commit to you all going forward that I will seek to avoid ableist language in both personal and professional settings. To help ensure that, we have offered one of our regular proofreaders, who is disabled, an additional monthly stipend to help us catch problematic language before it goes to publication. We have also issued a correction to that newsletter to our full mailing list with an acknowledgement of the harmfulness of that phrase.

I want to thank our friends and members from the disability rights community who raised this issue and gave me a chance to do better both for myself and our organization. Special thanks to Cristina and Erik, who provided me with resources that helpe
disability  apologies 
5 weeks ago
Arthur Koestler | Standpoint
“We failed to see,” Koestler reproaches his generation, “that the age of Reason and Enlightenment was drawing to its close.” In one of his essays, “On Disbelieving Atrocities”, all the more memorable because it was published in January 1944, Koestler describes himself as a screamer, a Cassandra: she screamed until she was hoarse and the Greeks still entered Troy. A character in one of his novels speaks for Koestler: “Europe is doomed, a chapter in history which is finished.” The sense that he’d got away with it so far but wouldn’t always be able to, infuses pretty well everything he wrote, and I imagine that this vulnerability was always working away in him. “England is the best country to sleep in,” was a favourite truism of his. The Latin for ostrich is struthio; Old Struthians is the label he attaches to the British for their similar habit of hiding their eyes from reality. Suicide of a Nation? is a collection of essays he edited in 1971, by which time he thought that the question-mark of the title was superfluous. January 14, 1971, happens to be the date he wrote below his signature in my copy of The God That Failed, a book that more than any other understood belief in communism as a superstition, a quasi-religious phenomenon.
koestler  arts 
7 weeks ago
Rule Thinkers In, Not Out | Slate Star Codex
I thought about this after reading this list of geniuses with terrible ideas. Linus Pauling thought Vitamin C cured everything. Isaac Newton spent half his time working on weird Bible codes. Nikola Tesla pursued mad energy beams that couldn’t work. Lynn Margulis revolutionized cell biology by discovering mitochondrial endosymbiosis, but was also a 9-11 truther and doubted HIV caused AIDS. Et cetera. Obviously this should happen. Genius often involves coming up with an outrageous idea contrary to conventional wisdom and pursuing it obsessively despite naysayers. But nobody can have a 100% success rate. People who do this successfully sometimes should also fail at it sometimes, just because they’re the kind of person who attempts it at all. Not everyone fails. Einstein seems to have batted a perfect 1000 (unless you count his support for socialism). But failure shouldn’t surprise us. I think about this every time I hear someone say something like “I lost all respect for Steven Pinker after he said all that stupid stuff about AI”. Your problem was thinking of “respect” as a relevant predicate to apply to Steven Pinker in the first place. Is he your father? Your youth pastor? No? Then why are you worrying about whether or not to “respect” him? Steven Pinker is a black box who occasionally spits out ideas, opinions, and arguments for you to evaluate. If some of them are arguments you wouldn’t have come up with on your own, then he’s doing you a service. If 50% of them are false, then the best-case scenario is that they’re moronically, obviously false, so that you can reject them quickly and get on with your life.
culture  creativity  k 
7 weeks ago
Special Report: Bezoses and Bloomberg Top Chronicle List of the 50 Donors Who Gave the Most to Charity - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Donors on the Philanthropy 50, the Chronicle’s annual list of the people who gave the most to charity, contributed a total of more than $7.8 billion last year, a steep drop from the $14.7 billion the top 50 donors gave in 2017.
7 weeks ago
Half Life: The Decay of Knowledge and What to Do About It
In 1966 paper entitled “The Dollars and Sense of Continuing Education,” Thomas Jones calculated the effort that would be required for an engineer to stay up to date, assuming a 10-year half-life. According to Jones, an engineer would need to devote at least five hours per week, 48 weeks a year, to stay up to date with new advancements. A typical degree requires about 4800 hours of work. Within 10 years, the information learned during 2400 of those hours would be obsolete. The five-hour figure does not include the time necessary to revise forgotten information that is still relevant. A 40-year career as an engineer would require 9600 hours of independent study.
learning  education 
8 weeks ago
Collapsology advances ... - Collapsology
Collapsology is still a stammering discipline. Everything has to be done.

We continue the work of analysis and synthesis that was initiated in Chapters 9 and 10 of  How Everything Can Crumble .

Our collapsological "posture" is as follows: to be as transdisciplinary as possible, based on the two cognitive modes of reason and intuition, and on recognized scientific works .
Collapsology  dystopia 
8 weeks ago
Marie Stopes: a turbo-Darwinist ranter, but right about birth control | Zoe Williams | From the Guardian | The Guardian
When I defended Marie Stopes International in a column earlier in the week, someone on the Guardian's Comment is free website said: "Is that the same Marie Stopes who supported Hitler, and cut her son out of her will because he married a disabled person?" This comment has now been removed by a moderator, but it definitely isn't defamatory. Supporting Hitler wasn't the half of it. No wonder the charity, when you ask it about its founder, says delicately: "We tend to keep our distance."
8 weeks ago
The Cairncross Review admits what America won’t about journalism - Columbia Journalism Review
Facebook, Google, and the shift of distribution and advertising revenues to large technology platforms have damaged some parts of journalism to a point where the market cannot repair them. The assumption in the US that news will eventually find a market model that does work has been one of the most consistent and damaging misconceptions advanced over the past twenty years.
media  journalism 
9 weeks ago
Launch event of 2019 European Social Innovation Competition | Nesta
The European Social Innovation competition is founded by the European Commission and delivered by a Consortium of partners led by Nesta.
prizes  competitions  challenges 
9 weeks ago
The Copyright Directive: how the mob was told to save the dragon and slay the knight
EU is answerable to the public and to democratically elected politicians
9 weeks ago
Zombie Philanthropy: What I Learned About Donor-Advised Funds as a Foundation Insider — Inside Philanthropy
DAFs were our core line of business on the way to successfully raising $1.3 billion for the second year in a row.
10 weeks ago
Shoshana Zuboff Explains the Age of Surveillance Capitalism
“Whether you are complaining about your acne or engaging in political debate on Facebook, searching for a recipe or sensitive health information on Google, ordering laundry soap or taking photos of your nine-year-old, smiling or thinking angry thoughts, watching TV or doing wheelies in the parking lot, all of it is raw material for this burgeoning text.”
books  capitalism  surveillance  privacy 
10 weeks ago
Global Philanthropy Data Charter 2017 - Second Edition - IssueLab
To realize this vision of improved data for deeper philanthropic impact and transparency, WINGS, Foundation Center, CENTRIS, and partners from around the world created and refined the Global Philanthropy Data Charter. The main objective of this revision is to make the document more accessible and provide concrete guidance on how to successfully engage in data-sharing processes.
philanthropy  data 
10 weeks ago
Global Challenges Foundation | New Shape Library
The New Shape Library is a curated archive containing some of the most innovative and interesting submissions sent to the New Shape Prize. The list has been curated by the Global Challenges Foundation and is largely comprised of the submissions shortlisted by the 10 regional panels for consideration towards the semifinal round of judging.
prizes  challenges  competitions 
12 weeks ago
The Systems Thinker – A Lifetime of Systems Thinking - The Systems Thinker
I have very much enjoyed denying the obvious and exploring the consequences of doing so.
innovation  systems_thinking  meadows  ackhoff 
12 weeks ago
Re-decentralizing the Web, for good this time | Ruben Verborgh
Originally designed as a decentralized network, the Web has undergone a significant centralization in recent years. In order to regain freedom and control over the digital aspects of our lives, we should understand how we arrived at this point and how we can get back on track. This chapter explains the history of decentralization in a Web context, and details Tim Berners-Lee’s role in the continued battle for a free and open Web. The challenges and solutions are not purely technical in nature, but rather fit into a larger socio-economic puzzle, to which all of us are invited to contribute. Let us take back the Web for good, and leverage its full potential as envisioned by its creator.
decentralization  future 
january 2019
Facebook Knows How to Track You Using the Dust on Your Camera Lens
it was not merely possible to detect that two smartphones were in the same place at the same time, but that by comparing the accelerometer and gyroscope readings of each phone, the data could identify when people were facing each other or walking together. That way, Facebook could suggest you friend the person you were talking to at a bar last night, and not all the other people there that you chose not to talk to.
privacy  facebook 
january 2019
Impact Investing Struggles to Gain Traction Despite the Hype - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Here, a word or two about terminology is in order. What we’re calling impact investing goes by many names at foundations: mission-related investing (Ford), mission-driven investing (Kellogg), mission-aligned investing (Rockefeller Brothers Fund), social investing (Kresge), or simply impact investing (F.B. Heron, Russell Family Foundation). Those grant makers have chosen to invest their endowments to do good in the world, and that’s what this article is about. They are driven by the belief that impact investments can deliver direct, measurable results — jobs or housing units created, tons of carbon emissions averted — in the short run and that, over time, they can also help reshape the capital markets to do less harm and create more benefit for society.
philanthropy  impact_investing 
january 2019
Deep Paper Gestalt
Recent years have witnessed a significant increase in
the number of paper submissions to computer vision conferences.
The sheer volume of paper submissions and the
insufficient number of competent reviewers cause a considerable
burden for the current peer review system. In this paper,
we learn a classifier to predict whether a paper should
be accepted or rejected based solely on the visual appearance
of the paper (i.e., the gestalt of a paper). Experimental
results show that our classifier can safely reject 50% of the
bad papers while wrongly reject only 0.4% of the good papers,
and thus dramatically reduce the workload of the reviewers.
We also provide tools for providing suggestions to
authors so that they can improve the gestalt of their papers.
january 2019
Radical Software
Three years ago Ira Schneider and I started thinking about ways to republish Radical Software, a periodical Schneider helped found back in 1970. We knew it was important - the only periodical devoted to video back in the early 70s - but we also knew that complete collections were scarce.

Working from Ira's collection, we had the entire contents of Radical Software, 690 pages, scanned and converted to PDF files in Berlin, Germany, where Ira lives.

With the PDF files in hand, our first thought was to cobble together a Web site and put them up. However, when we were both in New York, Benjamin Weil from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art came by and dissuaded us from this ad hoc approach. He suggested that we convert the issues of Radical Software into a searchable database as well as PDF files. He also suggested that we apply to the Daniel Langlois Foundation for help in the project. Gerry O'Grady, a media scholar and friend of many years, and one of the first researchers in residence at the Daniel Langlois Foundation, seconded the idea, and David Ross agreed to write an introduction.

Our proposal to the Langlois Foundation met with encouraging results. They invited me to visit their headquarters in Montreal, where I met Jean Gagnon and Alain Depocas.

As I learned, the Langlois Foundation had particular expertise in developing databases, and together we looked at some they had done in the past and talked about the best approach for this project. They agreed to take responsibility for the database part of the Web site. We, on the other hand, would do the 'front end', the texts and the home page design itself.
copyright  funders 
january 2019
Peri Foundation
Digital preservation and other good works.
january 2019
Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything — Inside Philanthropy
Meanwhile, top legacy foundations seem increasingly lost at sea—and in a sense, hopelessly naive about political realities. They don’t know how to operate in the present environment. They’re worried about risking carefully nurtured reputations as institutions that are above politics and driven by pragmatism, not ideology. They fret that the philanthropic sector as a whole could lose the public’s trust. And so, with a few exceptions (most notably, Ford), they just keep doing the same thing—as if it’s still 1959.
december 2018
Trump charitable foundation: how many more bad charities are there? - Vox
The lesson ought to be, “Foundations can be bad, and we don’t have a system in place to hold them accountable.”
december 2018
A poverty reduction charity admits its program wasn’t working. That’s a big deal. - Vox
Last week, a major international development charity did something remarkable: It admitted that one of its programs didn’t seem to work.
scaling  philanthropy 
december 2018
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