DC Nonprofit Generator

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On March 12, 2014, we hosted a Generator with DC nonprofit community. The attached deck provides an outline of the day which included a series of demos from DC area social good projects.

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  • Pair up with someoneGet a nametag and pen.Now: you are going to write draw the person you are paired with, and write down their name.Yes. Draw.You’ve got 60 seconds. And go:Countdown.Great. Now put on your own name tag and let’s take just a moment to walk around the room and shake hands and say hello to each other.
  • Marnie Webb at Vizify
  • http://www.caravanstudios.org
  • Issues* Constraints* How might we…* Technology can help* Generate and organize opportunities.
  • Spend some time talking to the people at the table about the issues you care about.Human Trafficking. Youth literacy. Hunger. Disaster Relief and Recovery.Pick one issue per table. Now, write that issue on the very top of your big piece of paper.
  • Ground rules:Money and time are off the table as answers. We know you need more money and time. Everyone needs more money and time. Push harder what do the money and time get you? What specifically? This is not about technology: don’t worry about what is technologically feasible, just fill in the spaces. The tech bits get sorted out in the next step.Write one constraint per sticky note. Put the sticky notes on the sheet. As you do, call out the constraint. Don’t worry about talking over each other. Just try and come up with as many things that impact this area as possible.
  • Are some of them the same? Stack them on top of each other. Are the a alike? Put them next to each other. Spend a few minutes doing this.Now, report back to the room. Facilitator: go around and make sure each table reads some of the responses they came up with.
  • A new sheet of paper. The issue written on the top. A generative questions. Look at your constraints. Frame the how might be we overcome them question.Provide some examples based on what people shared:How might we provide more shelter for the homeless?How might we provide more support to youth struggling with reading skills? This isn’t necessarily about quantity but about quality.Write the one question per sticky. Sticky on the paper.Share with the room. Try to encourage cross talk.
  • A new sheet of paper. The issue written on the top. A generative questions. Look at your constraints. Frame the how might be we overcome them question.Provide some examples based on what people shared:How might we provide more shelter for the homeless?How might we provide more support to youth struggling with reading skills? This isn’t necessarily about quantity but about quality.Write the one question per sticky. Sticky on the paper.Share with the room. Try to encourage cross talk.
  • A new sheet of paper. The issue written on the top. A generative questions. Look at your constraints. Frame the how might be we overcome them question.Provide some examples based on what people shared:How might we provide more shelter for the homeless?How might we provide more support to youth struggling with reading skills? This isn’t necessarily about quantity but about quality.Write the one question per sticky. Sticky on the paper.Share with the room. Try to encourage cross talk.
  • A new sheet of paper. The issue written on the top. A generative questions. Look at your constraints. Frame the how might be we overcome them question.Provide some examples based on what people shared:How might we provide more shelter for the homeless?How might we provide more support to youth struggling with reading skills? This isn’t necessarily about quantity but about quality.Write the one question per sticky. Sticky on the paper.Share with the room. Try to encourage cross talk.
  • This really is quantity. Respond to the question. Don’t be critical of the ideas, don’t worry about how has to talk to who or if there is an ordinance, or how much it is going to cost. Just start generating responses. Do it as a table, talking to each other. And really do talk to each other. If you catch yourself having side conversations, check them and come back to the group. One response per sticky. Group them with the questions. Go.
  • I’m going to share a theory I didn’t create. Don’t worry, it isn’t long or boring or hard to understand. It came from someone named T.D. Weldon who was a political philosopher in the 50’s. Here’s the short version (go to next slide).(paraphrased from http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2011/09/problems-and-solutions-difficulties-and.html)
  • Here’s what we say about issues: “Issues are things that require ongoing attention. They aren’t going to get fixed. Ever. An easy way to think of this: road maintenance. It’s ongoing and requires systemic attention to make sure it receives appropriate attention and care. There are a lot of things on our global list – and a lot of issues that you all care about – that will never get fixed. Abject poverty? We’re never going to check it off our list. The dynamics will change or it may impact a much smaller group (see this years’ Bill and Melinda Gates letter for some optimism there) but it’s never going to go completely away. We’re always going to have to pay attention to it. Hunger? That’s an issue. Violence against individuals? Issue.”
  • Here’s what we say about problems:“The street maintenance example? A pothole is a problem. You spot it and someone fixes it. Done. Hunger? Provide youth lunch during the summertime. Violence against persons? We may not be able to make that issue go away, but we can make sure that individuals who suffer intimate partner violence or are trapped in a trafficking situation have a safe place to receive services. Problems are things that we can solve, and then, ideally, not ever look at that specific one again.”A problem is a solvable slice of an issue.
  • (this is a segue slide)What we say: “Why? Because issues are rarely solved. You won’t solve hunger, but you can help some people get food, or shine a light on the issue so others engage. You won’t solve domestic violence, but you might find safe harbor for families suffering from it.”
  • Example on the next slide
  • From: http://ilovemountains.org/my-connectionAt first glance, I’d say this isn’t an issue that affects me directly. But when I enter my zip code, I learn that my electricity provider buys coal from companies engaged in mountaintop removal. Now I know more. I’m a part of this. I’m also invited to use social media to spread more information about this issue, contact my legislators, and other actions to get involved in an issue that until now I knew nothing about. This is one way an issue can be illuminated.
  • The top map is a representation of the White House Rose Garden, planted with crops found in backyard gardens and small famers across the nation during a particular season. (more info here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/white-house-garden-subsidized-crops_n_869616.htmlThe second map is a representation of the same White House Garden, planted with crops subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. If you look, you’ll see there’s a big difference between what is planted in each scenario.This illuminates the issue of food subsidies by using a map. If you notice the exclamation point in the Subsidy Garden, you’ll see a teeny plot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that the government subsidizes.
  • A note about deviance: we mean this in a sociological sense. As in a positive or negative deviance. Technology can help tell us where there is not enough of a specific resource or where something else is available (a surplus or a lack). We are looking for things here that are deviating from the mean. Are there unused buildings in an area that desperately needs more short term shelter? We can sort through government data to find those resources.
  • From: http://seeclickfix.com/kansas_city Change the slide to your city/town if it exists!SeeClickFix allows you to report a problem—like a pothole or a walk signal that’s too short—to the government to see it get fixed. You’ll receive alerts when someone is tasked to fix the problem and then when it is fixed, and you’ll learn more about how problems get solved.
  • The Food Environment Atlas shows places that don’t have fresh groceries.
  • Technology can tell us when something needs to happen now, like learning of traffic issues or to take cover due an impending storm. These technologies are typically time-based and made for personal use, use location information, and are driven by a particular need.
  • From: http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/35097/?p1=A1In January of this year (2014) West Virginians were without safe water sources after a chemical contamination of a water treatment plant. Residents relied on the media to learn when their water was safe. This map and the blue color became a symbol of when water was safe. This information prompted people to act—whether to stop drinking water out of the taps or to resume normal practices.
  • Three big stickies on the wall – illuminate, pinpoint, act.Illuminate, pinpoint, act.Take your ideas and put them under one of the headers. There isn’t a right answer. You have to decide. What is most important about this particular opportunity. Does it let us describe the issue or problem to people who do not know as well as we do? Does it put them up?Now, report back. Do any of the ideas seems particularly doable? Do you think about them any differently after applying a rubric to them. Did you have to make a choice?It’s important to note that in real life, these get strung together in a logic chain that makes sense. This is what organizations and foundations and government agencies that are paying attention over time are doing.
  • DC Nonprofit Generator

    1. 1. DC Nonprofit Generator Your ideas solve problems
    2. 2. Hello!
    3. 3. This is who I am:
    4. 4. This is who I work for:
    5. 5. http://www.caravanstudios.org @CaravanStudios
    6. 6. Today, our task is to find opportunities for technology to help with the issues about which we care the most.
    7. 7. • Generator • Lunch (!) • A word from our supporters: – Sunlight Foundation – Connect.DC • People are making the world better: – HeartSpark – Moneythink – Changecause – CallBot App – Open Schools! – Affordable Housing – Abolishop App • Brought to you by: – Code for America – TechSoup Global • Big finish
    8. 8. GENERATOR
    9. 9. Pick an issue.
    10. 10. Name your constraints.
    11. 11. Time to organize your stickies.
    12. 12. How might we…
    13. 13. How might we… …keep food out of the waste stream?
    14. 14. How might we… …keep food out of the waste stream? …provide homeless individuals quick access to services?
    15. 15. How might we… …keep food out of the waste stream? …provide homeless individuals quick access to services? …support youth who are impacted by gun violence?
    16. 16. Generate as many responses to your questions as you can.
    17. 17. Before we do anything else, let’s talk theory.
    18. 18. There are issues. http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2011/09/problems-and-solutions-difficulties-and.html
    19. 19. And there are problems. http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2011/09/problems-and-solutions-difficulties-and.html
    20. 20. We can’t confuse the two.
    21. 21. Technology can illuminate issues.
    22. 22. http://ilovemountains.org/my-connection
    23. 23. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/white-house-garden-subsidized-crops_n_869616.html
    24. 24. Technology can pinpoint differences.
    25. 25. http://seeclickfix.com/kansas_city
    26. 26. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas.aspx
    27. 27. Technology can prompt people to act.
    28. 28. http://wvmetronews.com/2014/01/17/map-goes-blue-governor-says-water-is-safe/
    29. 29. Is it an opportunity to illuminate, pinpoint, or act?
    30. 30. So, what happens next?
    31. 31. We will describe the opportunities on HackerHelper.org so that developers can take action.
    32. 32. Hackathon, June 2014 San Francisco, CA
    33. 33. LUNCH (!)
    34. 34. A WORD FROM OUR SUPPORTERS
    35. 35. sunlightfoundation.com @SunFoundation
    36. 36. connect.dc.gov @ConnectdotDC
    37. 37. PEOPLE ARE MAKING THE WORLD BETTER
    38. 38. The Ground Rules: • 7 minutes to present • 3 minutes for questions Really.
    39. 39. 1. HeartSpark 2. Moneythink 3. Changecause 4. CallBot App 5. Open Schools! 6. Affordable Housing 7. Abolishop App 8. Scout
    40. 40. BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
    41. 41. codeforamerica.org @codeforamerica
    42. 42. techsoup.org @techsoup
    43. 43. BIG FINISH
    44. 44. Thank you.
    45. 45. Caravan Studios is a division of TechSoup Global, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are @caravanstudios. This has been a #caravangenerator.

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