The guy in the t-shirt, a free agentThese are people like Mark Horvath, Shawn Ahmed and many others .. Who want to work with nonprofits …
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigtallguy/139143816/We wrote this book because we saw a landscape of free agents and nonprofit fortresses crashing into one another ….
Take Shawn Ahmed for example ….Shawn Ahmed is 29 year-old Canadian from Toronto and is the founder of the “The Uncultured Project.” He raises money and awareness on the issue of extreme global poverty. He is idealistic, facile with social media and works outside the walls of an institution. He’s passionate about wanted to end global poverty and wants to do it on his terms.But as he acknowledges, that he can’t do it alone.http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncultured/1173511851/
By sharing this journey on social networks like YouTube and Twitter, he is inspiring other people to talk about issue of global poverty and take action, and as he says He has started a social movement in the palm of his handsBut what happens when he reaches out to nonprofits? Do they embrace him?
We witnessed this collision first hand during our session on the Networked Nonprofit at the NTEN NTC Conference as Shawn’s frustration with traditional organizations spilled over. He grabbed the microphone to address the room full of nonprofit professionals and said, “the problem isn’t social media, the problem is that YOU are the fortress.Social media is not my problem: I have over a quarter million followers on Twitter, 10,800 subscribers on YouTube, and 2.1 million views. Yet, despite that, I have a hard time having you guys take me seriously. “: I have over a quarter million followers on Twitter, and 2.1 million views on YouTube. I have a hard time having you guys take me seriously.
He turned and pointed a finger at Wendy Harman from the Red Cross who was in the room. He told the room full of nonprofits staffers …..When the Haiti earthquake struck, I contacted the Red Cross. I offered to connect the community supporting my work with your efforts in Haiti. But I was dismissed as ‘just a guy on YouTube’”.
Next, I’m going to invite Mark Horvath to join me on the stage … Free agents are people who do social change work and use social media but do not work within institutional or government walls .. Mark has been working hard to call attention to homelessness issue in America .. And we’re going have a conversation about his experience working with nonprofits.
A Global Conversation Free Agents and Networked Nonprofits in a Networked World SXSW Interactive Festival - March 13, 2011 Facilitated by Beth Kanter, Zoetica