Big Challenges, Crazy Ideas

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in community development, evaluation, foundations, global health, international development, nonprofit, philanthropy, research, social policy, Uncategorized |

The Charities Review Council couldn’t have brought in a more appropriate presenter than Michael Faye to speak at its recent conference on Disruptive Philanthropy.  Michael is one of the founders of GiveDirectly, a private international development organization that gives cash to the poor in Kenya and Uganda via cell phone technology, no strings attached.  As Michael observed, giving cash to poor people-what a crazy idea! This is in contrast to...

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Launching a Neighborhood Network

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in community development, community engagement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Since I attended the Communities for a Lifetime meeting over a year ago (which I wrote about in a previous blog), I’ve been meeting with Jess Luce, Supervisor with the Communities for a Lifetime (CFL) Initiative, part of Dakota County Public Health, about ways to get involved locally in the initiative.  I jumped at the chance to help start a “Neighborhood Network,” a pilot project to try to bring a neighborhood together to strengthen social...

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Social Innovation Labs: An Experiment in Combining Elements for Change

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in community development, community engagement, nonprofit, Uncategorized |

Over the last couple of years it seemed that almost every meeting I attended included some kind of structured “conversation”.  There are several organizations facilitating these types of conversations – Art of Hosting, Open Space Technology, World Café, Heartland.  It was never clear to me what makes these conversations different from or more productive than any other conversation where group members seek to solve a problem or address an issue...

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The Graying of Dakota County: Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in community development, community engagement, older adults, public health, Uncategorized |

In my work, I have helped several clients develop proposals for “NORC” programs.  NORC is a funny-sounding acronym that stands for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities.  It is one of several similar terms which describe the concept and goal of people being able to remain in their communities as they get older.  So when I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to a “community conversation” on how to help my little burb become a...

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