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Showing posts from April, 2011

Sad News from Bookshare

We had a Bookshare all-hands meeting this week, where our entire team gets together and talks about the latest activities and news about the Bookshare project. One piece of news struck me as being particularly poignant.

Melanie Sorensen, who had recently joined the Bookshare Advisory Board, suddenly passed away last month. She missed what was supposed to be her first in-person board meeting because she had the flu. It turned out to be H1N1, and its impact was devastating, as recounted in the Whittier Daily News article: Whittier College student dies from H1N1 complications.

I was especially surprised at the prominence Bookshare had in Melanie's life, by what her family chose to share with the newspaper.
Her love of reading led to a position on the board of directors of Bookshare, an organization making accessible books and periodicals for readers with vision disabilities.

"Members are allowed to download 100 books a month," Joi Sorensen explained, "but Mel had to c…

Skoll Awards Reception

Image
Skoll Awards Reception, a photo by Skoll World Forum on Flickr. I'm talking with Quratul Ain Bakhteari at the Skoll World Forum about the incredibly difficult work she does in Pakistan.

More on Using Crowdsourced Data to Find Big Picture Patterns (Take 3)

Thanks to commenter Differance bringing up in response to to our last post on this topic that made me want to take a new tack. You're absolutely right that information quality comes from people and that data's fitness for a particular purpose is very contextual. To continue in this direction, let’s look at how people use this information.

The people who are in most need of information about humanitarian disasters are the organized responders. [Commenter Iraqi Bootleg might have some very helpful ideas/examples here.] They are especially in need of big picture information that will help guide their response to do the most good with the resources employed. Civil authorities, humanitarian organizations, military units with a humanitarian mission, all hopefully have well-trained and experienced professionals in positions to make these critically important decisions. Let’s call our example professional Captain Lopez.

Successful approach to crowdsourcing data: Captain Lopez’ t…

Skoll World Forum Social Entrepreneur's Song

One of the great memories I have of last week's Skoll World Forum is Willy Foote of Root Capital kicking off the Skoll Convening (the grantee meeting just before the Forum) with this ash-cloud inspired song:

“Floating in this Cloud”How can I scale the impact of my work?
Should I partner or go it alone?
How many funders do I really need?
And how many miles have I flown?

Yes, and does it make sense, to hire a COO
Given how much this outfit has grown.

The answers, for now, are floating in this cloud
The answers are floating in this cloud

How can I find the kind of hires that I need
Before we all just explode?
How can I build a strong culture for us all
Before we burn out from overload?

Yes and how many times must I change my strategy
Before I get on a steady road

The answers, for now, are floating in this cloud
The answers are floating in this cloud
(Repeat)

And when will I know my work has been done
That the impact will forever be
How will I measure my mark on the world
That it not be just part of marke…

Incredibly Important Opening at Benetech

We're looking for someone great to take on a crucial new position at Benetech, Vice President, Fund Raising. Benetech has been expanding its impact rapidly over the last few years, and we need a dynamic executive to join our senior leadership team.

Benetech gets the majority of its funding from revenues: from product and services sales paid for by our users (or third-party payers who buy our services for our users). The remainder of our funding comes from grants and donations. But, that remainder is incredibly important. That's our rocket fuel: how we grow our impact by another integer factor and get new ventures started.

I need a senior partner to help me, our team and our board raise Benetech's profile, communicate our key messages and secure crucial resources. There are exciting new projects we could be launching today if we had more of this kind of risk capital.

So, if you know someone highly capable, who would be energized by the challenge, send them our way. A co…