Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2015

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2015 is an annual industry forecast written by leading philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz about the social economy — private capital used for public good.

Foundation Center is pleased to again partner with Lucy to offer the Blueprint as a GrantCraft guide. The Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

Tweet about this year's Blueprint using #blueprint15

Highlights

  • Partnership with betterplace lab
  • Insight: Big Ideas that Matter for 2015
  • Foresight: Predictions for 2015
  • Hindsight: Renovations to Previous Forecasts
  • Questions for the Future
  • Takeaways
    Where Might the Future Lead?

    Given all the different variables, many futures are possible. Here are sample scenarios that might come to pass (in whole or in part) over the next several years:

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  • Takeaways
    Bonus Buzzwords The design edition

    Design Thinking

    Professional designers often take a surprisingly methodological approach to creativity. The catchall phrase for this approach is design thinking. Heavily influenced by the design field’s work with material and product development, design thinking is a user-centered approach to developing something — a strategy, event, process, or practice. Design thinking (and its corollaries, human-centered design or user-centric design) includes each of the buzzwords below (plus many more).

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  • Takeaways
    Buzzword Watch

    The list of top 10 buzzwords for 2015 is intended to capture the gist of the jargon you’re likely to hear in the next 12 months. Think of the list as "anecdata.“ Some are meaningful; some are satirical. Some may have lasting implications and be a catchphrase that summarizes an important idea; others will pass by as quickly as they came. Regardless of how you feel about these buzzwords, don’t confuse my inclusion of a particular term as an endorsement or rejection of the idea. I’m the eavesdropper and rapporteur, and I’m happy to say that the list this year includes contributions from colleagues in North America, South America, and Europe.

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  • Takeaways
    Foresight Predictions for 2015

    What can we count on happening in the next 12 months? Here’s a list of possibilities that go beyond just the theme of digital civil society to other realms that matter to philanthropy. Most of these are U.S.-centric; this is the area I know best and the primary intent of this document. I’d welcome predictions about the nature of change in other parts of the world — please feel free to contribute your best guesses about what next year holds in your part of the world. You can submit these (for public discussion) on the GrantCraft website and join me here a year from now to see how well you did!

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  • Takeaways
    Glossary Blueprint 2015 Read More »
  • Takeaways
    Research Resources

    An important step will be to capture and catalogue the global research resources that are developing. One of the areas we should all be watching over the next years will be the ways civil society actors “layer,” partner, complement, and ally themselves in different contexts. Useful examples here include the research of Lab Around the World, Nesta, the Nominet Trust, and the Building Change Trust in Northern Ireland. MIT’s Center for Civic Media, for instance, is working with data from the Digital Activism Research Project and cataloguing stories and case studies in an online book, Global Dimensions of Digital Activism. The visualizations and map at digitalsocial.eu show one research set of innovation examples. A good next step would be to connect it with the resource databases held by others.

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  • Takeaways
    Codes for Digital Civil Society Software, organizational, and legal

    The Stanford PACS’ Digital Civil Society Lab is focused on informing and building three kinds of codes that digital civil society will need going forward. These codes are software, organizational, and legal.

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  • Takeaways
    Digital Skills and Organizational Capacity

    A great deal of attention has been placed on nonprofits and their potential uses of digital technology. Foundations, too, are beginning to address their own capacity to use digital data and infrastructure well and to support nonprofits to use digital tools and data in smart, safe, and secure ways. Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and its new Digital Civil Society Lab will launch a Digital Data Governance Guide first developed at the Packard Foundation. This resource will be available in the coming year for use by foundations, organizations, networks, consultants, and philanthropic capacity building efforts.

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  • Takeaways
    Increasing the Safety of Digital Social Action Further resources

    Other resources that directly address the safety, security, and privacy of digital social action include trainings and resources from the Tactical Tech Collective, the work of WITNESS, forthcoming guides from ZeroDivide, legal resources and tools from Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, and the tools and community being built through the Responsible Data Forum. A working list of ethical codes that inform the digital activities of some sectors of civil society was developed for the Ethics of Data Conference at Stanford in September 2014. In addition, several innovation challenges are starting to include ethics panels in their review processes. Humanitarian groups, disaster relief agencies, and data science groups are all looking at how the capacities of digital tools serve their purposes but also challenge certain existing practices.

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  • Takeaways
    New Ideas on Governance Sharing software standards

    CodeForAmerica is growing its international network through partnerships with public agencies (such as park and recreation departments), conservation nonprofits, and individual eco-activists to create common software code standards that will allow all partners to share data, build common tools, and easily expand their reach. At the same time, it will allow others to adopt the software code, too.

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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2015 is an annual industry forecast written by leading philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz about the social economy — private capital used for public good.

Foundation Center is pleased to again partner with Lucy to offer the Blueprint as a GrantCraft guide. The Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

Tweet about this year's Blueprint using #blueprint15

Highlights

  • Partnership with betterplace lab
  • Insight: Big Ideas that Matter for 2015
  • Foresight: Predictions for 2015
  • Hindsight: Renovations to Previous Forecasts
  • Questions for the Future