Key issues from conference

Megan Griffith's presentation at the recent NCVO conference on membership schemes aimed to spark some discussion among those at our workshop - and we weren't disappointed. Here's some of the key issues reported back from group discussion, transcribed from the flip charts by Simon Berry. The groups were asked to consider:

  • What do you think are some of the major challenges and opportunities facing membership organisations in the 21st century?


  • What might your membership scheme look like in 5 years time?

Simon has grouped the responses:  read more »

Drivers shaping the future of membership: yesterday's presentation

I wrote this think piece as the basis of a presentation on the drivers shaping the future of membership, for the NCVO membership schemes conference on the 22 April.

Individuals are affirming themselves as individual agents
Individual freewill and autonomy have become important social values. This individualism, although often associated with selfishness, also links to growing notions of self-reliance and personal responsibility. A linked trend is the decline in deference; our willingness to accept without question what those in authority say has declined.

Our identities and how we express them is more complex  read more »

Re-thinking organisations as networks

Ncs08Covermd-1I originally published this at at Designing for Civil Society. The ideas seem so central to this project I thought worth having on this site for reference.

Michael Gilbert launches the first edition of The Journal of Networks and Civil Society with a suitably provocative article on The End of the Organization?

In this he ponders whether the growth of internet-based communications means our traditional ways of organising for social good will change dramatically.
Michael's argument is that nonprofit organisations are in large part set up to fit in with past and current ways of raising funds, meeting government regulations, employing people, organising volunteers. We then end up with a hierarchical system of trustees and staff.  read more »


Membership and relationships

Mock up or ruralnet|online v1Sorry I've not been more active over here but you'll see more of me now that the ruralnet|online co-design process is well underway.

This process has been really enlightening and, as usual with the open innovation process, we are not where we thought we'd be when we started!

We've hit a bit of a watershed and our findings are relevant to this project, I think, so here they are.

Drawing everything together and injecting Paul's and Duncan's excellent work this week with Wordpress MU the image to the left is an attempt to show the status of our current thinking. Click on it to see it full size (it's on Flickr).

A focus on relationships between people and organisations rather than 'information'. A focus on 'services' rather than 'content'.

In summary, it's a graphical RSS aggregator, maybe Google Apps For Your Domain(?), with WordPress (organisational websites and individual blogs), Drupal (Experts Online), Gmail (for those who want it) and other things sitting behind it.

Although we've been focussing on ruralnet|online here, the system could be replicated for other networks using the Networks Online philosophy.

This is an Aunt Sally for everyone to have a go at. I'll be really interested in any comments and feedback.

Key questions are: What's the business model? Do we need a forum facility? What about shared file storage?  read more »


This may be too much to ask but . . .

. . . . is there a mechanism whereby users could specify a feed to be brought into the system. Maybe as part of their profile. So that stuff they wrote elsewhere that is helpful would pop up aginst their name here?





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