Scooter Reflections on Social Media, Again…

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

OK, to be totally honest, I wasn’t reflecting on this while I was on the scooter, but that’s often where I am reflecting…

I had an incredible conversation with Susan Shaer, the Executive Director of WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions), the other day.? We were talking about creating a longer term vision and strategy given all that’s happened recently for those working on peace, security and foreign policy issues. We were reflecting on the amazing changes that have happened – and then Susan started talking about changes in what she was calling “new media” – and how that affects organizing strategies. At one point she said, “if we had known ten years ago how much time we would now spend reading and responding to email, think about how differently we would have organized ourselves.” And so I’ve been thinking about that ever since.

How should we be organizing for the new technologies that are ahead of us (instead of what is)? What are the new strategies for engaging people in our issues — not thinking just about what’s available now, but what’s coming? How will these changes affect how we work? Any ideas?

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  • Jodie says:

    Great questions! What strikes me is the amount of courage it takes as a leader of an organization to step into that inquiry. The next place I find myself is thinking about the culture of innovation that is needed to operate in a future oriented state. What are the qualities of the staff members? What sort of skill set is required? It’s my understanding that these are the type of questions that will be thrown around at Web of Change this year in the Where is Online Advocacy headed? and Organizational Transformation sessions. The conference is fortunate to have you in the mix. I look forward to the debrief!!!

  • Andria Winther says:

    As always, Susan rocks, and she has proven it once again as she is poised to dig in on this issue. I’m faily certain Susan speaks for many in our sector. I am glad Jodie mentions the Web of Change so that all of us who are wrestling with the challenges and promise of social media can tune into the collective thinking!

  • Curtis says:

    There seems to be something instructive in the growing movement of change agents seeing ourselves as designers, not simply as strategic decision makers. The skill set of designers includes being empathetic, intuitive, imaginative, and willing and able to sit long enough with apparently opposing ideas to see something new emerge. What has traditionally been the artistic skillset seems to have much more relevance to the work of leadership and management. I think there is also a connection to Gibran’s post yesterday about embracing learning and honesty over the impulse to be perfect and right.

  • Linda says:

    Leda – great to hear this will be one of the topics at Web of Change. I was telling Susan about it – and she very much wants to hear what comes out of the gathering!

    And yes, Susan tends to stay ahead of and alongside many leaders in our sector.

    And great comments Curtis. And I’d add in there something about being able to ride multiple waves (Jodie, you can help with this metaphor) – of new technologies, new policy possibilities, new world realities and new collaborations.

  • Nan Orrock says:

    A “Web of Change conference” sounds enticing! Tell us more in case other readers like me are not yet in the loop about this opportunity . . .

  • Gibran says:

    Nan – Come to! It starts next week!

    Working with Jodie we identified a “framing quote” for Web of Change, it comes from our own President Obame “We did not come here to fear the future, we came here to shape it.” This future is so different from anything we could have imagined, it will take nothing short of a paradigm shift to live our way into it. I look to Kevin Kelly a lot (check out his TED talks) for imagining what might come next and how not to think of it as “this but better” but instead prepare for it to be “something else”

  • Linda says:

    Hi Nan.

    As mentioned above, information on the web of change conference can be found at

    Both Gibran and I will be there (Gibran as one of the facilitators and designers) – and I’m sure we’ll be blogging and tweeting about it over the next few weeks!

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