We've been hard at work coming up with great content for this September's conference, and we wanted to post some of what we're working on. Lots of you have been asking for an agenda, and while we won't have a finalized one for a bit longer, we do have a lot of fantastic evolving content.
What follows are brief outlines of some of the sessions we've been tossing around. They're really just a teaser, as the full agenda will include a whole lot more, but this will at least give you a sense of what to expect.
Please know that we very much welcome your feedback, either in the comments, or via an email to info AT webofchange DOT com. So drop us a line!
dotOrganize ~ Online Organizing Research Unpacked
dotOrganize – a collaborative technology venture designed to get great online tools and strategies into the hands of social change organizers – recently completed a survey of nonprofit organizations engaged in online organizing. The goal of the survey was to get a comprehensive understanding of how groups are approaching this work – how they manage and engage their constituents, what tools work and don't work for them, what keeps them from implementing technology effectively, and many other related questions.
The survey received nearly 400 responses from a wide variety of organizations. The results paint a fascinating picture of the state of the nonprofit technology sector today. This session will unpack the research, the recommendations and introduce the resulting projects.
Understanding Campaign Strategy
The purpose of this session is to gain insight into the process and strategy used by organizers to design their advocacy campaigns, and to consider how that impacts the work of technology service providers. Often technologists are brought in after the strategy has been developed and asked to supply specific tools. This approach can lead to strategy being developed in a vacuum, separated from communications and online strategies – rather than having them inform and leverage one another.
This session will be an opportunity to learn campaign strategy from leading organizers and to participate in a discussion on the intersection between strategy development and technology implementation.
How does understanding the campaign strategy process impact how tools are developed and implemented?
Are there ways that technologists and organizers/campaigners can better collaborate?
What technologies and tools are begetting new organizer/campaign strategies?
New Technologies Beget New Strategies
As web innovations emerge, new opportunities for online campaigners arise – opportunities to amplify existing strategies, and also opportunities to create new strategies that would previously have been impossible, either because they required too many resources or because the technology simply wasn't there yet.
This session will highlight technologies that are enabling new strategies, with a focus on how organizers and campaigners can leverage them. It will also be an opportunity to learn about some of the latest innovations in the field of social change technology and to continue the discussion on the intersection between technology innovation and strategy.
Technology Consulting with a View to Organizational Culture
As technology consultants, we all know the frustration of having a project fail to live up to its potential because of the dynamics at play within an organization. This session will be an opportunity to look at the organizational factors that determine whether a project will be successful and sustained, and to talk about how we can encourage them through our consulting processes – from discovery and requirements, through implementation, and to delivery.
What are the organizational dynamics that should be uncovered before engaging in a technology project?
How do these factors influence the design of the processes we use to deliver our projects?
What are some of the resources and best practices available in this field of inquiry?
Clouded Gardens: Trust, Reputation, Community Building and Social Commerce
The Web is being hived into “communities”, social networks, groups, and walled gardens, some of them open and some of them closed. Fractured identities across all of these communities stunts our ability to grow vibrant online personas and necessitates duplication of mobilization efforts. By utilizing open, user-centric identity systems, it is possible for individuals to move between the hives while retaining their wealth of personal information.
What are the essential ingredients for forming trusted, scaleable communities?
What role do reciprocity, social signaling, reputation, and trust have in forming new groups and communities?
How can community memberships be bundled to encourage broader engagement?
How can user-centric identity capabilities tie our communities together?