Thought bomb

New Political Paradigm?

Micah Sifry

Is there a new political philosophy emerging from how we are doing things like open source software, Wikipedia, Kickstarter, peer-to-peer networking, sharing more and consuming less? Can "peer progressivism" get us past the stale debate between "big government" and "small government"? Should we replace the "welfare state" with the "partner state"?

Broadcast Organizing to End-User Leadership: 6 Principles to Begin

Alissa Hauser and Marianne Manilov are Co-Directors and Founders of The Engage Network, a nonprofit social venture that creates, designs and implements distributive offline networks of social change leaders.

We are in the midst of a shift in citizen power from a broadcast (one to many) paradigm to a network (many to many) paradigm, and this shift opens profound new possibilities for organizing and leadership development. Digital activism has created many breakthroughs in our ability to fundraise, communicate and to come together offline. Once people come face to face, however, we need to understand which tools and skills support their continued development to build a movement that is far more inclusive than digital activism has been to date.

How to Succeed at #Fail

Why failing frequently and openly in online campaigns will lead to greater social impact

Michael Silberman is a senior online campaigns strategist. He is a partner and co-founder of EchoDitto, a leading digital strategy and technology team supporting the social change sector. More via @silbatron



Jonathan Warnow works to harness new media and social technology to catalyze large-scale change. He is a co-founder of, an innovative global climate campaign that has used a model of open-source activism to coordinate 10,000 offline events in 181 countries.


Ever get a sinking feeling after you’ve launched a great email, set up a great online action, built a thriving online community or implemented a perfect graphic? You know the one: a nagging sense that you’ve failed to truly move the needle forward on your issue--that maybe you’re just re-arranging the deck chairs?

Your New Promotion: Fearless Champion of Member Experience

Tim Walker is co-founder of Biro Creative, a pioneering provider of marketing advice exclusively for movement-building organizations. Biro's small tribe of long-term clients includes Avaaz, 350, Greenpeace UK, 100-Mile Diet and Global Zero. Tim is co-author of the Web Thinking Manifesto. He once ran the marketing department at Adbusters. And he believes that the best organizations build their movements by word-of-mouth, which they earn by creating a remarkable member experience.

Give yourself a promotion today. I mean it. Don't ask your boss. Don't make an announcement. Just decide that tomorrow is going to be different. It doesn't matter if you're an Executive Director, CTO, Field Organizer, or PHP/Drupal/Apache code ninja. This new job will be perfect. Oh, and it comes with a very cool title, ready? Fearless Champion of Member Experience.

Mobile Organizing, Your Organization…And The Future

Cheryl Contee, Partner at Fission Strategy, specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top 10 black blogs online. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Fast Company has named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. She has over 13 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco.

 In just under 10 years, the world has experienced a massive leap forward in our ability to communicate with each other and connect around the issues that matter most to us. Social networking has revolutionized how people dialogue with each other. The ways in which institutions and individuals negotiate power & influence has shifted dramatically. It’s hard to believe that it was only in 2002 that we saw the first blogs as we know them today. Yet there’s an even more powerful set of innovations on the horizon and too few nonprofit organizations are prepared for the next quantum leap.

We Must Be Scientists for Change

Steve Andersen is Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Foundation where he helps nonprofits use to change the world. He believes we are at a point in time where agents of social change can get access to the same quality technology systems that large corporations can.

"We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power." - Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958) Engineer, inventor, and co-founder of the Sloan-Kettering Institute

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