Tag Archives: civil society

Social tech and civil society: not so very different from banking

Are nonprofits really much different from private companies and other organisations in the way they use – or don’t use – social technology? Not as much as they may think.

That’s the conclusion I reached in an interview at the end of today’s UK Carnegie Trust seminar about social technology and civil society associations – which I wrote about here. read more »

The disturbing effects of social tech on civil society: arrests

Tomorrow the Carnegie UK Trust is running a seminar on how social technology will impact on civil society associations … and Dan McQuillan has kick-started discussion with a terrific post here, touching on the research undertaken for Carnegie by Suw Charman-Anderson (scroll down posts). Dan notes:

Carnegie’s report on The shape of civil society to come says that “The purpose of futures work is to ‘disturb the present’ and to help organisations understand and manage uncertainties and ambiguities. Futures thinking operates on an assumption that there is not one future but multiple possible futures, dependent partly on how we choose to respond to or create change.”

My take is that the disturbance will come where the faultlines in civil society are most pressured by the patterns and memes of the social web. The Shape of Civil Society identifies key faultlines such as

  • Voluntary and community associations lose their distinctiveness due to increasing partnership with the state,
  • Traditional political engagement on the wane
  • Diminishing arenas for public deliberation
  • Marginalisation of dissent

These are clearly on collision course with memes like Openness, Transparency, Agility and the return of The Commons.

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