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Challenges for philanthropic organizations in the digital era

During the International Fellows Program at the Centre of Philanthropy and Civil Society, I had an unique opportunity to have a deeper look at how the digital era could potentially affect the society and the development of philanthropic organizations.

At the digital era, new technologies can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines, including robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles. All of these, could lead to 21st century challenges associated with rapid technological developments, which can bring great risks to the society. As potential problems experts mentioned massive destruction of medium skilled jobs, exacerbation of inequalities, wider gender gaps, emergence of superpower oligopolies, inadequate protections of personal data, “algorithmization” of individual behaviour.  As an example, one of the biggest concerns is the increase of social inequality between the “winners” and “losers” of digital economy.

Philanthropic organizations will face questions they have not had to answer before, and in response, it is clear that innovations are critical. Yesterday’s solutions may be not applicable to address future challenges.

I’m looking for best practices and tools that address challenges mentioned, and that lead to innovation. I’m also interested to discuss about major challenges in innovation. What experiences have other civil society and philanthropy organizations have faced in the process of innovating?

Thank you! Ruta

Trends in Civic Tech: new opportunities to enhance community engagement?

Though the terminology may vary, more and more funders, investors and practitioners have joined this emerging “civic tech” field.

The purpose of my research is to enhance civic engagement within the community thanks in part to the use of many open-sources tools that can be easily adopted by citizens and NPOs.

Have you used open source community tools like Fix My Street? What was your experience with it? Any best practices or pitfalls to avoid? Thank you, Federica (Fellow 2017)

IFP Alumna Rita Thapa (SIFP 2015) has been appointed as the new Chair of the GFCF

Rita Thapa is an IFP Alumna (SIFP 2015), and she has been appointed as the new Chair of the Global Fund for Community Foundations! Congratulations!