Starting today, the NetSquared Global Leadership Council will be meeting in various San Francisco venues to discuss the opportunities and limitations that can help grow the NetSquared program. So many ideas to share, so many issues to discuss, so many questions to ask -- luckily, more than little time. Today in the morning we started up with the basics.
Where Does NetSquared Come From?
NetSquared was developed in 2005 back when TechSoup Global was still known as Compumentor. TechSoup, a donation program at a time, and NetSquared were both Compumentor’s big projects. Since then donations have become a flag program of Compumentor, to the point when the organization changed its name to TechSoup to reflect that. NetSquared has grown from a just an idea to “square initiatives through interactions”, as Billy said today, to an international program that has now spread to over 20 countries all over the world.
Why Do It?
Ultimately, as Eduardo Bejar (Ecuador) put it, we have no excuse but to help those in need, and we want to do it together with people who share our interests and values. Even though we all come from very different places (literally and metaphorically), this is what we all share.
Showing that there *is* such a thing as society in the UK (Margret Thatcher has said there wasn't), as in Steven Flower’s case could be one of them. A passion for spreading the knowledge and educating people we usually don’t interact with could be another. We might also have been born as doers, and ended up being community organizers because of our temperament rather than a passion for tech or social change in general. And who knows, maybe one day a reward will come unexpectedly. A world will become a better place, and as a plus someone will feature us and our work in a poem (read the poem inspired by the NetTuesday Toronto: “MEETING SUCCESS” by David Clayson Brydges ).
How To Grow Big And Stay Clever?
“The bigger the organization gets, and the higher you climb within its structure, the dumber you get. Because, basically, there is little oxygen up there” -- this metaphor coined by one of the Council members, Assem Thakur (Singapore), can well summarize what we are trying to figure out. How to use the power and the network of TechSoup Global to drive hyperlocal initiatives and then scale them? How to make sure that the wisdom and the potential of the community is what shapes our strategy and informs our work? We hope to find more answers in the days to follow. Stay tuned.