Sloan Updates

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August 25

CALL PIRATE PAD - 09/06 --

Sloan Foundation live blogging here: [[1]]


  • Just want to remind everyone to provide comments this week to CrisisCommons Market Assessment. You can provide your comments here. To date only one person has contributed. CrisisCommons Market Assessment
  • Today we have added the Roundtable notes from the sessions that happened 7/15 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. For all the notes we are now going to ask that you provide your edits by September 10th. We moved it up a few weeks. Just wanted to be sure you all had more time to edit the final documents. Here are the links to all the Notes, including the newly updated Roundtable notes: First International CrisisCongress After Action Report
  • Thanks again goes to Chiara for her dedication to pulling these together!
  • Next Monday I will be meeting with the Sloan Foundation to discuss our approach to the Sloan Seminar where Noel, Andrew and I will present on September 8th next steps for the Commons the the Program Directors of the Sloan Foundation. This is an important presentation.
  • To prepare for September 8th, we will be talking to the Sloan Foundation on Monday, August 30 to get further guidance on what is expected and will be demoing the presentation to Harvard's Berkman Center the next day on Tuesday, August 31st. Between your comments and these meetings we will have a solid approach to the presentation on September 8th.
  • To contribute your thoughts/perspectives to the presentation framework, please feel free to edit here: [[2]]

Heather B. (heather at

August 31

  • Yesterday I attended a meeting with the Sloan Foundation in New York

City to gain insights of how Andrew, Noel and I will need to prepare for our "Sloan Seminar" on September 8th. This is the presentation where we will outline what we have learned over the last four months in support of strategic planning grant that we are helping Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars complete "Harnessing Volunteer Technology Communities to drive capacity and innovation in crisis response and global development." (i.e. Commons Strategic Planning grant).

  • The meeting went really well +100. I got to meet Josh Greenberg who is

the new Director of Digital Programs ( files/press_releases/greenberg_to_head_digital_info_program.pdf). He has done some really great things at the New York Public Library and is super smart data hound. He can be technical but his concentration is on the humanities so leans towards the social side. Really nice guy and was fun to talk to. You can follow him on Twitter at [[3]]

  • We talked about keeping the slide deck short (of course), and really

focusing on roles/needs which enable the ability to harness energy around productive requirements, support innovation and build the relationships across competitors (within CROs and VTCs). They also thought it might be good to have a one pager definitions explaining our own jargon like - "What is a barcamp?"

  • Sloan shared that in some respects over the next few years that may be

okay that we may not completely know the end state because the environment because is constantly changing (i.e. CrisisCamp didn't exist a year ago). Rather they offered that we might want to focus on emergent trends, exploration how a Commons structure can benefit/ challenge and explore/support roles needed to support efforts. They were really interested in how to support lessons learned from each crisis where there is volunteer participation and to build on those lessons each time a crisis occurs and the sharing within the VTC community.

  • Sloan did like the approach which we put forward in thinking about

what next year would look like. Specifically I outlined that we would have three main objectives: 1) facilitate buy-in from the CRO/VTC communities through the development of a CrisisCommons Council and 2) develop requirements for a research & innovation lab from a diverse group of consumer research (ie. Gardner, Neilsen), academic research (social behavior, visualization, language, computation) and private sector R&D (the magic elves within places like Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, ect) and 3) support the collaboration of VTC communities by hosting convenings like the CrisisCongress and Commons infrastructure development (tools, ect).

  • As a result of these efforts at the end of 2011 would result in (1)

formal relationships being established and a clear understanding of the specific role of the Commons across all of our partners/ stakeholders and (2) a foundation for the development of a lab which would provide resources for prototypes from VTCs and drive research based understanding for what CROs/public need and how they use technology in crisis.

  • One of the highlights of the conversation with Sloan is that they

completely supported the concept that the Commons must be independent. They understood our concern that in order for the Commons to be a successful honest broker and bridge the competitive communities that its source of support must lie outside of this area and we cannot ask for things from people we are seeking to assist (CROs). I laid out the challenges of independence with the thought that if this was something that would easy to do, it would have been already done. It was a "no-brainer" for them but we all acknowledged that is a harder nut to crack for the long term. I think there will be more thinking how this can be approached. In some sense, I believe what might come out may be a completely new model of sustainability.

  • To that end, we talked about what is the level by which we need to

have this all figured out. Sloan replied that its not that we have to have it figured out rather our job in the strategic planning phase is to identify the challenge and provide possibilities for approach, based on research, observations and insights from our learnings. This made me feel really good about where we are and I was happy that those observations are already in the slide deck (from the two pager I posted to the Google group last week). As I left the meeting, I felt really good about where we are. The great ideas from our community and that this will not be an exercise to "figure it out" rather to identify what we know for sure and offer approaches based on creating thinking, research and observations. So that is a long way of saying, it went well and we are looking forward to presenting at the Sloan Seminar next week.

  • Switching gears, Andrew, Noel and I are test driving the Sloan Seminar

presentation today to Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Our aim is to 1) develop the cadence for delivery between the three of us 2) experience/respond to hard questions and 3) gather feedback on the approach from the smart folks at Berkman. Many of the participants are currently Berkman fellows as well as super smart experts such as Yochai Benkler. (We hope he comes!) He who wrote the book, "The Wealth of Networks" and "Coarse Penguin" which talk about peer production and civic contribution in "non-market" areas. I know I will be very interested to hear his perspective. If you haven't checked out his work - We'll post the draft Sloan Seminar presentation on the Google group tomorrow, it was based on what I had posted earlier this week. I'll also give a quick summary of feedback from the Berkman roundtable. On a separate note, the CEO of Meetup contacted us (via a tweet) and wants to talk about the Commons using Meetup Everywhere as a tool. Next week when we are in NYC we will go over to meet with them and Deborah Shaddon will be linked in via Conf Call to the discussion. It was a funny twitter message from @heif - "Why isn't @CrisisCamp using Meetup Everywhere? That's what we MADE it for!"

September 3

From Google Group [[4]]

  • Not sure if we could take better notes than Ethan (tho we will post them too). But in the interim here are is the Berkman Presentation and his blog which really recapped the discussion. The major thing here is that a group of experts said that how we defined the problem was right on. That is a big deal. That means validation.

Blog: {[5]]

Presentation: [[6]]

  • The Sloan presentation next week will be 10 slides and very high level compared to the Berkman presentation which we got into the weeds.

Remember what I mentioned earlier this week (when you look at the presentation), the organizational framework is based on what we have learned and is for illustrative purposes. This is what I draw on the white board at the unconference in July. Just to remind everyone, there are no decisions just ideas right now. Our pitch for Sloan next week will be here is what we have learned over the last few months, here is what we think might good for the future but we need support to work with the community more, meaning VTCs and CROs, to outline/develop requirements of what is needed, generate formal buy-in and create a model of sustainability.

  • Ethan has real experience with the challenge of sustainability and GeekCorps doesn't exist anymore. We want to learn from him and everyone else who has done this kind of thing before in some respect.
  • Also to clarify if the posts earlier were not clear - here is the process with Sloan next week:
  • We present on September 8th. From this presentation they decide whether or not to invite us to write a Trustee Proposal.
  • If yes, we spend two months writing a 100 page proposal outlining our approach for the next three years. There will be significant engagement with everyone here, SMEs and our Program Director on approach of the proposal.
  • In November we would turn in the proposal then Sloan decides at their December Trustee meeting.
  • If at the December meeting Sloan says yes, we begin support on January 1, 2011 for 2-3 years in the development of the Commons with the Community.
  • If Sloan says no next week, then we just post all the documents on the CrisisCommons webpage (which we will do anyways) and say this needs to be supported.
  • So next week is just the first step in a long journey. We hope to have a slidedeck done by the end of Saturday for everyone to take a look at.

Good luck with the Marathon that begins today! Super energy everywhere! Heather B.

September 8 Sloan Presentation

  • Draft of the Sloan Presentation for September 8: [[7]]
  • Conference Call on September 6 - 3pm EST / 7PM London / Noon California / Call In Number here: Telephone Bridge