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Note from the Curator: The First 30 Days

Welcome to the first Note From The Curator. I look forward to writing these notes periodically to update you on our progress, to orient the conversation, and to keep our focus on ways to convert that conversation into action.

We launched Markets for Good this past month. In these 30 days, we have seen a few interesting themes begin to develop, such as: the need for a coherent “data identity” in the social sector, critical debate on the nature of the market approach, and how to confront the dynamic and complex challenge of upgrading our information infrastructure.

One theme we look forward to exploring in the next few weeks is the interplay of systems. The more I learn about persistent social problems, the more I am amazed at their ability to adapt easily to isolated attempts to solve them – and attempts to isolate them by their most salient feature.

Before we leave our homes each day, we experience the interaction of multiple systems: housing, education, employment, health, etc. If we want to improve outcomes and change lives, we must be empowered to navigate solutions to dynamic problems in equally dynamic ways.

If you’d like to read an example of what I’m talking about, Erine Gray makes the point in “What Is The Real-Time Supply Of Human Services?” where he proposes a multifaceted and open taxonomy for classifying human services.

We would love to have your engagement on this theme and on other activities. Here is what we have on tap for the balance of 2012:

  • continuing dialogue and an open debate on the Markets for Good blog, driven by your comments and a wide diversity of voices with guest bloggers from within and outside of the social sector,
  • highlights of Markets For Good activities around the sector, such as, We’re Getting Data. Now What?, a webinar to be presented by the Stanford Social Innovation Review to explore the current, large-scale movements toward big and open data,
  • reactions to a soon-to-be-released white paper on Markets for Good, which provides an in-depth analysis of the issue, and
  • an interactive information Landscape v1.0, which highlights the people and initiatives already working on the sharing and use of social sector data.

On the last point, share the initiatives you know of here. In addition, there are many other ways you can join the conversation:

  • Go to “Stay Connected: Register” on the homepage to opt in for regular alerts – not spam. By opting in, you will receive only notices of new blog posts from our guest contributors.
  • Comment on the blog. We are open to debate, recognizing that if a room full of smart people agree on everything, then something’s probably wrong.
  • Let us know what you think using our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Vimeo.
  • Write and let us know about the people, ideas, and initiatives that we should all be talking about.

I’m glad you’ve joined us.

Many thanks,

Eric J. Henderson
Conversation Curator
Markets For Good