Today is the first day of spring, and the foundations of an organization are emerging... like the budding leaves on the Japanese Cherry trees lining the streets in my lovely neighborhood, which will bloom in powerful pink glory about a month from now. Lots is going on with Evolutionize It that's still only barely visible to naked to the eye.
Our registration was finalized here in Belgium in January, just before I travelled for a month to the US. Last week we had our first general meeting of the Board, I've just bought the domain http://evolutionize.it, and ordered some mini MOO cards. Tomorrow I'm opening an Evolutionize It online banking account with Triodos Bank.
I have yet to write up the Board meeting notes. It's on my list for this coming week. Following the Boards agreement to use this public blogspace as our primary mode of communication, I will be posting those notes here. I will also be sending each of the founding board members an invitation to post here, with their thoughts about social enterprise, collaboration, and Evolutionize It's strategic development. In addition to falling behind on the Board meeting notes, I have also fallen behind on my participation in the World Bank's Urgent Evoke game. (If by chance you're also playing, please connect with me there!)
But while I haven't managed to achieve everything I'd hoped to have done by now, collaborative activity over the past week and a half has been quite busy:
- I am engaged in a couple of ongoing early discussions with potential partners (including Ned.com, HubBrussels, and w1sd0m), in developing a replicable series of financially viable, co-branded unconference events, that facilitate concrete offline and continued online collaboration between the changemakers who attend.
- I also reached out to some really smart people I know to get their impressions on some plans that Jean Russell of Thrivable.org and I are getting ready to embark upon, in the context of creating a proposed guide to collaboration in the social change space online. We are currently working on developing structures through which stakeholders of the guide can participate in it's development. My old ally Thomas Kriese and my new ally Allen Gunn both offered some very useful feedback. Jean has sent requests for feedback to her friends Kevin and Greg. We're both looking forward to their input as well, in finalizing the next steps in our stakeholder engagement strategy.
- Amy Sample Ward was kind enough to invite me to host a session on Social Media and Stakeholder Collaboration at the upcoming OxfordJam event. This past week, I've been working with the event's initiator Ben Metz (who served as Ashoka's UK director for 3 years) on possibly co-facilitating a dinner event as well, and am having some good fun imagineering participant experiences.
- Last week was also when I hosted my first #4change chat on Twitter, learning by doing at another kind of collaboration event. Tom Dawkins of Ashoka, and the collaborators he has assembled in the #4change crew, have developed a system for managing the monthly chats that I am excited to be learning from. The chat itself was also lots of fun (though I will admit to being a tiny bit nervous behind the scenes!)
- Earlier in the day of the #4change chat, I delivered a practical seminar for the @HubBrussels host team on developing a team approach to using twitter, in a way that builds their personal profiles and promotes a dynamic twitter presence that serves the #HubBxl community. I am thrilled to have recently joined the Board of Hub Brussels, and look forward to playing a continued active role in Hub community development.
The upcoming week's highlights include a discovery call scheduled with Suresh Fernando of OpenKollab, a Micro-Success offline start-up support group meeting, my first scheduled meeting with the Radical Inclusion virtual unconference planning team, and a weekend with Ashoka's Francophone Europe region Fellows and Investor Support Network members in Lille, France, where I get to invite folks to a 1.5 hour Evolutionize It strategy development session.
All in all, I am tremendously grateful to the universe right now for all the social enterprise collaboration work I've had the opportunity to embrace in recent weeks and months. Nearing the end of Q1 in our first year of existence, I am delighted with how Evolutionize It's structure and portfolio of experience is shaping up.