In a June 2012 TEDTalks segment, Navy Admiral James Stavridis shares his vision for 21st century security: Global security driven by collaboration — collaboration among agencies, government, the private sector and the public. Not only that, he goes on to say that lashing collaboration together with strategic communications will produce the best results.
What lessons can we extract from this for the social good sector?
1. Dialogue and openness are game changers – If we’re not open to approaching philanthropy differently, how can we expect better outcomes?
2. No one of us is as smart as all of us – In philanthropy, it’s easy to feel like we, as individuals, have the “answer.” A 21st century mindset calls for partnering beyond single meetings and check presentations. Our work is to embrace partnering and offer ways we can provide human capital (expertise) and leverage connections beyond a single check or entity.
3. Instead of building walls, build bridges – It’s easy to say you want to be a bridge builder. The reality is that it can be hard and time-consuming. We don’t choose this work of partnering because it’s easy. We choose it because we know connecting others for the greater good will produce the greatest innovation.
4. It’s about connecting – During the talk, Stavridis says security in the 21st century is about connecting the international, inter-agency, private-public and lashing it together with strategic communications, large in social networks. This same no-boundaries/network weaving mentality is what makes us excited about our work each day.
What would you add to this list of elements of 21st century philanthropy?