Generosity Network: Breaking Down Walls Between Donors and Doers

There really is no difference between donors and doers.

Generosity Network is an idea that we have been teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School and it’s opening up networks so that you find individuals who can be your partner in causes of the day. 

Many nonprofits these days focus on the idea that, “Gee, I need help and so I need to raise capital.  How do I get funds?”  And then the donors feel like they’re under attack, that they’re having many people going after them for funds.  Our philosophy is is that there really is no difference between donors and doers.  Lowering the walls between those two individuals allows a lot more resources to come to the table.

The way you do that is to start having individual conversations about how people with common passions can come together.  And you bring whatever you have to the table for the goal of achieving and solving a problem.  So for example, we worked on malaria together.  There’s a whole group of individuals - people with money, people with networks, people with knowledge, people with expertise, people with time - who all came together to say we want to solve the problem of deaths from malaria.  There was a million people dying per year from malaria.  Today after the collaboration that came together there’s 450,000 people a year dying in sub-Sahara and Africa mainly.  Our goal for the next two-and-a-half years is to go down to zero.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

5 short podcasts to boost your creativity and success

These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.

Personal Growth

Podcasts can educate us on a variety of topics, but they don't have to last an hour or more to have an impact on the way you perceive the world. Here are five podcasts that will boost your creativity and well-being in 10 minutes or less.

Keep reading Show less

Philosopher Alan Watts: 'Why modern education is a hoax'

Explore a legendary philosopher's take on how society fails to prepare us for education and progress.

Alan Watts.
Personal Growth
  • Alan Watts was an instrumental figure in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
  • He believed that we put too much of a focus on intangible goals for our educational and professional careers.
  • Watts believed that the whole educational enterprise is a farce compared to how we should be truly living our lives.
Keep reading Show less

Mining the Moon

How can we use the resources that are already on the Moon to make human exploration of the satellite as economical as possible?

The All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE), a prototype heavy-lift utility vehicle to support future human exploration of extraterrestrial surfaces, at right, is parked beside the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Pressurized Excursion Module (HDU-PEM), at left, a concept off-Earth living and work quarters for astronauts stationed on asteroids, the moon or Mars, 15 September 2010. Photo by: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

If you were transported to the Moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That's because there's no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don't kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the Moon is not a hospitable place to be.

Keep reading Show less