Convergence report from La Piana Consulting – part 1

I previously discussed an article by La Piana Consulting here and here and now would like to discuss their report  Convergence – How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.

One of their key concepts is convergence.  That is the title of their report, so I guess it would make sense that is the overriding issue.  Their point is that not only are there some very major trends that are going to have a dramatic impact on the nonprofit community, but these trends will interact with each other to reinforce and compound change.

For example the demographic shift that people coming into the workforce have different perspectives and skill sets will combine with the dramatic changes in technology, particularly social media, to create a far more drastic change than either of those trends would cause just by themselves.

As an aside, I plan to quote from their report quite a bit.  Please notice there are a lot of quotation marks in my posts.  I wish to honor their effort as I relay their ideas to my audience.  Please go get the full report and read it.

The second major theme throughout their report is the idea that we must all become futurists.  I perceive the biggest and most serious challenge facing the nonprofit community is watching the massive changes around us and being proactive in dealing with those changes.  That is the essence of what it means that we all must be futurists.  The report expresses it this way:

“The most radical changes are likely not even on our radar yet.  Although change is nothing new, the highly accelerated pace at which social, technology and economic shifts are now occurring and affecting one another, presents radical challenges and demands increasingly adaptive responses.  The traditional approaches of nonprofits, funders and capacity builders will fall short, and the old rules will no longer apply.”

“For the nonprofit sector to survive and thrive, everyone – nonprofits, funders and capacity builders alike – must become futurists.  This does not mean predicting the future (an impossible task if ever there was one) but instead means being attuned to rapid and continuous shifts in the environment; continually evaluating and interpreting how organizations can best adapt; and experimenting with new responses and approaches.  Being a futurist requires both individual and institutional curiosity, and a willingness to take risks.”

Next post – the initial two of five emerging trends

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