Previous posts here, here, and here have discussed a report from La Piana Consulting called Convergence- How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.
One personal observation. It was interesting and fun to read the La Piana report because they operate outside the faith-based community, which is where I spend the vast majority of my time. As a result I was not familiar with the organizations they used as examples. More challenging to my perceptions is that some of the factors they identified, such as an increase in the interest in volunteerism, expanding use of networks, and new legal forms of organizations, are outside my experience base. Even more challenging is that some of the social change they allude to is going in different directions than the change advocated by some organizations I work with.
I laughed at myself as I had those realizations. As a result, I now cherish the different perspectives, experiences, observations, and even objectives. Carefully listening to different voices and intentionally learning from others is an important part of paying attention to the change that surrounds us.
I heartily encourage you get their report (available here), absorb it, and ponder deeply.
The main point again – Everyone in the nonprofit community – staff and leaders in the community, organizations serving them, activists, and funders – needs to be paying attention to what is going on around us. As the report says:
“We must engage with partners, colleagues and competitors, collaborating to bring a future vision and enhance the nonprofit sector’s capacity to adapt, respond and experiment in creative ways. In other words we must all be futurists.”
One final quote:
“How do we keep on top of ways that our environment is changing? Are we as prepared as we can be for the uncertainty that is the future, and if not, what can we do to change that?”