Feedback Is Having a Moment: Philanthropy Can Make It Permanent

Giving Compass Feedback Is Having a Moment: Philanthropy Can Make It Permanent Mutual Accountability for Social Change is a monthly series exploring feedback in philanthropy with practical steps for donors. It serves as a primer for the 2020 publication of David Bonbright’s (co-founder and chief executive, Keystone Accountability…  Continue reading..

Constituent Voice is a “slow idea”

I’m a slow learner. Over a decade into this work, it hit me that Constituent Voice is what New Yorker writer Atul Guwande dubbed a “slow idea”. In Guwande’s New Yorker article comparison of the historical uptake of anesthesia and antiseptics, he asks, why did one take off rapidly while the other languished? “First, one[…]

The real work – day four of the social lab in Malawi

The main objective of the fourth and final day of the Rumphi Social Lab design workshop was the formation of micro-action teams to take forward seven ‘big ideas’ to improve development in Rumphi.  The teams did indeed form (and merge down to five), and lists of ‘key assumptions that must be true if we are[…]

Can social labs save development?

Foreign aid in Malawi is as much as 50% of the national budget. This startling fact poses a paradox that haunts Malawi and all aid dependent countries. On the one hand, aid is desperately needed to finance essential services like health, education, and agriculture development. On the other hand, foreign aid has significant unintended negative[…]

A very bold alternative

“What is this feedback thing all about?” I‘m hearing this question more and more as the word about feedback in social change is spreading. I say that it is about transformational change, though it works incrementally. I say that it is about listening and connecting with people, that it amounts to a fundamental reorientation in[…]

Coming through denial

This month’s annual Feedback Summit in Washington DC has been chronicled by journalist Marc Gunther as the moment where we recognized that we have arrived, and asked first order questions.  In my blog post last week I said that I thought we had, collectively, set our intention for fundamental transformation of how we organize to[…]

Moment of choice

Last week’s Feedback Summit was, for me at least, a watershed event. It was the third time our emerging field had come together at an annual gathering. Despite the inevitable consternation that accompanies wide-ranging diversity of expectations, experience and perspectives, I believe that we made two leaps forward over two huge chasms. This post is[…]

Democracy is alive

Last month I attended a very British event at the London School of Economics. A hundred or so of us gathered in the Shaw Library, named after George Bernard Shaw, one of the founders of LSE. We were invited there by the Webb Memorial Trust, a charity dedicated to advance the values of another founder[…]

Responding to the sound of (mostly) silence

Out of the blue, we sent you, our clients, partners and friends, a short survey that asked what you think about us. Here’s what you told us. Firstly, you told us that an out of the blue survey is not the right way to do this. Ninety-two of you responded, for an overall response rate[…]