The Global Scale project has had a slow start. Bonnie and I saw a need for a shared space to pool questions, ideas, lessons learned and examples from the work of many organizations, campaigns, and even community groups were doing to try to scale success, especially across geographic boarders, to help create a better world. That’s where the impetus came from to set up the Global Scale wiki and google group – they were to serve as that place, that meeting ground, where we could find others, talk about our work, and start building up a repository of information and resources. And we still see that need, and still think we can help. But we think there are a few things getting in the way of adoption and engagement:
– with a name like that!
– where do I fit?

Bonnie’s reflections are up on her blog, too.

Writing this blog post also made me realize that I think even Bonnie and I have different views of the “Global Scale” project – and that’s just fine! I think people looking to ramp up/scale their work to different communities even if the geographic boundaries aren’t part of it, are people who should be engaged. Similarly, people working on projects/programs that are just in one part of the world but are trying to communicate them (especially if they are trying to elicit support from elsewhere) to people outside that region should be joining in and sharing their experiences. Etc. I really think there is a wide range of opportunities for finding value to contribute regardless of the work or organization someone is from.

With a name like that!

Naming anything can be a difficult task: you can over state or under sell, you can rely on jargon or be too vague. In this case, “global scale” meant something to us because we had context and our own definition. But it isn’t something, so we’re hearing from the current community members, that makes sense to them or connects as something relevant to their work. The name doesn’t match the purpose. We need a name we can all orient around, that captures the idea: it isn’t about working on global initiatives per se, but is instead about ramping up efforts and scaling impact to effect, at least eventually, a greater world.

Where do I fit?

We also want to ensure that the name and the language used on the wiki help answer the question of “where do I fit in all this” immediately to the community. We know many, many people that have ideas, experiences, and information to share on this topic, but when directed to the wiki they didn’t see how their work was relevant. Again, just because we have an understanding of the space, doesn’t mean it’s clear to others. We want to ensure that the entire community understands both what they can share and what they can learn from the wiki.

And we hope you’ll help us!

  1. What names would you suggest? Maybe “Scaled Efforts” or “Scaling Impact” “International Outreach” or something else – we need your ideas!
  2. What gets you thinking? What kinds of prompts or questions would help you start to think about this topic and help you identify how you can contribute?

(Photo credit: Flickr: ToastyKen)

The Evolution of the Global Scale Project: We need you!
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  • Amy, I’m not sure about the answers to your questions, but some of the answer for me is bound up in Lucy Bernholz’s predictions for the coming 10 years in philanthropy. #10 especially (& #7) on this list: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2010/12/ten-for-next-10-2010-2020.html

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for weighing in, Stacey! I really enjoyed reading Lucy’s post
      and think your tie back to #10 is really aligned with the “Global Scale”
      project and help highlight the struggle we have faced trying to put a name
      on it that matches the purpose. For those reading the comments, #10 on
      Lucy’s list is:

      “10. Scale will have a networked meaning. Scale is one of the buzzwords of
      the last decade in philanthropy. By 2020 ,we’ll have given up our
      misconception that “scale = big” and instead be focused on “scale =
      networked.” We will have recognized that problems get solved through “small
      pieces loosely coupled
      .””

      I’d even further it by saying that in the case of this discussion at least,
      it is a matter of documenting, sharing lessons learned and what worked and
      didn’t work by scaling via networked action; and it is about documenting,
      sharing and discussing all of that in a networked way as well! That’s why we
      currently have the wiki as a place where things can be dropped in and
      aggregated, but why we also set up the google group/email list for
      discussion and why, case in point!, we are each still starting conversations
      on our blogs. It isn’t something we can contain in just one place but
      instead need the conversations and online spaces/resources/etc to be
      networked…just as we need to approach scale in a networked way.

      Thanks for getting this started, Stacey!

      • Bonnie Koenig

        Yes, I want to add my thank you to both Jimmy and Stacey for engaging with us in this conversation. As Amy has said we are focused on creating space for practitioners to discuss these important questions and learn from each other in order to inform our own work. And then to have it available for any time that one feels the “need for it” at a later date…

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  • Hi Amy,
    I looked over the Wiki and there is already some great stuff on there. I requested a membership so I could post this question: How do you (the group) define effectiveness? What does it mean to be effective?
    Bonnie writes about effectiveness…”look at ways to effectively replicate just those parts of the idea or program that are (1) core to keeping the program’s integrity and/or (2) can be appropriately and effectively adapted elsewhere.” But I’m wondering how it actually applies? Is it meant that the replication process itself is effective or that once the parts of the program have been implemented, they will be effective?
    I hope this isn’t too confusing, I’m just trying to figure out more about what the aim of this wiki is and how I can contribute.
    Thanks,
    J.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jimmy-

      Thanks for joining in! I approved your request to join the wiki already, so
      let me know if you have any trouble there.

      Bonnie shared some prompts and questions to get people thinking and to spur
      inspiration. But, as a learning space/resource, it is really meant to be
      more flexible and open than finely-tuned or focused on a fine point. To that
      point, the definition of effectiveness is yours to decide really. If you
      want to share a case study about a project, service, campaign or
      organization that developed or crossed geographic or community lines to
      further its impact, and you want to discuss the effectiveness or the level
      of success you had, that’s your measurement and evaluation to decide.

      I’m not trying to make it a cop-out answer, but just really emphasizing that
      there isn’t a pre-decided answer or content you have to include.

      Thanks again!

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