On November 8, 2015, millions in Myanmar went to the polls to cast their votes – many for the first or second time in their lives – for members of the Union Parliament as well as for the 14 state and region parliaments. After decades of military rule, this marked the country’s first election in which all political parties participated, and on March 15, the new Parliament elected the new president, Htin Kyaw. To bridge this crucial voter information gap, The Asia Foundation turned to Myanmar’s small but rapidly growing tech community. On September 12, just two months before elections, more than 130 developers and designers in 30 teams entered the MaePaySoh Hack Challenge, a competition to create mobile and web applications that are user-friendly, fun, and full of essential information for voters about the general elections.
The Year in Review highlights the scope of the Council on Foundation's work in 2015.
According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the nation’s top 50 donors committed $1.6 billion to support a wide range of scientific research initiatives. The foundations investing in scientific research are helping to pave the way for many significant advances that are saving lives, reducing costs of medical treatments, protecting the environment and providing other benefits to individuals and society. Many believe that only very large foundations are leveraging their resources to support scientific research and know little about other foundations that are leveraging their resources in this way.
At the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in San Francisco, there was enormous interest in how foundations can lead together by aligning all of their assets with their missions. However there is one investment nearly every foundation makes, but which many fail to properly evaluate.
Ten years ago this month I waddled – enormously pregnant – into a job interview with the founder of a billion dollar healthcare tech company. “I have this crazy idea about education,” he said.
Civil Society in America faces the challenge of storytelling. Democracy thrives on the free availability of information and viewpoints. We must guard against hegemony that stifles innovation and protect voices of the marginalized. To do so, we should ensure that everyone's story is told.
On February 11, the Ford, Knight, Open Society, MacArthur, and Mozilla, Foundations together launched NetGain: Working Together for a Stronger Digital Society as a major shared initiative.
As my boss and Blackbaud CEO Mike Gianoni noted, “#GivingTuesday has gone from a simple idea to become a genuine global phenomenon.” The unofficial start to the end-of-year giving season once again kicked off this #GivingTuesday, December 2nd 2014, and with #UNselfies shared and charitable gifts made, giving is in full-swing.
An article recently published in Research & Development shared how researchers are using social media to draw attention to their research. Discussing their work with reporters and sharing on social media seemed to increase the likelihood that one’s research is cited, thereby increasing their work’s impact.
For over 25 years Blandin Foundation has provided community leadership training across rural Minnesota. One thing we’ve learned is that resilient, vibrant and sustainable communities are anchored in the quality and diversity of their connections.