Tag: Information Overload

Friday roundup – May 11 through May 15, 2015

THIS WEEK AT WRAG
– WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, reflected on the information overload that many of us experience on any given day and shared how WRAG is working to become part of the solution. (Daily, 5/11)

THIS WEEK IN HOMELESSNESS
Stagnant Wages, Scant Affordable Housing Keep People Homeless in D.C. Region, Report Says (WAMU, 5/13)

THIS WEEK IN POVERTY
– Loudoun County may have its share of wealthy residents, but for many families in the county, the summer months can mean children will face food insecurity while they are out of school. Food banks there are getting prepared for a rise in demand. (WaPo, 5/13)

Related: This week, WRAG hosted our first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference focusing on the unique needs of residents and discussing strategies to address them. If you are interested in seeing what panelists and participants had to say, you can check out the hashtag #FundLoudoun on Twitter.

– Opinion: More and more studies are coming out about the long-term effects of social programs that support low-income families. Growing research has shown evidence that children whose families received benefits have better outcomes as they enter their 20s and 30s than those whose families did not receive benefits. (NYT, 5/11)

– A study out of Harvard University that took place over several years found that commuting time was the “single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty” (NYT, 5/7)

THIS WEEK IN THE ENVIRONMENT 
The Washington Post explored whether or not D.C.’s 5-cent fee for plastic bags is actually working to make a difference in the environment. While they seemed skeptical, others say, “yes, it is working.” (WaPo, 5/9 and GGW, 5/15)


NEXT WEEK AT WRAG

Community Wealth Building Initiative Briefing & Call for MORE Action (Funders, nonprofits, local government, business, hospital, and university representatives, and others interested in learning more about this exciting initiative.)
Monday, May 18  9:30 AM – 12:00 PM


You can sell just about anything on Craigslist…but it should probably belong to you before you try to do that

– Ciara

Information Overload: The Victim, the Culprit, the Solution

By Tamara Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Piled on my desk are several issues of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, a few copies of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Bruce Katz’s The Metropolitan Revolution, the latest report from the Democracy Collaborative and assorted articles that I should read. Sound familiar? What does this tell you? That I’m still caught up in the last century’s hard copy preference? While that’s true, the bigger point is that I am constantly surrounded by information that I don’t have time to read, think about, or learn from because I am too busy doing.

Consider this from a 2013 article by science and technology writer David Russell Schilling:

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900, human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

Now at the same time that we are drowning in information, we’re all adding to it. Yes, WRAG, and probably most of you who are reading this post, is a part of the problem. We all manage programs, produce reports, host seminars – all chock full of information – good information, valuable information – but information that many don’t have the bandwidth to utilize.

Enough! At least, that’s what WRAG is saying.

Thanks to a grant from the Taproot Foundation, WRAG will be undertaking a comprehensive effort to learn what we do that truly helps our membership be more effective and responsible in their philanthropy. That is our mission. We want to be more laser-focused in accomplishing that mission. We still want to offer that inspiring speaker, that provocateur who will push us to think more expansively, but we also want to offer our members what they can use now, what they need now. We want to offer them tools, information and speakers that enable them to be more effective and responsible philanthropists. WRAG members, you’ll be hearing more. Stay tuned.