ReCoding Good

From the Field Series: An ongoing report of the Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology Project, which explores the use of private resources for public good.

Recent decades have seen great tactical innovation in social enterprise and impact investing. Major legal changes have transformed the roles that nonprofits play in political campaigns. Digital and mobile communications have expanded the ways we organize our institutions and our networks. Together, these changes add up to a new social economy—a dynamic and diverse set of enterprises that deploy private resources to the creation and sustenance of public goods. Now is the time to look beyond the tools we’ve built and also examine the rules that guide their use. If we innovate with the tools, we might consider innovating with the rules too.

As part of the Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology Project—an ongoing exploration of the use of private resources for public good—scholars and practitioners representing a wide variety of disciplines and sectors will participate in series of collaborative sessions, or ReCoding Good Charrettes, to share their expertise. These charrettes will complement a series of scholarly workshops, ongoing public forums, idea sharing, and policy research. We will report data gleaned from this research and discussion here in the SSIR blog over the next year, and we expect this work to provide guidance for improving the public policy frameworks that shape our social economy.

We invite you to join us in asking five key questions about the emerging social economy:

1. What does a post-Citizens United world mean for nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public good?
2. How is digital technology changing our conception of public accountability and public goods?
3. How will big data, the sharing economy, and open government influence philanthropy?
4. How can we better align our regulatory frameworks that govern and structure the creation of public goods with the technological innovations being made in bioscience, data processing, and other rapidly advancing fields?
5. What are the 21st century policy frames we need to encourage the use of private and public resources to help address our major domestic and global challenges?

The answers to these questions will inform policies to shape a more robust, capable, fair, and effective system for using private resources for public good.

Such a system matters to all of us: nonprofits, donors, social investors, social entrepreneurs, activists, public officials, and, above all else, citizens. The rules reflect what we want from government, markets, and individuals in solving our shared social problems.

All materials from and information about the project can be found at ReCoding Good and through the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society’s Digital Civil Society Lab. We invite you to subscribe to our email list, talk with us on Twitter (#ReCodeGood), and join us in person whenever you can.