Socialstructing is a new model that empowers individuals, rather than institutions, to create impact by utilizing modern technology to build large networks. In this audio lecture from the 2013 Nonprofit Management Institute, Marina Gorbis describes how micro-contributions from people in these networks enable flexibility and unlock potential in ways that institutions cannot. She shares three stories about successful socialstructing: the transformation of an abandoned building, fostering science education, and collecting crime-related data worldwide. Gorbis explains that, through socialstructing, technology allows individuals to accomplish difficult tasks without money, staff, or management, and generates new types of value that can replace institutional approaches in the future.

Marina Gorbis is a futurist and social scientist. She serves as executive director at the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a Silicon Valley nonprofit research and consulting organization. In her fourteen years with IFTF, Gorbis has brought a futurist perspective to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and philanthropy to improve innovation capacity, strategy development, and product design. She has written a book, called “The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World,” and has written for BoingBoing.net, FastCompany, Harvard Business Review, and other major media outlets. Gorbis holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in public policy from UC Berkeley.