Noel Taylor, CEO & President

I was fortunate enough to have recently participated in the Omidyar Network Executive Forum (ONEF), as well sitting on a panel discussing “crowdsourcing everything” at the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Global Digital Forum, both in San Francisco. Generally speaking, the participants at these two events couldn’t have been more different in their missions, but at the same time they couldn’t have been more similar in the ways many of them are going about achieving those missions.

On one hand, we have the YPO membership comprised of talented and innovative entrepreneurs striving for success in the corporate world. On the other hand, we have the investees of the Omidyar Network (ON) – talented and innovative entrepreneurs striving for successful social impact. What binds these two groups together is their creation, adaptation, and adoption of disruptive technologies to achieve their goals and objectives within this age of the collaborative economy.

While the evolution of social media has greatly enhanced our abilities and options for networking, both personal and professional, it is the networks built as part of the collaborative economy that are now impacting our lives like never before and will continue to do so. That said, social media will continue to play a key role in supporting this new economic movement. To see how pervasive this concept now is, check out this Collaborative Economy Honeycomb from Jeremiah Owyang.

Although a similar honeycomb could probably be constructed for the multitude of organizations using similar approaches in the sphere of social impact, I believe the greatest opportunity for achieving social impact at a transformative scale will come from moving beyond collaboration to a convergence model of partnerships, joint innovation, and shared services.

Navigating through the continuum of collaboration for a new player like Cadasta doesn’t come without challenges, but it’s something we have to focus on as a critical step towards achieving our mission. One small step we took from the outset in this regard was the decision to house ourselves in the OpenGov Hub in Washington, DC. Co-locating with innovative and like-minded organizations committed to the open government agenda has already yielded opportunities for collaboration that we expect to see mature into implementation over the coming months.

We are also very fortunate to have the support of the Omidyar Network (ON), which immediately connects us with other respected groups in the property rights portfolio, such as Namati, FES, BRAC, and Landesa. Attending ONEF not only allowed me to spend time with the leaders of these organizations, but other investees from the Financial Inclusion and Governance & Civic Engagement portfolios. It was also during ONEF that ON announced a new grant funding initiative that promotes collaboration between investees within and across portfolios.

As I continue to grapple with being more active professionally on the social media front, I also look forward to working with the leadership team here at Cadasta in not only getting us up and walking – let alone running – but also in charting a model of convergent collaboration with partners around the globe.

As we venture through this collaboration continuum we know there is perhaps one aspect that will determine our success or failure more than any other: Trust. And by that I mean the multi-directional trust coefficient that must exist amongst Cadasta, our donors, our partners, and most importantly, our constituents – the poor and marginalized who lack proper documentation or evidence backing their claims for resource and property rights… but that is a whole other post unto itself.

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Image via NASA.