Social bookmarking with the Ethos Roundtable

If you have web links that are relevant to the Ethos Roundtable's interests, it's easy to share them online by using Delicious.

  1. If you've never used Delicious before, register for a free account first. Otherwise, go directly to login.
  2. Post the link that you'd like to share with members of the Ethos Roundtable.
  3. Type in the name of the link in the "description" field, and some brief notes about why it's of interest in the "notes" field.
  4. Type in ethosroundtable in the "tags" field, and hit "save."

That's all it takes! The web link that you are sharing will (eventually) appear on this blog - in the right hand column, under the heading "From the Ethos Roundtable tagstream."


Please save the date for our January meeting

The next meeting of the Ethos Roundtable will be on Tuesday, January 16th, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Charles Hotel.

Ethan Zuckerman, one of the co-founders of Global Voices Online, will discuss this facinating non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.

Its motto is "The world is talking. Are you listening?"

I can't imagine an initiative more congruent with our interest in using technology to expand ethos and support positive social change.

Please join us!


The M. N. Adamov Memorial Fund: Bridging language, culture, governments, and (not so incidentally) the digital divide

The Ethos Roundtable is much obliged to Harris Sussman for yesterday's presentation on the work of the M. N. Adamov Memorial Fund.

The Adamov Fund's efforts to bring computers to blind university students in Saint Petersburg, Russia are especially intriguing.

If you have suggestions for the Adamov Fund or links to resources, please post them here as blog comments.


What's it all about, Ethos Roundtable?

Here are some questions that I've been asked recently about the Ethos Roundtable, along with some answers:

Q: Is the Ethos Roundtable a nonprofit organization?
A: No, we are just an informal group.

Q: What do you do?
A: As a group, we meet once a month for discussions and presentations. As individuals, we are actively involved in a wide range of projects.

Q: How did your group form?
A: Four of us (Josh Shortlidge, Naava Frank, Anne Marie Bellavance, and Deborah Elizabeth Finn) had lunch together. We did some brainstorming about topics that interested us, and had such a positive experience that we decided to gather on a regular basis, and to invite others to join the conversation.

Q: What does "ethos" mean?
A: Please see the bottom of this web page for both a brief and an extended explanation.

Q: With what other organizations are you affiliated?
A: TechFoundation underwrites our meeting space, and our meetings are scheduled to complement Boston 501 Tech Club events. However, these arrangements are all very informal, so please don't assume that any official endorsement is involved.

Q: Can you give me money for a project?
A: We don't have an operating budget, let alone a grant program. Sorry about that.

Q: Can you help me with my computer or my web site?
A: As a group, we do not offer technology support services to individuals or organizations. Sorry about that.

Q: Can you give me advice about how to expand ethos or use technology for positive social change?
A: If you have a project in mind, and would like to solicit feedback by presenting it at an Ethos Roundtable meeting, we may be able to put you on the agenda. Please send us an email at ethos.roundtable (at) gmail (dot) com.


Social capital "factoids" from the Saguaro Seminar

The Saguaro Seminar is headquartered at the Kennedy School of Government, right next door to the Ethos Roundtable's customary meeting place.

I was browsing through the seminar's web site, and came upon a page devoted to social capital "factoids." Here's a sample:

    Joining one group cuts your odds of dying over the next year in half. Joining two groups cuts it by three quarters.

What a great excuse to join the Ethos Roundtable! Our next meeting is on December 19th. If you stick around and attend the Boston 501 Tech Club, which meets immediately after the Ethos Roundtable, you can easily boost your life expectancy in the next year by another 25%.


Links recommended by Harris Sussman of the M. N. Adamov Memorial Fund

Harris Sussman of the M.N. Adamov Memorial Fund will be making a presentation at the next meeting of the Ethos Roundtable, and has been kind enough to recommend some links for us to review:
We hope that you will feel free to comment here about these links or about the presentation. If you have ideas, recommendations for further reading, or suggestions about other resources, you are welcome to share them!


Coming soon to the world wide web: MassNonprofitNet.Org

Odd but true: Unlike most states in the U.S., Massachusetts does not have an association for nonprofit professionals or the organizations that employ them.

The historical reasons for this are too complex for my mind to encompass, but my best guess is that the biggest obstacle is what has been called "a fractious and exclusionary civic culture."

Fortunately, things are changing. The Nonprofit Working Group (sometimes known as the Nonprofit Strategy Working Group) is making steady progress toward an association that will be known as the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. The Boston Foundation is providing substantial funding, Third Sector New England is providing fiscal sponsorship, and a whole host of local worthies are bringing their knowledge and influence to bear on this project.

Susan Nicholl has been brought on as the project manager, and I've had a few conversations with her about MassNonprofitNet.Org, the web site that is currently in development. Although a great web site is no substitute for a spirit of collaboration, I'm hoping that the new spirit that exists in Massachusetts can be supported by an online presence that makes use of Web2.0 (or NetSquared) tools. I also hope that if you have ideas you'll share them by emailing Susan at nonprofitstrategygroup (at) gmail (dot) com.


Please save the date for our December meeting

The next meeting of the Ethos Roundtable will be on Tuesday, December 19th, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Charles Hotel.

Harris Sussman of the M.N. Adamov Memorial Fund will discuss his organization's efforts to foster access to information and communication technologies among blind people in Russia.

The Ethos Roundtable is interested in accessibility, universal design, and using technology for positive social change, because we believe that they are congruent with our conversations about the expansion of ethos.

Please join us!


Another Roundtable Reconvenes

After a hiatus, Commonwealth Civic Roundtable is reconvening on December 8th! This is the group that brought you CivicSource, the free online civic calendar for Massachusetts.

The Civic Roundtable's goal is rebuild civic life in the 21st century by promoting more effective participation in community life and public affairs. The participants are working together to:
  • Create a leadership forum for the exchange of ideas and information about civic engagement,
  • Support new and existing programs that promote civic engagement, and,
  • Advance opportunities to expand civic participation and promote civic health.
Some of the organizations that participate in the Commonwealth Civic Roundtable are:
Some topics proposed for discussion and action at the December 8th meeting are:
  • What can be learned from the most recent election about efforts to improve civic life?
  • What practical steps can be taken to encourage people to "stay checked in?"
  • How can individudals stay engaged in the state policy process, and how can they be active in their local communities?
  • What can organizations and communities do to foster civic engagement and the building of bridges between diverse groups?
If you're interested in learning more about the Commonwealth Civic Roundtable, or in attending the upcoming meeting, please email John Schneider at jschneider (at) massinc (dot) org.


Mission-Based Massachusetts: An email distribution list

Mission-Based Massachusetts is an email distribution list for people who care about nonprofit, philanthropic, educational, community-based, grassroots, socially responsible, and other mission-oriented organizations in the Bay State.

Announcements about meetings of the Ethos Roundtable are regularly posted to the MBM list.

It is a moderated, flame-free email distribution list that is open to anyone who is interested in the topic and willing to adhere to the basic principles of civil society.

The name of the group was chosen to encourage inclusion of persons from all sectors and demographic categories, rather than just nonprofit and philanthropic professionals.

If you'd like to browse recent messages, please go to the MBM archive. If you'd like to see a map of group members' locations, please go to the MBM community map.

You are very welcome to join the list, and to invite others to join! Because it is an "opt-in" list, your email address will not be added unless you confirm that you wish to participate. To do that, just send a blank email to this address:

mission-based-massachusetts-SUBSCRIBE (at) yahoogroups (dot) com

You can also stay up to date on messages posted to the list through the MBM RSS feed.


Ethos, social capital, civic engagement, caring, and connectedness: A few links

I return to these links again and again, as I work to understand the unique ethos of Massachusetts.

What links would you like to nominate for this blog's permanent collection? Please feel free to add your own, and to comment on these.

Welcome to the Ethos Roundtable

We are an informal group of people who are interested in 1) measuring and extending ethos, and 2) using technology for positive social change.

We meet on the third Tuesday of the month from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. All are welcome to join us.

Our meetings are scheduled to complement those of the Boston 501 Tech Club, which meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The 501 Tech Club is a group of technology professionals who work with or for nonprofit organizations. All Ethos Roundtable attendees are welcome at Boston 501 Tech Club gatherings, and vice versa.

Special thanks are due to TechFoundation, which underwrites our meeting space.