Please join us at the April Ethos Roundtable session!
Tuesday, April 15th
4:30 - 6:00 pm
1 Bennett Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge
Featured guests: David Crowley and Mike Sances, Social Capital Inc.
Here's what Mike and David have to say about the upcoming session:
'We are in the age of the network yet we don't know our neighbors. The connective capabilities of the evolving computer technologies and the internet are fostering incredible growth in communication networks. The "social" networks abound with millions of users exchanging information through such entities as MySpace, Facebook, and craigslist. There is tremendous potential to harness this communication energy and technology to enhance community involvement, civic engagement, and social capital.
'However the verdict is still out whether the new technologies and the internet can foster civic engagement or isolate and reduce it. As Robert Putnam put it in his book, "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community ", "The Internet may be part of the solution to our civic problem, or it may exacerbate it, but the cyber-revolution was not the cause." In fact, Putnam indicts an older technological innovation—the television—as one of the primary reasons for declining social capital. In Bowling Alone, Putnam also reports a: 25% decline in voting rates; a 40% drop in people attending meetings on town/school affairs; a 50% drop in membership rates in 32 national organizations; and a 45% drop in frequency of having friends over for dinner.
'We need to reverse the tide and build community and civic engagement – now more than ever. SCI believes that the evolving networking technologies can be used as powerful tools for crafting stronger, more
- Putnam, Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital, Journal of Democracy 6:1, Jan 1995, 65-78
- Ellison, Nicole B. et al, The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Network Sites
David B. Crowley (President and Founder, SCI) brings over fifteen years of leadership in the nonprofit sector to the founding of SCI. Prior to starting SCI, David served as Executive Director of Generations Incorporated, which under his leadership grew into a national model for intergenerational programming. He also started and directed the Kentucky Community Service Commission, a state entity appointed by the Governor responsible for AmeriCorps and other service programs. David graduated from Harvard College in 1991 with an A.B. in Government, and from Woburn High School in 1987.At the conclusion of our Ethos Roundtable session, we will stroll down the hall to enjoy the good company, food, and drink at the 501 Tech Club that is so generously underwritten by TechFoundation. The 501 Tech Club is the monthly gathering of technology professionals who work with nonprofit organizations.
Mike Sances (Network Coordinator, SCI) has been with SCI since August 2006, starting as an AmeriCorps*VISTA and continuing as Network Coordinator in September 2007. Mike is assisting with the development of SCI's Network Sites, and also provides Drupal support for SCI's community websites. Mike graduated from UMass Amherst in 2006 with a B.A. in political science.
All Ethos Roundtable attendees are welcome at the Boston 501 Tech Club, and vice versa.
See you in April!