‘Only big changes will lead to positive futures’: annual civil society blueprint


Alliance magazine


Drawing on voices from across the sector, Lucy Bernholz’s annual industry forecast surveys the landscape of philanthropy and digital civil society to outline the biggest challenges, most pressing questions, and most promising ideas, trends, and solutions in this pivotal moment. This year’s blueprint looks at the impact of converging crises and the deep and wide systemic changes they demand.

Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2022 situates the sector and society at large at a pivotal juncture where only a major ‘leap’ forward will produce positive futures.

‘This year’s Blueprint asks us to consider that many perceived “impossibilities” – think of the major transformations we need to solve our biggest challenges – are indeed possible, and how digital civil society and independent philanthropy can help make them a reality,’ said Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) and Director of its Digital Civil Society Lab.

‘We are in a threshold moment, and civil society, rooted in collective purpose and shared values, has clear opportunities to lead in creating new and better pathways forward.’

The challenges and opportunities facing digital civil society – where collective action is shaped by digital systems – remains a core focus of Blueprint 2022, addressing issues of digital identity, data consolidation, digitized physical space, and more. Case studies on data donations, data activism, and other trends highlight how digital civil society remains a vital and thriving resource for alternatives to current digital practices driven by motives of profit or control.

New this year to the Blueprint is a ‘Collective Architecture’ section, sharing contributions from other voices in philanthropy and civil society, including fellow ‘philanthropy provocateurs’ and current and former fellows at the Digital Civil Society Lab and Stanford’s Center on Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

The report, now in its 13th edition, is published by Stanford PACS. Download Philanthropy and Civil Society: Blueprint 2022 here.

Comments (1)

Friday Night Funkin

Blueprint 2022 continues to focus on the difficulties and possibilities that digital civil society – where collective action is impacted by digital technologies – faces.

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