Open Space Notes


- having a venture fair or tech fair might help to expose what we have

- the notion of the space is that it has matured enough such that it needs tech tools etc.

- we are essentially a government in exile already

- we could come together as a group and do an rfp to solicit the best ideas

- how is this different than an exchange or database like the foundation center in new york

- great analogy but somewhat stuck in its history

- it a fixed and focused taxonomy... doesn't show how the money made a difference. it is all supply side not demand side.

- there is so much information that we need to ramp up to

- what would be ideal would be to put out a list of needs/requirements... gather it into a setting/session where it is reviewed and then have a spiral design to get the next marginal improvement

- is the question that it should be more of an "industry standard"?

- one area that comes up again is agreeing or coming up with metrics

- clearly an issue in discovering metrics... that is/could be turned into a semantic technology solution

- premise is to put some problem statements into a form that technology vendors could understand they could come forward with pilot projects etc.

- we are the consumers of the interoperability but we haven't spec'd it.

- could be an open source model

- we need to go very fast... we need to be very efficient right now... funding lines are likely to be constrained for the next 18-24 months

- example... someone digging into dreamfish tomorrow as outsource cto, will report back

- bunch is assembling SME's - social matter experts

- how do we do this more efficiently and effectively

- what are the standards that don't exist today --- what are the value chains that we want to monetize - how do we get standards orgs to get involved in our area

- the first step is articulate needs

- we need a process to not just meet as conference attendees --- a process to put that out in the marketplace

- this should fit within the 'industry association conference'

- can we go to an existing organization to adopt this

- we need a technology summit

- could have a number of existing associations/orgs establish a joint initiative to manage this

- maybe start with a few wikipedia pages

- conference output contributes to this

- someone needs to be the 'motherhen'

- how do we carry forward?

- submit the notes and ask the community: "

- if the rating neighbourhood created these ratings knew that they could be serving some commercial purpose --- would they behave differently

- how would we require that they behave in the social ecosphere

- maybe have a co-op where everyone has a share? a purchasing vehicle... 

- land of lakes is a $7b co-op --- 4th or 5th largest food company

- bloomberg is a great tool we could use a version of

- what if our accounting system included some of these metrics

- rfp example: accounting web-service that serves microfinance producers and mid-size companies

- have to make language of social impact as important as communicating the financials

- could have a social metrics clearinghouse

- some examples/resources:


Impact Measurement

Chris - social impact measures have come up in various sessions.  Why?  What are the questions?

What standards exists to baseline programs & orgs against?

How measure the measurements - qualtiy, scale?

How embed measurements in the accounting of a social enterperise?

Are we talking about measuring oreign or domestic?  For-profits or nonprofits?  

Who are we talking about measuring?  Individuals, orgs

Why if impact measurement comes up in every conversation, isn't this room full?  What are the barriers to getting the measurement metrics science into the flow of capital?

How measure he impact of capacity-building orgs that are once removed from direct services?

Einstein problem:  how do we explain measurements  as simply as possible?

Who is audience for measurements?  Government, foundations, public

Semantic interoperability of measurements?

Non-quantitative, subjective measures of quality of life

How give an arms length social return, outside of a personal relationhip?  Does a social return necessitate a social relationship

Social returns and complementary currencies

What are low hanging fruit that are proxies for ideal social measures?

How do we sell the viability of measures?

Ethical standards

How lower cost & time to create metrics?

How learn from other standards industries? 

How create registries to discover available measurement schemes?

How do we transslate our social goals into picking metrics that say whether the goal was accomplished?

Over what time period do you want to measure impact?  What time period is significant?

Once know the impact, what do we do with the measurement?

What is the value we're creating for whom?  Who requires what metric & how does that create value for others?

Chris is from New Philanthropy Capital a researcch firm that measures social impact for donors & funders to choose best of breed.  Right now

- proposes building a social impacts database

- - proposes to kick off a professional association of social impact analysts

Alison King (

- brings new metrics to for-profits

- data is a form of activism

Jeff Heller & Alan Social Markets

- focusing on social returns on investment

- if investing in a nonprfit expect a social return

- using crowd sourcing of social investors to find metrics they trust

- ask what is the social currency, to direct hard dollars

- there's a real need for a social currencies

Social Venture Technology Group SVT- Social Olsen helps clients measure, manage and communicate social impact

- would like to have a clearinghouse of metrics to reduce the time it takes to find data & 

- how to use the graphics technologies to take an Excel spreadsheet of human data to make data more intuitive = info design

- have documented Social Return on Investment Analysis framework to describe how to do social impact analysis properly 

Mark Mettier - Coke's brand manager

- How do you apply thinking of brands

Margo Brandenberg 9Rockefeller Foundation)

- incubating network of supply side of social investors

- met October 2007 in Talty & hired Sara Olson., and decided to use B Lab scheme for 5 broad categories 

- Met June 2008 & focus moved from ratings to a social impact ratings agency.  Working with B Lab, Dalberg, to launch an independent institution in 2010 on metrics for mission driven for-profits

- working to code into XBRL with ANDE

- Acumen, Salesforce will do nonprofit metrics

Erik Rothenberg - 3 Phases

- creating a Wiki social networking Web space for this conversation

- Creative Commons code named "Ursula"

William Fisher

- there are 1,000s of analogies in other sciences psychology, etc for designing metrics

- how can we borrow from their success

- we want to create "social sector credits" for sale like carbon credits

Alan (Social

- Alan was IT director for NYC Coalition for the Homeless

- for nonprofits there's a fear that the more you measure it the more you lose the philanthropic motive for donors to give

Steve Lucco

- comes from Wall Street background

- you triangulate from 5 directions on market value

Vargo Smith 

- the market is changing from a stock market scheme to a stakeholder-centric focus who buys from a company because of the impact on poverty the purchase makes

- distinct difference bet an ecosystem and a family focus

- who do you want to hold accountable, what is the time scale

Bruce Cahan (Urban Logic)

- takes a regional appraoch to measurement, sustainable resiliency®


- nonprofits can't consider metrics as sitting down with the devil, like businesses measure themselves

- meta-level complexity


- funders commission dozens of studies and can't share them


- perhaps you could find commonalities

- taking about data capture at source of service

Cynthia Stone

- recently left Standard & Poors

- created a ratings agency for Russia

- last year at S & P Cynthia brought in microfinance and analysts

- to be meaningful metric must bring mainstream investors & social entrepreneurs & traditional financial analysts in a room

- at the end of the day  must ask does management have a plan, do they execute on the plan and what happens as a result


- too often nonprofits think that the funders' metric is just for them, the funder

- take healthcare intervention, Doctor without Bordersdistributed drugs, do you force them to hire statisticians?

Distinguish metrics for evidence based management, vs funders metrics

Need a network to share available tools

- Don't have to reinvent wheel of metrics for nonprofits

Excellent examples of pooling resources amongst nonprofits

- Aspen Institute

- MicroTest

- United Way

- Franchises International