I want to tell you about my friend Duncan Moore who, a few years ago, saw a segment of 60 Minutes that described a new peanut based product that has been shown to reduce acute malnutrition in miraculous ways for children in the developing world.
Malnutrition kills 5 million children every year- that’s one every 6 seconds.
Most of us would have been moved by the story, but Duncan turned that emotional response into action.
He is now working as a volunteer, moonlighting, with a small group of others and they have created a peanut based product –using our unique Georgia resources and expertise–that they have had patented and are preparing to make available to international aid agencies around the world.
They sent out their first product across the world to Africa a few years ago.
So, an individual in Augusta, Georgia can hear a report about children suffering in Niger, Africa and, as an individual, assume his own power as a citizen to address world hunger and literally save lives in the process.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter recently reflected in her blog that if American in the 20th century was called a society of organizations, in the 21st century, America is rapidly becoming a society of networks, networks of individuals.
As we look back to the Centennial of many of the institutions that have defined the social sector in our time- United Way, Urban League, the Salvation Army, etc. it is interesting to imagine what solutions are being born in our own time- what citizen action, what movements, what networks of change will we create and how fundamentally will they differ from the structures of the past.
At a time of historic low rates of confidence in our institutions, we can be sure that we will increasingly look to our citizens for solutions.
What role will organizations play in the age of the super-empowered citizen?