We’ve asked corporate and intermediary leaders who participated in Taproot Foundation’s Global Pro Bono Summit to share the insights that they took away from their experience. This convening encouraged participants to develop a shared vision to make the talents and skills of the business community accessible to organizations working for our collective good. Our next postcard comes from M. Celine Takatsuno, who leads SocialCoding4Good at Benetech.
(That’s pretty much this post in a nutshell, in case you only have a few seconds.)
Somehow nearly six months have passed since our last-minute decision to attend the Taproot Foundation Global Pro Bono Summit. “Sure, I thought, what’s another 36-hour trip to New York and back?” In retrospect, I can’t believe we even gave it a second thought.
Walking into the room, I was relieved to see some familiar faces. Yet, quickly immersed in the language of employee engagement, pro bono, and traditional nonprofit volunteering & service, my software development lens seemed limiting. However, as the momentum of the day grew, many of the ideas, successes, and challenges being discussed resonated loudly. Sustainability, project scoping, standards & measurement –check, check, and check again. Several topics that were new to the pro bono agenda even turned out to be common, proven practices from open source technology.
But what struck me then — and has echoed in many cross-sector conversations since — is that it’s really all about community. Being welcomed into an international community of leaders and practitioners who are working to bring the communities of corporations, nonprofits, and social innovation together. Realizing that SocialCoding4Good’s community of technologists, who contribute time, talent, and code to humanitarian open source projects, are part of a global community of volunteers using their energy and hard work to make the world a better place. Software developers and CFOs, architects and marketers, lawyers and artists and teachers. One big community, with so much to share.
Of course, the day would not have been the same without the people who participated. Taproot did an amazing job of seeding the event with a diverse mix of entrepreneurs, intermediaries, nonprofits, and corporations. Existing relationships were strengthened and new ones were forged. Already, we are collaborating with people we first met at the Summit — Shannon Maynard of Bankers Without Borders, or the dynamic duo of Teresa Coles and Peyton Rowe of CreateAthon — and finding ways to weave our communities together.
Just 36 hours. But the lessons learned, knowledge shared, and yes, the communities connected, will have impact for a lifetime or more. Thank you, Taproot. We can’t wait until next year!
M Celine Takatsuno leads SocialCoding4Good at Benetech, and is presently immersed in all things corporate social responsibility, open source, and volunteering. As founder of Gracepoint, Inc., she guides emerging technology startups, focused on software that enables communication, knowledge, and participation for the greater good.