Virtual Worlds Are Platforms for Good!

I wanted to highlight a couple of observations that Lucy Bernholz makes in her analysis of yesterday’s discussion about philanthropy in Second Life by the MacArthur Foundation.   She points out why this was such a groundbreaking event and suggests a compelling new metaphor for philanthropy:

Imagine if philanthropy sought to be an "empowering platform for individuals (and organizations) to make change."

to really be a platform for individuals, where the participants decide how to do things, where the successful organizations are only those that help residents succeed, where feedback loops are tight, fast, and respected – these are new ways for philanthropic institutions to act. A good start, a conversation with anyone who could get there, was made today. I hope the Foundation and its partners are successful in achieving their goals: listening to new voices, providing means for isolated groups to get together, offering support for creative solutions "in world" that might transfer to "real life." The conversation started – lets hope (and help) it continues.

What is interesting to me about this concept of a platform for change that is very different from say – campaigns on social networking sites like Facebook or the use of widgets and charity badges on blogs for personal fundraising campaigns — is that while Virtual Worlds are empowering individuals — we are empowering collective action. 

Here’s an update on the  round up of coverage:

Written by: kanter