Saturday Otc 11, 2014: THE ROLE OF NETWORKS

Guest Speaker

 james-kassJames Kass is an award-winning writer, educator, producer and media maker. He is also the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Speaks, and is widely credited with helping to launch the youth spoken word movement, working with tens of thousands of young people from across the country – and helping launch over 50 programs nationwide – to help them find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as leaders of societal change.

Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the 7-part HBO series Brave New Voices and the Peabody-nominated HBO’s Brave New Voices 2010, James also created the concept and served as the Artistic Director of the PBS series Poetic License, created the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, serves as Executive Editor of First Word Press, and was, among many other things, a founding member of the San Francisco Poet Laureate Selection Committee, and helped launch the SF and Oakland Youth Laureate Programs. James has received several awards for his writing, his work in the nonprofit sector, and his work as an educator. Widely published, James recently curated the poetry for the first ever White House Poetry Jam, performing in front of the First Family, and was invited to be one of the first 35 people to meet the administration’s arts action team. In May of 2010, James was the Commencement Speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, speaking to over 60,000 graduates and friends.

James Kass, co-founder and Executive Director of Youth Speaks will speak about the role of network thinking in the evolution of Life is Living and the Brave New Voices Network Initiative, a seven year $10 million initiative that is “dedicated to building a sustainable field of organizations that intersect arts education and youth development practices with a deep focus on long-term civic engagement and public presentation.” Read more here:


Required reading:
Catalyzing Networks for Social Change (2011) By The Monitor Institute – Pages 6 -18 | June Holley and The Art of  Being Rhizomatic By Beth Kanter (Beth’s Blog: Nonprofits and Social Media, 2009) | How the Hub Found it’s Center By Michel Bachmann (2014) Stanford Social Innovation Review

If you’d like to read further:
Community and Civic Engagement in Museum Programs (2012) By Stacie Garcia Museum 2.0 | Working Wikily by By Diana Scearce, Gabriel Kasper, & Heather McLeod Grant (2010) Stanford Social Innovation Review | Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving By Valdis Krens and June Holley | Toward a Networked Sociality By Andreas Wittel (2010)

If you can happen to be at your neighborhood library:
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000) By Robert Putnam | Leadership and the New Science (1992) By Margaret J. Wheatley | The Network Society: A Cross Cultural Perspective (2004) By Manuel Castells | The Networked Non Profit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change (2010) By Beth Kanter and Alison Fine

Group Notes