Awesome time at Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp

Today I attended the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp in San Francisco.  The purpose of the conference was to gather people who are strengthening their communities and neighborhoods.  In other words… PERFECTLY relevant for Pando.

Next time I will take real pictures! In the meantime... a cheesy conference photo montage.

Best quotes from the conference:

  • “The least effective social change tool in the world is anger.” ~Chris Gates
  • “Quit asking how.  You know how.  Just do it.”  ~Chris Gates
  • “Nonprofits spend a lot of time on their nouns, naming what they do.  It’s when you get your verbs right that you know you’re on to something.”
  • “Facts don’t change the world. Stories do. Through story telling, we become the leaders we have been waiting for.” ~Aimee Allison
  • “The worth of a human being lies in the ability to extend oneself, to go outside oneself, to exist in and for other people.” ~Milan Kundera (quoted by Aimee Allison)
  • “Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.”  ~ Salman Rushdie (quoted by Aimee Allison)

Highlight moments:

  • Meeting J.D. Lasica, who founded SocialBrite. He’s a rockstar in the nonprofit sector and interviewed me for the SocialBrite website. We have plans to eat gumbo in New Orleans next week!  He also mentioned me in his blog.  🙂
  • Giving my 3-minute pitch before an awesome panel of judges and about 50 people.  My prize: a book and flip cam
  • Eating ungodly numbers of mini blueberry muffins

The most useful take-away was a definition of community from Hanmin Liu.  This is something that I’m struggling to define for Pando.  My vision is that people will use the platform to start projects within their own geographic communities.  (I don’t want to help a 23 year old from Tennessee build a well in Zimbabwe.. what does she know about Zimbabwe?  Have her do something good in Tennessee!)  But what if an African American woman in New York wants to help an African American community in another part of the country?  I still haven’t decided how to handle that…

Here’s the definition of community from Hanmin:

1. The unofficial leaders who quietly create change
2. The inherent ways that people are organized
3. The shared activities that build relationships

So… when selecting projects, perhaps we will target unofficial leaders who have relationships within the community and a deep understanding of how that community is organized.

I have a few big meetings over the next two days, including with Innovation Endeavors, the Draper Richards Foundation, and Jim Pitkow who I met at Summit Series.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.  🙂


About Milena Arciszewski

I'm the Founder of PandoProjects, which empowers people to step up as leaders and develop innovative, local solutions to the problems in their communities. You can reach me at or follow me on twitter: @pandoprojects.
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