Community challenges can spring up quickly. When an urgent need arises, the typical speed of philanthropy isn't always effective in addressing it. Recently, the Community Innovation team was able to make an accelerated grant to help tackle one such pressing situation.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about one of the most overlooked characteristics necessary for problem solving: courage. When I look at this year’s group of Bush Prize winners, I’m overwhelmed by how brave they are to take on enormous problems and do it in a way that is full of vulnerability and partnership.
The Bush Foundation has selected 41 organizations to receive Ecosystem grants, which provide general operating support to help sustain organizations that create unique and significant value for our grantees, Fellows and other organizations.
This year at bushCONNECT, I shared some thoughts on how change happens. I’ve done a lot of research the past couple of years on successful examples of social change. There are examples all around us all the time. We often don’t even notice them, much less learn from them.
One of the challenges of making institutions and systems work better for everyone, is that the people who rise to leadership tend to be people who thrive in those environments. When an institution worked well for you, it is harder to see the ways it may not work for others. It is harder to see what needs to change to make it work well for everyone.
We talk a lot at the Bush Foundation about how you don’t have to have a “leadership role” to be a leader. You can lead from anywhere. It is a bit more awkward to talk about the corollary truth, which is that just because you have the “leadership role” doesn’t mean you are leading.
We're pleased to welcome Jackie Statum Allen as our Education Portfolio Director. Jackie has spent the last decade working in public school district administration. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Director for strategic planning, policy and grants development for Saint Paul Public Schools. In that role she led several high-impact projects including developing and implementing multiple district strategic plans and managing informational campaigns for referendum ballot issues.
There is a whole lot of good news in the world. Like huge drops in the number of people who live in poverty and the number of people who die from disasters. There is a whole lot of good news in the world and there are a whole lot of reasons we don't always recognize it.
Each of the new Bush Fellows will receive up to $100,000 to invest in their own leadership development. That is amazing and will support them to dream big about their growth as leaders. At the same time, when I think back about the experiences that made the biggest difference in my own leadership development, most of them were free.
Meet the 2018 Bush Fellows, 24 determined, adaptable leaders who are driven to improve their communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.
One of the most fun parts of my job is meeting Bush Fellowship finalists when they come to our office to interview. Always an impressive and inspiring group, this year I was struck to see that more than a third of the finalists were immigrants or refugees to the U.S.