The Technology for Change blog is happy to announce our new contributor, Hugo Narumiya. Hugo started as a marketing intern in February, and will write blog posts occasionally during his internship.

Since I came to the thedatabank as a marketing intern, I am learning everyday from our team members about the dynamics of how the nonprofit sector works in the Twins Cities metro area. From my previous academic and professional experience in Brazil, I’ve learned that working with cross-sector leadership and negotiating different interests involves understanding the importance of the role played by integrative leadership to achieve the common good.

Three lessons I have learned from my past experience so far

1. Create shared space for members dialogue. Sharing information with people can occur in a physical, virtual, or mental space. Individuals can learn through a communicative space improving their self-awareness and developing adaptations needed in terms of beliefs and practices. Providing opportunities for collaborative working allows members to build productive professional relationships among culturally diverse groups and opinions from the individual to the organizational level.

2. Look outside the organization. Expanding both knowledge and vision of what others are doing in similar areas can be useful to compare and contrast different visions among the negotiation process. Reflecting about the individual behavior, organization’s purpose, and both their intrinsic and extrinsic values, provides an overview of what motivates them for a win-win partnership and how they can create efforts to manage the network relationship.

3. Think politically. International and domestic NGO’s play an important role in most advocacy networks. On the other hand, communicating, negotiating, and resolving conflicts across the public, private, and non-profit sector can be challenging. It can be a rewarding experience if you are able to understand how those alliances influence business and political strategies. Building positive partnerships with the public/private sector requires understanding the process of connecting social, political and cultural information to mobilize people and resources to support the organization’s goal.

Currently, I am working on apply these lessons to a project with prospective local business organizations that thedatabank and MetroIBA might be interested in partnering with. If you are not familiar, the MetroIBA is a nonprofit organization that works to support and preserve locally owned, independent businesses in the Twin Cities. The MetroIBA’s goals can be divided in three main categories:

a) to promote local independent businesses.
b) to educate consumers on the value of shopping at locally owned businesses.
c) to improve conditions for local independents by influencing public policy.

I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge about the importance of cross-sector leadership to sustain local businesses and to create economic opportunity for community development through public policies, advocacy, and education, as well as comparing differences and similarities between social entrepreneurship projects in the U.S and Brazil.

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