Cuddle parties, and other tips for cross-sector collaborations

26586_113165725368629_112860248732510_204800_6784158_n1Hi everyone. If I seem smarter and more attractive in the past couple of weeks, it’s because I just came back from Harvard Business School. Well, technically, I was sent as part of Seattle’s delegation to the four-day Young American Leadership Program (YALP). But whatever, I feel smarter already; and since it is technically true, I am telling all my relatives that I went to Harvard. I even have a tote bag filled with pens I stole to prove it. I’ll give my cousins these pens when I visit them in Vietnam this July, and maybe they’ll stop sending me job postings.

Anyway, brilliant young leaders from businesses, nonprofits, and government were brought together to discuss cross-sector collaboration, an area that we nonprofits have not really thought much about or done much to advance. And it shows. While I was there—at Harvard—surrounded by up-and-coming colleagues from prestigious corporations like Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Alaska Airlines, and White Castle, I noticed just how glaring the gaps between our sectors were. People in the program from the business sector were saying things like, “Well, all nonprofits are slippery with their outcomes, so how do we keep them accountable” and “why do we need to talk about foundations and nonprofits separately? Aren’t they all the same thing?” I know, right? I had to refrain myself from shouting, “You take that back right now or I will eat your face! I will dip your head in hummus and I will eat your face!!!” Continue reading “Cuddle parties, and other tips for cross-sector collaborations”