Leadership has been dominantly defined as a function in a formal organization--a corporation, nonprofit or government. However, Dreamfish approached 21st century leadership as a collective capacity to be strengthened in global society. Dreamfish advanced community leadership development through two kinds of projects: facilitation of collaborative learning among community entrepreneurs, and leadership capacity-building in grassroots local community organizations.
CASE STORY: CRAIGSLIST FOUNDATION BOOTCAMP
Over several months, Dreamfish partnered with Craigslist Foundation to deliver on a two-pronged strategy: Build capacity for collaborative learning in the organization, throughout the Bootcamp event, and secondly, build capacity for collaborative learning among individual participants, grassroots nonprofit leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Behind the scenes, to build capacity for collaborative learning, we developed and trained two new roles, Facilitators and Connectors. To enable a change of the event's pedagogy from lecture-style to interactive learning, Dreamfish trained dozens of volunteers in the Facilitator role in how to apply improvisation techniques to the event's classroom workshops. Connectors wandered the hallways and paths to enable connections for individual participants.
In a more visible role, Dreamfish designed and facilitated the Facilitated Networking portion of the Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp, helping over 2000 nonprofit leaders to reach out to each other, share openly in groups, and continue mutual support after the event.
The project was successful. On the exit survey, participants gave their highest ratings to date for their learning and for the impact of of the event, overall.
Often, Dreamfish members who had founded community projects, sought out help from the Dreamfish network to build leadership capacity within their small organization. Dreamfish's role was to help the social entrepreneur to identify the needs, then match them with a professional consultant within Dreamfish who could help them, and catalyze a change consulting project.
CASE STORY: LOVESHACK KENYA
For example, Karen Ward, the founder of Loveshack Kenya, sought to empower clients, local Kenyan youth, in participatory leadership of the organization, and shift from European management to Kenyan management. Polly Bodgener, a Ugandan-born professional with adult learning expertise, was seeking a service learning project. Polly partnered with Karen to lead the change project which culminated in a leadership summit, held at Dreamfish Place, Nairobi (picture on the left). As a result, the local youth leadership team now cooperatively operates Loveshack Kenya.