“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
For the past several years, I have blogged about the role of Collaboration in the Enterprise: how it is changing the way we work. The power of collaboration technology, though, does not follow a restricted path into pure commerce. Increasingly, we are seeing creative and powerful public sector institutions, including global non-profits, ride the second wave of the Internet, the Web 2.0 wave, into a more caring global mindset.
Recently I learned about a unique organization and Web 2.0 site, BluMail, which has set out to tackle a pretty serious global agenda through the use of next generation web collaboration technology. In their own words, they provide “global e-mail accounts, educational content, employment leads, entrepreneurship, networking, story/experience sharing, mentoring and volunteering opportunities to youth and others who are coming online in developing countries.”
This BluMail approach engenders empowerment. And in the new collaborative world, you don’t pursue this alone. BluMail partnered with dozens of other non-profits to not only commune, but also to take action, including the United Nations Foundation, Teachers with Borders, One Economy and the Cisco Foundation.
This collaboration coalition posits an action agenda to:
- Find a Job
- Sell Products
- Find a Mentor
- Share Stories
- Help Someone
My mentor in all things globalization is Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World Is Flat. In a great interview with Tom Nissley on Amazon.com, Friedman notes that kids might have to explain, to their parents, how the world is being flattened: “I am hoping, though, that many of them have kids, who, when they have a moment to take a break from their iPods, Internet, or Google, will explain to their parents running the country just how the world is being flattened.”
BluMail and its sister organizations strive to help people in developing countries participate in the flat world, showing collaboration can work on a global scale. In collaboration, a portal can be a pathway to resources, people, and information or, in BluMail’s case, a way to make a difference.