We’re hiring (again!) at Groundwire

We’ve got two open positions at Groundwire right now: one for a CRM database consultant and one for a manager for our “Groundwire Labs” innovation program.  Both are incredible opportunities for a creative, entrepreneurial social change technologist who wants to join one of the most accomplished teams in the nonprofit sector.

I’ve been here for nearly 14 years, so I’m happy to field any questions if you’re thinking about applying!

CRM Consultant

We need an experienced CRM Consultant to build customized databases that transform the effectiveness of the environmental movement. Our ideal candidate brings to the table client-facing consulting experience, project management experience, and a technical understanding of database design & development.

Read the job description and apply online

Groundwire Labs Manager

We are now looking for someone to run Groundwire Labs. As the Groundwire Labs Manager, you’ll lead Groundwire’s R&D investments and define the cutting edge of how we use technology to help organizations to do a better job of engaging their communities. It’s all with an eye to our mission of building a sustainable society.

Read the job description and apply online

Scenius — Environments that nurture collective genius

Kevin Kelley rolls a great little neologism, “Scenius”:

Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes.
Brian Eno suggested the word to convey the extreme creativity that
groups, places or “scenes” can occasionally generate. His actual
definition is: “Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition
of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of
the genius.”

Individuals immersed in a productive scenius will blossom and
produce their best work. When buoyed by scenius, you act like genius.
Your like-minded peers, and the entire environment inspire you.

The geography of scenius is nurtured by several factors:

  • Mutual appreciation — Risky moves are applauded by the group,
    subtlety is appreciated, and friendly competition goads the shy.
    Scenius can be thought of as the best of peer pressure.
  • Rapid exchange of tools and techniques — As soon as something
    is invented, it is flaunted and then shared. Ideas flow quickly because
    they are flowing inside a common language and sensibility.
  • Network effects of success — When a record is broken, a hit
    happens, or breakthrough erupts, the success is claimed by the entire
    scene. This empowers the scene to further success.
  • Local tolerance for the novelties — The local “outside” does
    not push back too hard against the transgressions of the scene. The
    renegades and mavericks are protected by this buffer zone.

Scenius can erupt almost anywhere, and at different scales: in a corner of a company, in a neighborhood, or in an entire region.

A nice concept.  And an elegant way to describe what a healthy organization and/or open-source community should look like.

Update: Alex Steffen weighs in with a great riff connecting the unpredictable nature of scenius with the ongoing stream of failed efforts to catalyze it philanthropically:

Worse yet is the trend towards half-assed citizen media and social networking approaches, projects based on the insane assumption that all that’s needed to court collaborative creativity is a website and a good advertising campaign. This tendency to think that innovative collaboration comes free of cost, bubbling up out the Internet like spring water, betrays a poor understanding of the actual workings of either online collaboration or quality thinking. Most often, when these open/ citizen-media/ online-collaborative approaches work, it’s because a core group in the project provides most of the important input, and usually curates most of the other participants’ input into useful forms. So, frequently, funders’ hopes that they can create transformation on the cheap actually just create a system that appears cheap because it externalizes the cost of expert participation onto the shoulders of others… and when their enthusiasm lags (or they need to get day jobs), the project falters or dies. The examples of failed peer-based social innovation efforts outnumber the successful cases by orders of magnitude.