Forget social networks. Forget hierarchical organizations. Forget conflict between online and off. Forget organizations with one “leader.” The explosion of the Internet, social media, Millennials, and maybe even our human condition--all of it, has been actually leading to this: the rise of the network.
I’ve been obsessed with networks for almost ten years. When I was twenty-four, I was National Director of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a chapter-based think tank and advocacy organization for young people. At the time, my peers running other nonprofits were struggling to get folks to even open their emails. Or encourage their followers to actually show up at events. They were wringing their hands over the best way to get new, younger donors, or report an engagement stat more meaningful than a Facebook ‘like.’