Ask, Spark, Crowdsource

Mar 16, 2017 10:10 AM ET

The Global Engagement Forum: Online

“Hey dad, what new books should I get?”

“Why don’t you post a status online asking your friends for their suggestions?”

8 minutes later: “Woah, Ben, Ally, and Nora all suggested the same book. It actually sounds really great. That’s the winner right there. Can I get it?”

…A post-holiday conversation I did not personally have with my daughter, but perhaps similar to one many of you may have had with your own sons and daughters: whether your kids were on a quest for a new book, or movie, or help on their math homework.

As dad to three daughters and Acting Special Representative to the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, I often find there are themes that are consistent throughout my day, no matter the setting. One of these themes centers on encouraging a crowd-sourcing mentality to find potential solutions for emerging questions or challenges. Whether I am at home with the kids on a Saturday afternoon or surrounded by colleagues on a Thursday morning in the office, I’m constantly learning from those around me and ever-cognizant and humbled that I may not have the perfect recommendation to my daughter’s hypothetical question on what she should add to her reading list (though like any good dad, I would, of course, have some recommendations ready to offer); nor do my colleagues and I alone hold the solutions to what we should do about the world’s most pressing diplomatic and development challenges.

Continue reading at The Global Engagement Forum: Online.