Pierre Omidyar on Philanthropy

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I wanted to share with you today a video of an interview I watched yesterday evening. I meant to watch just for a few minutes but was really drawn in, as I think you will be. The interviewer was Kelvin Taketa, of the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the interviewee was Pierre Omidyar, who sixteen years or so ago helped found eBay and who has since become a philanthropist of some note—and now adds publisher of an interesting endeavor in Honolulu called Civil Beat to his list of achievements.

In the interview Omidyar pulled examples from his years of building a business and engaging in philanthropy-and now experimenting with a new model of civil journalism-and wove them together into an impressive set of “body of work” principles.

I found the interview particularly interesting because some of the principles Omidyar calls us to are those that NPQ most pays attention to-such as the idea that, one, the success of our readers has ultimately to be foremost in our minds, and two, the building of a community among our readers and our calling on them to help us in the endeavor is the only way forward.

What just sweetens it a bit is that my son the business entrepreneur follows the same value set.

I am not one to believe that the boundaries between for-profit and nonprofit endeavors should be eliminated. I believe that some fields of work are better served by organizations that are explicitly not profit-oriented, but the possibility that there exist some overarching new cross-sectorial trends to creating successful enterprises based in building communities of people is interesting to me.

We would love to hear what you think after you watch the video—and mahalo for listening to me today!