The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

RLF Recap: Leadership in Civil Society with Prof. Ronald Shaiko

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Professor Ron Shaiko, a leading member of the Rockefeller Center public policy faculty, came to RLF to speak about navigating the space we call the “civil society.” He started his lecture by referring to experiences he had in Eastern Europe with varying attitudes about community service and aiding strangers in need. Then, Professor Shaiko asked us to reframe our understanding of social capital, especially in terms of how it relates to bonding and bridging. 

For those of us interested in working in nonprofit organizations, the next piece of Professor Shaiko’s presentation was especially useful. He brought up many factors that drive success in a civil society entity, including the need to capitalize upon motivation to do good, tax exemptions, and member mobilization. To tie everything back to Dartmouth, we were asked to consider the metrics of social capital building on campus and determine how bonded or bridged Dartmouth students really were. After discussion about the meaning of “knowing” someone, different groups of fellows presented on their opinion of the social tightness of the Class of 2014. Finally, Professor Shaiko left us with an innovative article he wrote in The Chronicle detailing the benefits and disadvantages of social engineering on the part of college administrations.

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