The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Some alt text

    Pop-up bikeways, theater and more: Join Knight in San Jose, Calif. for events in May

    April 29, 2016, 10:43 a.m., Posted by Daniel Harris

    Santa Clara station in downtown San Jose. Photo by xAtsukex on wikimedia.

    At Knight Foundation we support a variety of events as part of our efforts to spark new ideas for cities, build community and support civic innovators working to advance talent, opportunity and engagement in San Jose and other Knight communities.

    As we look ahead to May, please join our community partners and me for these Knight-supported events.

    Read full article ›

  • Some alt text

    Roberto Lugo at Wexler Gallery empowers us all with the art that saved him

    April 28, 2016, 4:39 p.m., Posted by Chip Schwartz

    What comes to mind when you think about ceramics? Throwing wheels, glazes and vases? Bowls, plates and similar beautiful, yet fragile, objects, perhaps? How about hip-hop and graffiti? Needless to say, the pairing of urban culture and traditional porcelain forms doesn’t really seem to fit. Philadelphia artist Roberto Lugo, however, has a body of work on display at Wexler Gallery that might very well change your mind.

    Roberto Lugo grew up in North Philadelphia as a child of Puerto Rican immigrants, and with that experience came all of the challenges that go along with inner city life. Growing up in a setting that seemed to place injustices and obstacles at all turns, Lugo could have easily succumbed to the pressure. Instead, his rich cultural heritage and nurturing family helped inspire him to become part of his own solution instead of the problem. His answer to life's hardships is art, and his medium of choice is porcelain.

    Read full article ›

  • Some alt text

    How understanding people’s differences can unleash an organization’s ability to innovate

    April 27, 2016, 11:57 a.m., Posted by Timothy R. Smith

    Above: Chasing an Impression by Tim on Flickr.  

    Video: Day 1 recap from Council on Foundations 2016 on Youtube.

    Innovation: It’s not just for the Facebooks and Googles of the world. Any organization has the ability to innovate, provided it knows how each of its members can most effectively bring an idea to fruition. This was the major takeaway from a Knight Foundation-sponsored workshop at the Council on Foundations annual conference in Washington earlier this month.

    Workshop participants took an assessment to determine whether they fall into one of three categories: builders, those who get things done and prefer gradual change built on old ideas; pioneers, visionaries who get an idea a second and want revolutionary change; and connectors, those who have a mixture of builder and pioneer qualities and can bridge the two groups. The assessment, known as the Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator, determines which of the three categories people fall into.

    About 50 people attended the workshop and included members of community nonprofit organizations from across the country, many of whom were interested in new ways of serving their communities.

    The assessment allows organizations to find the strengths and weaknesses of employees, based on a dozen characteristics. It determines how a person thinks, how they interact with others and how they take action. The results of the assessment show a person their sweet spot: what they can do to maximize innovation for their organization.

    Read full article ›