NGO Soul + Strategy

#018. Power as finite resource or as unlimited good: Paul O’Brien at Oxfam America on influencing NGOs

December 19, 2020 Tosca Season 1 Episode 18
NGO Soul + Strategy
#018. Power as finite resource or as unlimited good: Paul O’Brien at Oxfam America on influencing NGOs
Chapters
NGO Soul + Strategy
#018. Power as finite resource or as unlimited good: Paul O’Brien at Oxfam America on influencing NGOs
Dec 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 18
Tosca

What's a global North-founded influencing NGO to do to stay relevant, credible, and effective? 

 

And should influencing NGOs see power as an infinite resource -- that can be grown and shared and in principle is unlimited in nature -- or as a limited asset that needs to be fought for? 

 

Finally, how does a seasoned advocacy NGO leader look upon the current moment as a combination of crisis and opportunity?

 

I discussed these topics during a wide-ranging interview with Paul O'Brien, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America. 


Paul's bio

 

·       Vice president for policy and advocacy, Oxfam America 

·       Director of Aid Effectiveness, Oxfam America

·       Long term work in Afghanistan 

·       Also worked as Policy Advisor in Care International 

·       Graduated from Harvard Law School 

 


 

Quotes

We want to be relevant to next-generation influencers, such as distributed, organic, indigenous, networked and virtual activists”

“After COVID, governments will review which CSOs fomented change and will go after them

We discussed:

·      Is power conceptually something that should be seen as an asset that can be grown and in principle is unlimited?

·      Or is it time for influencing NGOs to rediscover that power is a finite or zero-sum kind of thing?

·      Under what conditions can global North founded influencing NGOs maintain their relevance, effectiveness, and legitimacy?

·      And what’s the main argument which Paul lays out in his new book ‘Power Switch?

Paul’s new book ‘Power Switch’ is available at several online booksellers, including this one.

Contact Paul at: [email protected] (till March 2021, after which he will pursue new endeavors). 

Twitter: @paulobrien

Paul’s LinkedIn profile

Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.

Or email Tosca at [email protected] if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.

You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook 

 

 

Show Notes

What's a global North-founded influencing NGO to do to stay relevant, credible, and effective? 

 

And should influencing NGOs see power as an infinite resource -- that can be grown and shared and in principle is unlimited in nature -- or as a limited asset that needs to be fought for? 

 

Finally, how does a seasoned advocacy NGO leader look upon the current moment as a combination of crisis and opportunity?

 

I discussed these topics during a wide-ranging interview with Paul O'Brien, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America. 


Paul's bio

 

·       Vice president for policy and advocacy, Oxfam America 

·       Director of Aid Effectiveness, Oxfam America

·       Long term work in Afghanistan 

·       Also worked as Policy Advisor in Care International 

·       Graduated from Harvard Law School 

 


 

Quotes

We want to be relevant to next-generation influencers, such as distributed, organic, indigenous, networked and virtual activists”

“After COVID, governments will review which CSOs fomented change and will go after them

We discussed:

·      Is power conceptually something that should be seen as an asset that can be grown and in principle is unlimited?

·      Or is it time for influencing NGOs to rediscover that power is a finite or zero-sum kind of thing?

·      Under what conditions can global North founded influencing NGOs maintain their relevance, effectiveness, and legitimacy?

·      And what’s the main argument which Paul lays out in his new book ‘Power Switch?

Paul’s new book ‘Power Switch’ is available at several online booksellers, including this one.

Contact Paul at: [email protected] (till March 2021, after which he will pursue new endeavors). 

Twitter: @paulobrien

Paul’s LinkedIn profile

Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.

Or email Tosca at [email protected] if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.

You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook