MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Sunday, October 02, 2005

To-Do List For Community Revival

The goal of this project is to create an open organization committed to helping New Orleans evacuees take steps towards community revival. An open organization is one where any motivated participant can contribute irrespective of personal identity, organizational membership, or geographic location.

The project originated from a recognition I made a few weeks ago. Because of the news coverage, the suffering of the people of New Orleans reached millions of people and touched them in a personal way. Many kinds of feelings were generated - shock, anger, disappointment, shame... Many also felt a strong need to help in some way. As I watched so many people donate money and goods, I also saw that we were all capable of doing more. Based on what I knew from my own research on open organizations, I had ideas on how to realize the untapped volunteer potential. Further, I realized that making this a term-length project in my management course would be the most original and unique learning experience that I could offer my students about how organizations work, and about many organizations will look like in the future.

Based on conversations with people who had been displaced, as well as others who have been in direct contact with displaced people, a theme began to emerge:
Mobilization for Community Revival. As I spoke with many other people and received comments and feedback, I discovered the value of having a plan to translate this theme into actions. This plan consists of three major steps "to do."

The first of these steps is currently articulated as follows:
Create detailed (but clear) representations of who evacuees are, where they are located, and the districts that they come from - available in forms that are most easily accessed and capable of dissemination - so that others will appreciate the diversity of evacuee needs and dispel simple characterizations and assumptions of who evacuees are and what they need.


  • I know there are partial solutions to the presented problem out in the world. Do you know of any that you can share with us?

    The students in my class are seeking these partial solutions. The point is to deliberately borrow, build on, and credit the work of others - rather than to try to invent everything here. This is an open-source kind of thing, for those who are acquainted with it.

    If you want to be on a list to receive updates on the project, or if you want to participate, email me at

    Or place a comment in one of the daily posts, if you prefer.

    By Blogger Quintus Jett, at 2:55 PM  

  • Quintus, This is quite wonderful. As a person not taking the course but interested in the development of mosaic, it would be great to have a link to steps being taken, as well as those points where others (like me) can participate.

    By Anonymous Subha, at 9:22 AM  

  • subha, that's a great idea.

    our main website is going up this week, and we'll put up a link to those two things: (1) steps being taken, and (2) points where others can participate.

    By Blogger Quintus Jett, at 1:20 PM  

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