Sharing Resources Forum – invitation update and call for stories

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the August roundtables and add your stories, experience and insight to our conversation about Sharing Resources. We are struck by the range of experience, common threads and deep connections that are emerging, and we look forward to the Forum on September 25th. The Forum will take place at UCSD from lunch through an evening reception. Details will be shared with participants who register online by September 18th.

The Forum is open to all who choose to engage by sharing a story – theirs or others’ – of people coming together to share resources. For those of you who were unable to attend the summer roundtables, there’s still an opportunity to join the conversation in one of two ways:

1) Interview someone in the community, using the downloadable Conversation Guide http://www.thegemfoundation.org/sharing/html/conversation-guide.php , and upload their story directly at the link below or email it to me for posting (if you choose the interview, both you and your interviewee are welcome to attend the Forum).

2) Upload your own story at http://www.thegemfoundation.org/sharing/html/conversation-guide.php.

We’ve learned that conversations rooted in personal experience have the greatest potential to inspire action. We also know that the interviews can produce powerful connections. There are many stories of resource sharing in this community and we hope that you will choose to include them in our conversation.

Stories will be posted on the Gem website anonymously, with permission, during the week of September 17th to deepen our understanding of what’s core and frame questions for the Sharing Resources Forum on September 25th that will move us toward more effective collective action.

Thanks for choosing to engage in a conversation that we believe matters to this community.

All the best,

Karen Mercaldo
Founding Director
The Gem Foundation



This is an invitation for you to engage in a community conversation about the sharing of tangible resources – e.g., money, goods, property – to accomplish things collectively that cannot be achieved as individuals. This conversation is an opportunity for you to reflect on your experience, connect with others and find more opportunities for bold, collaborative action.

We are inspired by the growing success of village savings and other community groups around the world as vehicles for poverty alleviation, empowerment and social change. Our purpose is to better understand the dynamics of these groups and explore their potential here, as around the world, to create a better future.

Sponsored by the Gem Foundation, the Sharing Resources Forum will convene individuals and organizations in San Diego on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 to:

  • • Connect people engaged in, or supportive of, initiatives to share resources;
  • • Explore times when their experience has been most vital and impactful;
  • • Focus on the conditions that make sustained success possible;
  • • Develop an understanding of the future possibilities; and
  • • Catalyze bold actions toward stronger communities.

In preparation for the Forum, Gem will host two roundtables on the afternoons of August 9 and August 21 to share stories and explore key themes. They will be followed by a session on September 20 to frame the questions for the Forum, which will take place on Tuesday, September 25.

Please let us know if you would like to be part of the conversations and which date/s work for you. Please register with this information on the Registration section of this Web site, or email your information to karen@thegemfoundation.org. We appreciate your earliest response and will share details on venues with registered participants.

Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone you think may want to be part of one or more of these conversations.

Now more than ever, we are excited about the potential of a network of people committed to empowering individuals and groups to effect lasting social change.

We hope that you will choose to engage in conversations about questions that matter. We look forward to seeing you.

Before then we are interested in your stories. If you’re interested in interviewing others, you can download the Conversation Guide here. You can also upload their stories and/or yours directly on the Conversation Guide web page. We hope to see you at one of the roundtables in August.