Cultural Change DEMANDS New Approaches

By Robert C. Talbot, Executive Director
Josiah White’s Quakerdale Foundation

Technology is everywhere.  For some of us it is hard to believe the first Iphone/smartphone came out in 2007.  The first personal computer was introduced by Apple in 1983 and Microsoft Windows was introduced in 1985.  The rate of change at least doubles each year.  Futurist Ray Kurzweilai wrote in 2001:

“In the nineteenth century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first twenty years of the twentieth century, we saw more advancement than in all of the nineteenth century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years time.  So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at the rate of change in 2001).” (* See Note)

What does that mean for Quakerdale?  It means that what we did 50, 30, 10 or just 5 years ago is likely no longer culturally relevant today.  The needs and problems of children today are different, and more importantly, how children are served is different today.  30 years ago it didn’t matter if a kid wanted to be helped, they were forced to get help by being placed in a treatment program.  Today, they can choose. When culture changes, services must respond accordingly.

Our response to this cultural change is why, in 2018, we formed Josiah White’s Quakerdale Foundation and five other independent nonprofits.  We changed because we had to stay relevant to our culture.  Our mission is the same, our values are the same, and our vision to “Serve as Christ Serves” remains the same.  How we serve, however, has changed!

Each of our former programs that are now nonprofits will also need to make changes in order to exist in the future.  Please remember that these nonprofits are not changing due to failure.  They  are changing to ensure their success in the future.  Innovation requires rebirth in culturally relevant financially feasible ways.  Failure will only occur when nonprofits refuse to change. To do so they will need your continued support and access to our resources. The foundation is equipping and providing resources to each of these organizations to assist them as they make CONTINUING adjustments that are sometimes small and sometimes large.  

I encourage you to support the nonprofits you love by praying for each one, volunteering your time, and sharing your financial resources.  Your gifts to the Foundation will be added to our endowment so we will have the ability to perpetually support these programs and others based on the decisions of the Foundation Board.

* NOTE: The Law of Accelerating Returns, Ray Kurzweil,  https://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns,  March 7, 2001

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