Follow Me on Twitter

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Anti Echo Chamber Series for Volunteer Management

One of my favorite terms I have come across recently is the term ‘Echo Chamber”

Without going into too much detail because you can Google everything these days, here are my 2 favorite definitions of “Echo Chamber” both coming from urbandictionary.com

1. echo chamber

A person who totally, obsequiously agrees with everything another person says.

“During the meeting my boss Jeremy calls on Jason, who’s a well-known management echo chamber to ask if Jason thinks the Company’s new and much stricter internet policy is a fair one. The rest of us spend the remainder of the meeting retching at the resultant tsunami of blatant ass-smooching.”

2. echo chamber

An insular communication space where everyone agrees with the information and no outside input is allowed. The broadcast is just another echo chamber for self serving interests.




There are too many echo chambers in volunteerism. There are so many echo chambers in volunteer management!

I love the term especially because I hope to exist outside the echo chamber. I understand now why some may say I am a trouble maker or am being outrageous! As if I am…for goodness sake...all I am doing is challenging the industry to grow and respect itself…and for those who purport to be interested in volunteerism to actually demonstrate that fact!


Once we can step outside of our echo chambers then volunteerism and volunteer management can have the confidence to speak about change and future and innovation and growth and regeneration. All for the greater good of community.

In our echo chambers we talk about the past, the purity of volunteering, the management of volunteers in old fashioned terms, the every volunteer is a saint paradigm, the volunteer manager swimming in the muck and mire of community service, the old definitions of volunteering, the woe is me culture of servitude!

There is an exciting world outside of the Volunteerism Echo Chambers.

Volunteering is a living breathing thing that defies definition!

4 comments:

  1. like to know more about life outside the chambers.
    also, are these chambers universal or are we seeing communities/countries where then situation is better/worse?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Martin. I think, as with everything, we move outside the chambers when we begin to hear new ideas or thoughts. Though not as well traveleld as you I get a sense that there is a movement in this direction from some in places such as the UK and New Zealand. And there has been lively debate in Australia on the actual definitions of volunteering. What vibes are you picking up on your travels martin?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello DJ (..Hello DJ)

    This is a great analogy about the state of the sector - and good food for thought

    (...This is a great analogy about the state of the sector - and good food for thought)

    Damn this echo! (...Damn this echo!) :O)

    Andy Fryar

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Andy Hello Andy


    I do appreciate your humour. In fact it is so clever it has its imitators I do appreciate your humour. In fact it is so clever it has its imitators

    But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    Furthermore I totally, obsequiously agree with
    everything you say!

    Furthermore I totally, obsequiously agree with everything you say!

    ReplyDelete