I've recently arrived in Washington DC, for the most recent leg of an ever evolving journey into the world of nonprofit building. I have the opportunity to work with Sunlight Foundation over the summer to absorb as much as possible about how they go about making a living at pursuing transparency full-time.
I've finished my first whirlwind week; diving right in to the Labs Olympics, meeting the incredible staff, and experiencing a bit of what Sunlight is really about.
Outside the office, I've had a chance to catch the "Nats" play, explore the local coffeeshops and bookstores. On Saturday, I set out to walk across and by the river, leaving in sunshine; classic humidity + heat, only to get to the apex of my walk, have clouds set in, and pour down rain, leaving me drenched.
Clothes soaked, leather flipflops too slippery to walk on, I kept moving, pondering the suitability of the metaphor: I leave the comfort of my family and home to explore new opportunities, get out as far as I can and have the rain come pouring down; life's little obstacles. Keeping on, as I cross back over the bridge, the clouds dissipated, leaving the humidity -- a cloud-covered sauna. By the time I returned to the apartment, the sun was out in full and the day awaited.
Starting a nonprofit obviously takes lots of work, but continually fulfilling an open-ended mission is the real effort - "Life is about the journey, not the destination", right? And to that end, I'm here in DC, enjoying the journey, but my time here is relatively limited, as I'll be returning home in late August. In keeping mission-oriented, my goal here is to learn and develop the relationships necessary to bootstrap MoreQuality and start at least a limited operation beginning in 2011. After that, the real work begins: reaching out to and educating citizens, developing and leverage technology to help improve government and increase accountability and sustainable public practices.