So! CTR is on the move. We love how far we’ve come (seriously, that #changetheratio hashtag is like the best batsignal ever, flashing to us from far and wide) but we know that more can be done. We need to scale. Enter TheLi.st - and, hopefully, the Knight Foundation News Challenge. The blueprint for what we plan to do is below.
Scale the private listserv I run for female leaders in technology/media into an open network of and for women.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
No. This segment is vastly underserved. There are massive information asymmetries between men and women that broaden over time. This network will correct them through curation, crowdsourcing and social connection.
3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]
I plan to formalize The List (at www.TheLi.st) as an email newsletter featuring curated news, original features and key resources for entrepreneurs. I plan to build an associated social network with profiles featuring members and, where germane, their rates. This will vastly improve visibility, access and opportunies for women.
4. Why will it work? [100 words]
I have already seen it work - incredibly well, and incredibly fast - within the context of the private, ad-hoc listserv for women that I currently run. Women sharing information, contacts, opportunities, war stories, giving each other props and encouragement, using each other’s wisdom, networks and resources to pull each other upward - it has been incredible to watch. There is huge demand for this, one I can’t fill alone, on the side. It’s not just for women - The List will be a key resource for anyone - and, as a portal to amazing women, for VCs as well.
5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
Right now it is just me. I have an extensive network of terrific women involved, whose incredible contributions power the listserv with multiple postings (and incredibly high repeat viewership) per day, but I run and moderate the listserv, organize events and make connections among members and provide offline connection that I am desperate to automate. I have concepted a shared-equity model of 20 advisers, mostly women, each with 0.5% of The List, helping it grow and develop. Thus far, eight are on board.
6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
I come to this table with a listserv of almost 300 women, and a deep bench of nominations and requests to join. I also come with an extensive network across media, tech, business and entertainment that I have been working with consistently in the process of building Change The Ratio, the not-for-profit organization/movement I co-founded in spring 2010 to elevate and de-invisibilize awesome women through increasing visibility, leading to increased access and increased opportunities. Almost two years later, Change The Ratio is a well-known brand ready to be taken to the next level.
7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]
Sponsors, advertisers and premium events - on one hand, creating incredible learning and networking opportunities for our high-level membership, and on the other, providing sponsors and advertisers access to their brain and market power via targeted campaigns and visibility opportunities. This network is already amazing - wait ‘til it scales.
Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $250,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 12 months (4 to build the infrastructure, 8 more to become self-sustaining)