Tapping into the Fourth Instinct
We’re blogging this week from the Council on Foundation‘s annual gathering in Philadelphia. It’s a whirlwind of activity with more than 1,250 foundations from across the USA and a few from overseas joining together in conversations about the future of philanthropy.
Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group, delivered the Breakfast Plenary yesterday morning, on the topic, "In Decline or Just Shifting?: The News Media and Philanthropy."
In her talk, brilliantly delivered with humor and humility, she discussed the notion of ‘The Fourth Instinct’ which she has written about in a book by the same name. She described this fourth instinct as the most neglected and least understood part of human nature. It is the instinct that compels us to go beyond survival, beyond sexuality, and beyond status and power to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in our lives. And then, a refrain she repeated over and again: "We must tap into it."
On the individual, spiritual level, to make a difference and find meaning, we must tap into this fourth instinct. But Ms Huffington brought it down to the community level and connected this notion of ‘tapping into it’ to seeing needs on a local level, and using social media to put a spotlight on them and accelerate doing good, using technology to drive local needs. To share specifically how this might happen, Ms Huffington was in Philadelphia to announce AOL’s plans to revitalize local news through Patch, AOL’s network of local news sites– in effect, a crowdsourced news source.
In this blog, we showcase examples of the crowd being tapped for social good. Perhaps, we should also be encouraging the individual to tap in, hear the fourth instinct inside, and find meaning and the good within.