Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Videos with a Purpose

GlobalSocialJustice.net has added a new feature – Bi-weekly Video Awards (BVA). These videos will come out on Sunday nights every other week and have the “Guaranteed to Inspire or Inform” stamp of approval!

Andy Ridley, the Executive Director of Earth Hour, has been one of the creative geniuses behind an advocacy campaign that has turned the lights off in over 4,000 cities and 88 countries; all in preparation for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. By keeping the Earth Hour logo and creative open source, Ridley was able to take advantage of a undervalued resource – people’s own creativity and drive to push a message. The inaugural BVA was introduced to me during Ridley’s presentation at the Social Good Conference. As the lights go off around some of the world’s most recognized monuments and buildings one can not help the goosebumps that come with a unifying global call for action.

I choose this video to coincide with an “unprecedented” day in United Nations and perhaps global history. One hundred heads of state gathering at the United Nations for a day long conference solely focused on the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. The backroom discussions and conversations coupled with speeches by key players makes this conference the barometer for who will sign what come December. So far I have been unimpressed with the TV media coverage given the importance of today’s gathering, but the NY Times has several articles and clips worth checking out.

Watch the video at GlobalSocialJustice.Net

Friday, September 4, 2009

Social Media for Social Good

Mashable’s Summer of Social Good

Last Friday something happened that only a few years ago would not have been possible. What has changed? It’s a little bit of technology, lots of innovation and a new method of creating positive change. People from across the country converged at the 92stY in Manhattans Upper East Side for a day long conference on how social media is propagating social good. This capped a summer social media initiative that raised approximately $30,000 for three non-profit organizations.

Hosted by Mashable (think CNN for Social Media news), leaders from nonprofits and social media sites like Facebook highlighted the whos, hows and why of what has made social media a medium every sector is seeking to capitalize on. I am a NPR junkie in the car and thought no better way to depict the conference lessons learned by highlighting the “take away”… so with kudos to Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry here goes…

o Mashable - My take away from my first conversation with Pete Cashmore, Mashable’s co-founder and CEO, was that he was reading “The Social Media Bible”. My second conversation – which started in the bathroom regarding his Scottish roots and rugby – taught me everyone likes to hear funny stories about my older brother the former professional fighter. The take away from second conversation was finding an online outlet for your writing takes time, contacts and a lot of “sticktoitness”.

o Facebook Everyone knows Facebook is the big elephant in the room when it comes to social media. I was pleasantly surprised by Randi Zuckerberg’s presentation highlighting Facebook mobilizing social good across the globe: Virginia Tech (Memorial/Support groups), Colombia (No More Farc and kidnappings), Iran (Election fraud) and Saudi Arabia (Fighting a ban on women driving). The take away is that social media has again shrunken the world and that it is indeed a very powerful tool for advocacy, organizing and, yes, even action. Moreover, facebook pages are the present and near future for marketing (large, medium and small). She also gave a lot of advice on making your pages a success (driving traffic, increasing members and going viral – but you’ll have to email me for that info or wait for another post!)

o NonProfits – Some large non-profits have already figured out how to capitalize and utilize social media to generate support, promote advocacy, fundraise and manage their brand reputation (and this is only a short list). The most impressive was WWF. Not only do they sport a large in house social media team but they have a CEO who blogs everyday so employees and supporters know exactly what is going on. Other non-profits are still attempting to “figure” out the approach or catch up to the Jones. I came away with lots of best practices and ideas that are generating results for several of these non-profits and foundations.

o Beth Kantor – A do it all consultant, teacher and social entrepreneur. The take away is that technology has advanced so much that the world has shrunken and individuals can make an incredible and tangiable difference by themselves. Beth is a fireball of passion, action and creativity who got the wheels turning in my head. Her website is a must for anyone looking to utilize social media professionally. Period.

o Geoff Livingston – The take away from this straight from the hip speech was breaking through the “shiny object syndrome” (aka the massive amounts of white noise and clutter that grasps our attention) by targeting campaigns and brands as it relates to the specific audience. I could not help but think of the Jesuit concept of meeting people where they are throughout his presentation - perhaps further validation for Chris Lowney's book chronicling how Jesuit ideals and mottos reflect great business practices.

o Jonathan Greenblatt (co-founder of Ethos water, member of Obama transition team and president of allforgood.org) – I saved this one for last. I asked Jonathan what book he is reading and who his mentors were during his Q/A. The first question I ask everyone to see what I should be reading (the answer is “Here Comes Everybody”) but the more important question is the mentoring. Throughout college and even my global HIV/AIDS work mentoring has not been part of the equation. It has usually been an idea, some conversations and me working every angle or contact I can to achieve the goal. Along my travels, interviews and conversations I have been lucky enough to meet very passionate, driven and successful people, but with few have I thought “click” this guy would be a great mentor because he gets it. Jonathan’s pragmatism and perspective capture the new wave of leaders. People who recognize the value of innovation, creation, leadership and, most importantly, striving for the greater good. The economy of corporate creed makes way to the economy of integrity in Jonathon’s stance and his examples run the gambit - from Zipcar making people rethink if they need to purchase a car to Tom's shoes who donate one pair of shoes to people in need for every one they sell.

Next Post - Additions to the GSJ Website in Light of the Conference