Communicator for Social Change 

Just before leaving for holiday – which I’m still enjoying – I ran a one-week course on social media and social change at MS ActionAid sporting a combination of great external lectures, intense toolstraining and the actual design of online campaigns. The content and context of the course is probably pretty relevant to the readers of this site – so here you’ll have a couple of the inputs of the course.

As you’ll notice the key external speakers were talking via Skype – which is a great way to get not just the best of what’s going on in Denmark (which in the field of online campaigning is is not much!) – but the absolute pioneers in online campaigning for social change world wide! However, it’s not quite the most optimal and engaging format – to look at a person in front of his or her webcam via a poor quality skype-connection- and especially not when recorded on a video-camera for documentation as is the case here. Hence, it might only be the nerds and geeks out there actually whatching it all through – but it’s definately worth the effort. To my best knowledge, Jeremy Heimans and Josh Levy range among the pioneers of redesigning politics to take advantage of the powers of new social media!

Jeremy Heimans talks about his experience with starting getup.org and avaaz.org and educating us on how to introduce ambitous and large scale online campaigning in a country with no such tradition – Australia, his home country.

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Josh Levy takes us on a tour around some of the best examples of how to use online campaign sites to spawn offline engagement and introduces key concepts such as ‘The Hub’, ‘The Spoke’ and the all-important ‘List’, that all online-campaigns seek to build – with Obama and Moveon.org as the most successful so far.

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A big thank you to both Josh and Jeremy for taking their time to educate us  (and to my friend Solana Larsen of Global Voices who introduced me to them!)

For those interested in the course itself and other materials relating to the subject – a comprehensive if somewhat messy resource-room can be found here

At MS ActionAid we’re planning a follow-up course in both Copenhagen and Nairobi, Kenya in October for regional activists, social change-makers and citizen journalists alike.

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