Community Blog

In the coming months, we will be aggregating some of the best posts from North America’s social tech leaders.

Contact Information vs. Commitment: Building Power Through Membership

 This past April, there was a primary election in Illinois that featured a former MoveOn staffer, Ilya Sheyman, running against a conservative Democrat. MoveOn had 15,000 members in the district out of a total of 30,000 Democratic primary voters. And Ilya lost, badly.

Moms and Power

Sarah Francis

Let me start out by sharing a little secret about my job: One of the best things about bringing forward the voices of women, and moms in particular, is that it gives you the power to open the door of almost any elected official’s office (I mean, really: who says they’re anti-mom?). 

Towards a taxonomy for campaigns

If social change campaigners are going to make the shift towards being, in Steve Andersen's words, "scientists for change"--that is, that we learn by creating hypothesis, performing experiments and collecting data on the results--then one thing we need as is some simple shared language for accurately describing the different types of campaigns that we are working on.  Everybody knows, for example, that a political campaign is different from an advocacy campaign, and that a MoveOn campaign is different from

Investing in Web of Change

Aaron Welch

Web of Change is supported by more than a dozen generous sponsors that are helping to build the institution, share its learning, and make the annual gathering accessible to leaders from around the world. Aaron Welch of Advomatic explains why Web of Change is a good investment, both personally and professionally:

Making Change

Favianna Rodriguez in Process Magazine

This community brings smarts, wit, and soul to the hard work of changing the world. Check it out: 

Interview with a Web of Change first-timer

I was introduced to Yee Won Chong by Agenda Anchor Karen Uffelman, who shared that the journey to Web of Change 2012 will be Yee Won’s first international trip since becoming a U.S. citizen. Yee Won has lived in this country since 1996, and has been working in social justice for more than a decade, most recently managing communications and development at Western States Center. We couldn’t think of a better way to christen the new passport and bring some great ideas and relationships back to the Center!

Growing the Web of Change

We Are Americans

Web of Changers are truly a force to be reckoned with! Here's a taste of what the community has been up to this month:

Fission's Cheryl Contee talked at Personal Democracy Forum about the need to bridge the digital divide, reminding us that "true power comes from building new power."

Thoughts from a Web of Change veteran

Darren Barefoot

Some might describe Web of Change as a journey. Or a trip. Not Darren Barefoot, despite the fact that he’ll travel 5,000 miles to reach Hollyhock this September. Woo woo is not his style. He coexists comfortably with the more kumbaya aspects of the event, focusing instead on the content: cutting edge and relevant. And the people: leaders and changemakers eager to exchange ideas.

Introducing Web of Change’s New Network Curator, Phil Klein

Phil Klein, network curator for Web of Change

Anyone that has been to Web of Change can attest to its alchemy. It’s a rare event designed to honor the wisdom of the group rather than exalting a panel of experts. And the community never disappoints--the richness of ideas and experiences they bring to the table is both humbling and inspiring.

2013: Help us find a U.S. host

During the recent community renewal process we unearthed a lot of passion and love for Hollyhock, but also a strong desire to try a more accessible, U.S.-based wilderness location. We're committed to doing just that in 2013. (If you haven't heard, Web of Change 2012 is on at Hollyhock!)

Community Renewal Report

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our recent community driven renewal process, whether by voting in the online poll, attending one of our consultations, or meeting with
me or others from the transition council. We've engaged at least 150 members, many who have expressed passionate, heart-felt opinions about our future. A success in anyone's books.

18 questions on the future of Web of Change

For those of you following along, over the last three months we've been running a unique community driven consultation process to co-create the future of Web of Change programs and institution. This fall we created a new "transition council", recruited some key process advisors, and have directly engaged nearly 80 of you via a series of activities which included an open session at WOC 2011, two community conference calls, local meetings in major WOC cities, and multiple smaller scale lunches, meetings, email submissions, and phone calls. 

Making the Case for Change

Web of Change founder Jason Mogus

Web of Change has grown to the point where the expectations on quality, on community engagement, on everything we do are very high. This is a good thing! But it's clear that the largely volunteer model we've relied on to pull of our signature event is unsustainable.

Here's where we stand as we look to the future:

Reflections on Web of Change 2011 and Hollyhock

Web of Change happens at a pretty special place each year, Hollyhock — Canada's premier lifelong learning center — on Cortes Island in British Columbia. A remote yet intimate setting, the timber-framed lodges perched on the edge of the Pacific ocean amid the lush temperate rainforest provide a space that nurtures meaningful connections and deep personal discovery.

While at Web of Change 2011, Hollyhock videographers grabbed two of our most fearless leaders and captured their thoughts on why Web of Change and why at Hollyhock.

Engagement at Web of Change 2011

Engagement was a big part of this year's agenda at Web of Change. A great video from two-time Web of Changer Charles Tsai gets to the heart of some of the deep thinking on engagement that happened at Hollyhock last weekend:

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