Community Blog

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

Can Cross-Movement Organizing Create Transformative Change?

Sessions explore strengths and challenges to large-scale collaboration

Two sessions at this year’s Web of Change (WoC) explored the potential of cross-movement organizing in order to build transformative change. In photo, Aisha Satterwhite, Jessy Tolkan (centre), presented Cross-Movement Organizing at Web of Change.

Harnessing the Ubiquitous Mobile for Change

Web of Change presenters share best practices on mobile and app strategy

MANSONS LANDING, B.C. - Mobile phones will soon outnumber people on the planet, but there is still much experimentation to learn how best to use mobile technology to campaign and organize, according to three Web of Change presenters.

Web of Change 2013: Join us in Texas Hill Country

Apollo Gonzales

As you may recall, earlier this year we announced that we would be moving Web of Change to a new location in 2013. The hard decision to take this step was only rivaled in difficulty by the effort to find the right place to move. After searching all over the U.S., and talking to may members of the community, we feel we've found a place that meets a large number of needs and will help our gathering be more accessible to a broader spectrum of our community.

Moving Toward A Techno-Sustainable Lifestyle

 When I first came to Web Of Change in 2005, I had never uploaded a video to YouTube. You probably hadn't either. YouTube did not officially launch its service until November of 2005.  Flickr launched 18 months earlier, and was acquired by Yahoo! in March of 2005. I started uploading photos in April of 2005. Twitter wasn't publicly available until July of 2006, though it didn't start to take off until SXSW Interactive in 2007.

Ignite and Short Form Story Telling

This year I have the honor to coordinate the Ignite event on Thursday night at the Web Of Change. If you've not yet experienced Ignite, let me take a moment to explain the format: each speaker has 5 minutes to present a talk consisting of 20 slides timed to auto advance every 15 seconds. The talk is usually presented without notes. Ignite events happen in hundreds of cities around the world and at conferences. Ignite topics are interesting, fun, quirky. The motto is "Enlighten us, but make it quick."

Inside Influence: Women, Power and Organizing

Sabrina Hersi Issa

In 1987, three bold, ambitious women in California wanted to create a better way to support human rights activists around the world.  In 1992, a small campaign snowballed from a staff of one single woman into a global movement responsible for a new paradigm for human security. In 1929, twenty-six women pilots met in an empty airplane hangar in Long Island for a discussion on their shared love of flying.

Innovations in Base Building

Marianne Manilov

We sit at a turning point. Traditional membership platforms, including online membership platforms used with great success by organizations such as Change.org and Moveon.org, are beginning to display some significant limitations. Allegations of the weaknesses of membership engagement which rely on “clicktivism” are nothing new for the non profit sector, and some organizations have simply shrugged these off as they continue to enjoy high campaign success rates and an exponentially growing online membership.

The Revolution Will be Mobilized

For the last decade, North American based political activism was energized by the rise of citizen media. Political blogs and Meetups helped make Howard Dean a contender for the Democratic nomination. Social media, email, and microblogging shaped political conversations during Barack Obama’s historic run for President. While mobile tools played a supporting role to the campaigns and social platforms behind these movements, we’re only beginning to see mobile become a central force for political activism and self-expression.

New Political Paradigm?

Micah Sifry

Is there a new political philosophy emerging from how we are doing things like open source software, Wikipedia, Kickstarter, peer-to-peer networking, sharing more and consuming less? Can "peer progressivism" get us past the stale debate between "big government" and "small government"? Should we replace the "welfare state" with the "partner state"?

Why Cross-Movement Organizing Is So Critical

For nearly 20 years, I've identified myself as an agent of social change. The way I've used that agency shifts course every two years or so, and in the not so distant past, I finally decided to embrace what I'd been identifying as frenetic issue hopping and reclaim it as a seriously effective organizing strategy.

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: 

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