Impact Stories

Six Questions with our Anchor Team: Nicholas Klassen

In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing our Web of Change Six Questions series, which is designed to give you quick insight into the minds of our Anchor team. Today, we talk with Nicholas Klassen, co-founder of Biro Creative, a pioneering online creative firm that advises movement-leading organizations from around the world working for sustainability and social change.

Tell us three things about you that aren’t widely known.

  • I brew my own beer
  • I once crossed back into Canada using a Toronto Maple Leafs hat and a hockey card in my wallet as proof of citizenship... no joke. (But that was pre-9-11. Don't try that now!)
  • My favourite part of Web of Change is the oysters

Will you share your take on technology and social change? What specific trends are you paying attention to?

We are of two minds: Which one are you appealing to?

Making social change is tough business.

Social change is rooted in altering the structures of a social group or society. It happens when individuals or groups choose to go against social norms.

But by our very nature, people gravitate towards those norms, which makes our role as change makers ever more challenging.

What Is Your Engagement Superpower?

What is your superpower? This is a favorite question of my colleague, Jon Stahl, and when he asks it, what he’s really talking about is value proposition. And not just some vague value proposition, like, “we protect the environment,” but more along the lines of what can you do for me today? Wonder Woman, for example, fights crime, but her superpowers? Invisible plane, “lasso of truth” and, hello, magic bracelets. I’m on board with the fighting crime part, but more likely to pay attention if I can get a ride in the invisible plane.

Protecting the Internet

By enabling an open, diverse and free-flowing Web, the Internet -- under its founding principle of Net Neutrality – unleashed a tidal wave of civic participation.

Many of us in the Web of Change community have been riding that wave from the beginning. The social change organizations we work for and with all rely upon the level playing field of an open Internet to spread the word about their work, engage more people with their issues, and build genuine support at the grassroots level.
Net Neutrality is vital to ensuring that everyone has a voice on issues of public concern.

Right now, Washington is in the midst of a critical debate over whether the Internet in the U.S. will continue to serve as an essential vehicle for free speech, economic opportunity and civic engagement.

Is Your Nonprofit Facebook Page Worth It?

Reflecting on my experience last fall at Web of Change, the impressions that stick with me are these:

1) Deep personal connection is hard to come by and as critical as ever, maybe even harder to come by in an era of 140-character-or-less snippets of communication. Attending Web of Change was a good idea if only to have a few days to forge meaningful connections with brilliant people over well-thought and deeply felt conversations and experiences - no glowing screens in the middle.

TckTckTck's Inside Strategy

A few weeks ago, TckTckTck received a prestigious "Game Changer" award from the We Media conference on media innovation.

What was the behind-the-scenes thinking supporting their innovative campaigning model and strategy? In this video, Kelly Rigg, TckTckTck's Executive Director, tells the story of their powerful "weapons of mass collaboration," what being an open source campaign really meant, and how that ultimately helped align hundreds of NGO's, celebrities, bloggers, and millions of people from nearly every country on earth.

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