Community Blog

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

Paradigm Next and the Intersection

Gibran Rivera is Senior Associate of the Interaction Institute for Social Change where he focuses on the development of decentralized organizations and the application of network theory and emergence to the work of social change. He is a Web of Change 10:10 anchor and host. In this reflection, he expands on themes he will discuss during the gathering.

I like the way Clay Shirky is helping to frame the current paradigm shift comparing the advent of social technologies to the introduction of the printing press. The power to print was so disruptive that 200 years of chaos ensued as structures of power were forced to struggle to completely reinvent themselves. Imagine what we can do with the power to connect.

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.

Anchor Team Picks

I asked our 10:10 Anchors to tell me what they are into right now -- that relates to Web of Change core values that is. Here is what members of the team are giving two thumbs up.

Q&A with WOC 10:10 Chair, Michael Silberman

Question - How does this new distributed leadership model differ from Web of Change’s past?

This year we're trying to mirror some of the open collaboration models we're seeing in effective movement building efforts online. Web of Change has always relied on heavy community participation and volunteer leadership to make it what it is, but the heaviest lifts have typically been managed by a small, centralized team. This year we've divided the core event production responsibilities among a larger team of "anchors" who are accountable to the rest of the anchor team -- and with this post the entire WOC community! -- for their respective responsibilities. We're working as a team to support one another and remove obstacles. And if we do this right, this team model will make WOC 10:10 the most successful WOC to date.

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.

Web Thinking Manifesto: 10 Proclamations

Michael Silberman is the Web of Change 2010 Chair and a partner and co-founder at EchoDitto, an internet strategy and online campaigns team that works with leading social change organizations.

Our field is maturing rapidly. The next generation of movement leaders is overcoming its fetish with technology and expertise as secrets to online success.

Homer Simpson for Nonprofits

Alia McKee ScottAlia McKee Scott is a Web of Change Convener, a leading thinker in online fundraising, and a principal at Sea Change Strategies, a strategic marketing research consulting firm. Alia and Katya Andreson have just realeased a free Network for Good and Sea Change Strategies eBook.

After Copenhagen: Turning Activism Into Impact

Michael Silberman is the Web of Change 2010 Chair and a partner and co-founder at EchoDitto, an internet strategy and online campaigns team that works with leading social change organizations.

Going to the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen (COP15) was the closest I've come to a good strong punch in the gut -- the type that makes you question much of what you once believed to be true. But it was also one of the best wake-up calls I could have asked for.

2010 Conferences You Should Check Out: A Roundup

Web of Change Convener David Averill put together this inspiring list of impactful conferences on the Groundwire website.  If you are looking to recharge and reconnect with like minded folk you have plenty to choose from!  The Web of Change Conference is in good company.

350 Global Day of Action: A New Bright Line for Digital Organizing

Michael Silberman is a long time supporter and convener of Web of Change.  He is a founding Partner of EchoDitto, a leading strategic online communications and technology team that works with its clients to leverage new media and participatory technologies to affect positive social and environmental change.

Web of Change '09

We are very lucky that Kety Esquivel was one of our conveners at this year's Web of Change.  Kety was an active member of the convener team leading up to WOC09 and brought so much to the gathering.  She is the New Media manager for National Council of La Raza and has an impressive career with a focus on diversity, advocacy and civil rights.  Kety facilitated two sessions at this year's Web of Change and attended many others.

The Gathering for Justice

We are very fortunate to have Gibran Rivera, a Senior Associate from the Interaction Institute for Social Change as our leadership facilitator at Web of Change this year.  Gibran’s work focuses on igniting social transformation and uncovering ways that old organizational models can transform to make way for new emerging frameworks.  Just like Web of Change, Gibran focuses on catalyzing collaborative action with the intention of creatin
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